How to grow beetroots


There is a wide choice of shapes, sizes, colours and flavours of beetroot you can experience if you are growing your own.  With a few quick tips on how to  grow your own beetrootsyou will see that they are easy to produce, and growing them should become a standard in your garden. Depending on variety and climatic conditions you can harvest baby leaves after 2 weeks and your first small beetroots after 2 months, leaving them in the earth longer to become bigger. Beetroots store really well!

Where to sow beetroots?

-          Beetroots prefer to stand in full sun.

-          Beetroots require soil which drains well and is free of stones and other big obstacles for the roots to develop well.

-          Fertilization will help the beetroots to grow bigger, but they will also grow well on sites with poorer soil.

-          Sow until 2 weeks before the last frost date. When the weather is warming up germination will happen faster.

-          Sow in spring or in summer, maximum 3 to 5 weeks before the last date of frost.

-          Practice a crop rotation of four years to prevent build-up of diseases, read here more about crop rotation.

-          Grow together with radishes in the lines and bush green beans between the lines to better use the space available.

How to sow beetroots

-          Sow beetroot seeds directly into the prepared soil, or sow 3 weeks before the intended planting time in trays.

-          Sow every 2 weeks during the growing season to have a continuous supply of fresh beetroots.

-          After sowing cover the seeds with about 1 cm of soil or fine compost to prevent the forming of a crust (which will hamper germination).

After sprouting

-          Seeds of beetroot come as a cluster of 2-4 seeds so when germinating a lot of small seedlings will be next to each other. Once they start to grow take out extra seedling until you have every 15 centimetres a beetroot. Take the small plants out carefully one by one and keep the strongest plants. The baby leaves of the discarded seedlings may be eaten in salads.

-          Keep the beetroots irrigated, they will not grow well on dry soils.

-          Mulching can help to maintain the moisture around the beetroots, this means putting for example straw around the beetroots on top of the soil.

-          Keep weeding, beetroots will not grow well with weeds, watch out to not weed too close to the roots, beetroots have shallow roots which are easily damaged.


-          Start harvesting when the beetroot is golf ball size or larger. Very large roots might become tough and woody and not very pleasant to eat any more.

-          The leaves of the beetroot are also edible. They can be harvested from seedling stage until very adult stage. The baby leaves are best fresh, bigger leaves are better cooked like spinach. Remove the tops by twisting them off with your hands to prevent the plants bleeding their juice.



-          Beets keep quiet well in the vegetable drawer of your fridge. Trim the leaves and stem leaving 2-3 cm of stem on the top of the root, don’t trim the tail. Gently brush the earth of the roots, don’t wash. It’s important to keep the roots dry for safe storage. You might like to place a paper or kitchen towel on the bottom of your vegetable drawer to manage excess humidity.

-          If you have a bumper crop clean as above and store in a dry, cool and dark place. A cellar or garage may work best. Once the beetroot starts sprouting it is a sign you will have to eat them quickly.

-          Beetroots are fantastic for making preserves, see some recipes here

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