Like all root vegetables Beetroot are best grown from seed rather than seedlings, they simply do not like to be transplanted as it disturbs the tap root.
Growing Beetroot plants from seed is actually fairly easy. In warmer areas beetroot can be grown almost all year found, although it is best to avoid the rainy season on the tropics.
As we move to cooler areas the best time to plant beetroot is around September. You will find sowing advice for different types for different climate zones on the packets of seed. Grow Beetroot in a position with full sun to part shade. Baby beetroot is treated the same way.
How to Grow Beetroot
Beetroot can be grown from seed, a humus rich well drained soil is best as for most vegetables. We suggest growing from seed rather than seedlings as beetroot form a tap root which does not like to be disturbed. However seedlings are quicker, just buy small seedlings (that do not have roots growing out the bottom of the punnet) and transplant carefully
Plant beetroot after the danger of frost has passed and sow in batches 2-3 weeks apart to maintain a steady supply rather than a glut, thin seedlings after about 2-3 weeks. Seed is sown in rows and thinned after germination.
Fertilise with a liquid seaweed based fertiliser as well as by digging in well rotted manure a few weeks before planting. Water well but do not allow the soil to get to wet, raised garden beds are great foe vegetables as they provide good drainage. Beetroot plants are relatively pest free, just don’t over water….
When to Plant Beetroot
- Warm Climates – Any time, however not in the wet season. Brisbane and further north.
- Temperate or Mediterranean Climates – From Mid winter to Autumn July To March. Sydney to Melbourne and Adelaide
- Cool Climates – From Spring to Late Summer September to February – Tasmania, cooler highland areas of Victoria and NSW
- Perth – Year round but best in autumn and spring.
Can you grow Beetroot in Containers?
Yes you can, try deep polystyrene vegetable boxes (with drainage holes punched in them)
When to pick Beetroot, our main advice hear is not to let them get to big (they get a little tough) so as a guide, harvest beetroot 50 to 80 days after sowing. Remember to sow sequentially, every 3 -4 weeks.
The actual time from seed to harvest does depends on variety.
If unsure start harvesting at 50 days, pull a bulb and check for size. If its looking good, you can either harvest the whole lot, or pull up every second or third bulb and leave the other for another 10 days maybe some for 20 days extra.
Beetroot varieties to grow in the home garden include : ‘Boltardy’, ‘Forono’, ‘Moulin Rouge’ and others.
Chioggia Beetroot is an Italian heirloom variety, they are actually ‘striped’ but on the inside not the outside
How to Cook Beetroot
I was brought up on boiled beetroot and canned beetroot. The boiled stuff was just terrible, the canned variety was edible, but very sweet.
As a teenager I was introduced to pickled beetroot, this still did nothing for me.
Eventually I discovered the perfect, and easy way to cook beetroot, and it is so simple, great flavour, good texture and no additives at all.
All you need is some fresh beetroot, make sure it is nor soft, and is not wrinkled.
- Wash under cold water.
- Wrap in aluminium foil
- Preheat oven to 180C
- For medium sized beets cook for 1.5 hours.
- After this they need to cool a little and then be peeled.
Uses a potato peeler, or a knife to peel the cooked beets.
They are now ready to serve, great in salads.
Where to Buy Beetroot Seed.
BAY SEED GARDENPH (08) 97522513
PO Box 1164 Busselton WA 6280
MR FOTHERGILLS SEEDSPH (02) 45775457 Fax (02) 45776892
15B Walker St Sth Windsor NSW 2756
GOODMAN SEEDS phone: 03 5152 5988
19 Radford Place Bairnsdale VIC 3875