Growing Beetroot, also Beets

Beta vulgaris : Amaranthaceae / the amaranth family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P P P P         P P P P

(Best months for growing Beetroot in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 45°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 7-10 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Onions, Silverbeet (Swiss Chard), Lettuce, Cabbage, Dwarf Beans, Dill, Peas. Strawberries
  • Avoid growing close to: Asparagus, Carrots, Sweetcorn, Spinach

Your comments and tips

19 Sep 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Try to grow after a previous crop that has reduced the N. Also apply a bit of P.
13 Jan 17, Jean Beardsall (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I could hazard a guess that your compost contained too much nitrogen. Anything with bulbs or roots doesnt respons well to nitrogen. Maybe add a little lime to bring it to the correct PH. Google says: Beetroot prefer a soil pH of 5.8-7.0 but can tolerate a pH of up to 7.6. Acid soils are likely to create nutrient deficiency problems and should be avoided or limed to raise the pH.
19 Jul 18, carl Freeman (New Zealand - temperate climate)
It could also be variety, some like 'bulls blood' are primarily for leaf. But yes probably too much nitrogen.
19 Dec 16, Mike Chester (New Zealand - temperate climate)
What is eating my beets? The bulb is gnawed through from the side often leaving the plant top on the soil and the underground part of the beetroot flush with the soil. Rabbits? Can't be possums because they have been exterminated in Miramar, Wellington. Please advise.
24 Dec 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
If it is a rabbit or rats you would see soil disturbance around the plants. It could be grubs such as cutworms in the soil. Mix up a Bt spray such as Yates 'Natures Way' and water it along both sides of your row around the beets. This is a sfe insecticide and only affects chewing pests. Birds could eaat the grubs after with no effect. Trust this helps.
30 Sep 14, NANCY (New Zealand - temperate climate)
what is eating my beetroot bulb? Would this be slugs and snails Nearly all of my tennis ball size beetroot has disappeared !
11 May 14, Rana (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
How is it that some of us can't grow beets? I( and some of my gardening friends) follow all the advice and all I get is luscious leaves and thin dry beet. only about 0.01% grow to something less than a golf ball size and that takes much longest that the 7- 10 weeks mentioned.
21 Jul 15, Heidi (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I couldn't grow it for years, though I kept trying because sometimes it seemed like I was achieving some improvement. Then I went through a period of getting the foodscraps from a shop and feeding them to the chickens, though most ended up being dug under the soil. The soil was teeming with worms all the time. Within a year, I was growing good beetroot. I think the amount of organic matter made the difference. Now I'm not getting the foodscraps anymore, and my beetroot is average. I'd suggest digging your food scraps under the soil and letting it compost there rather than in a pile or bin, and see if that helps. I'd love to hear whether it does.
12 May 14, Gary (Australia - temperate climate)
I have the same problem. I have persevered over the years and have only been able to grow a half decent crop a couple of times. I don't over feed them as I think that would make for more leafy growth. I do mix compost in my garden soil. My daughter has success with her beetroot and she uses virtually the same soil mixture and only lives around the corner so it's not different climates
30 Oct 10, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
try roasting them along with other "usual" vegetables, brush clean - leaves roots and top on (take off most of the stalks)
Showing 11 - 20 of 24 comments

I'm sub tropical Australia - Bundaberg Qld. I grown beetroot from March to Sept. Too hot to grow in summer - need a lot of watering. I plant March and May. Temps from May-Aug day 23 to 30 and night 3-6 to 11-15.

- Mike

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