Family : Beetroot
Beetroot prefer to be grown in moist, fertile soil in a sunny spot, but will also thrive in raised beds or pots.
How to grow in pots
- Ideal for round varieties, not long cylindrical ones), choose containers that are 20cm (8in) in diameter and at least 20cm (8in) deep.
- Fill loosely with multi-purpose compost leaving the compost just shy of the top.
- Tap the pot gently to settle, and firm with your finger tips aiming to leave a 4 cm (1.5 in) gap between the surface of the compost and the top of the pot.
- Sow seeds thinly across the surface and cover with 2 cm (0.75 in) of compost.
- Water and thin out seedlings when they're about 2 cm (0.75 in) tall, leaving 12 cm (5 in) gaps between them.
- Depending on variety, beetroot is ready to be picked when the roots are between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball - this is usually 90 days after sowing. To harvest, gently hold the tops and lift while levering under the root with a hand fork.
- Remove the tops by twisting them off with your hands to prevent the plants bleeding their juice - don't throw these away, they have bags of taste and can be cooked and eaten like spinach.
While sowing seeds make sure the soil is damp and not wet. Water the seeds as the soil starts to dry. It should always be moist, but never wet or muddy. Do not water the seeds if the soil is already moist to the touch, as overwatering your plant can be just as harmful as underwatering.
Keep the seedling tray in bright filtered light to begin with. Slowly introduce the plant to morning sun and bring it back in before the afternoon sun sets in. In a weeks time you can put it in direct sunlight.
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