Growing beetroot is easy and great fun! I have successfully grown this root vegetable from seeds for the past few years. Not only are beetroot easy to grow, they are a very nutritious root vegetable. Growing your own beetroot allows you to harvest them fresh, as and when you need them. You can eat the greens of beetroot too as they are also edible. So, if I’ve tempted you to grow them, read on to find out how!
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Growing beetroot from seeds
I love growing the ‘Bolthardy’ variety, and definitely recommend it if you are a beginner. This is because it is reliable and you can leave them in the ground for longer. I sowed this variety in the summer months and was still harvesting my beetroot in the winter.
When to sow the beetroot seeds
In the UK, you can sow anytime outdoors between mid April and August. If you love beetroot, you can sow seeds every 3 weeks so that you have a continuous supply! Seeds sown in the summer months will allow you to harvest beetroot in the autumn and winter months.
How to sow the beetroot seeds
Beetroot can be grown in deep pots or containers, planters or raised beds. This means they will be fine in a balcony or patio, or the smallest outdoor space. They love sunshine or partial shade in order to flourish!
Use a mix of topsoil and multipurpose compost as the latter alone will become dry too quickly.
- Fill your container or planter (which should have holes at the bottom for good water drainage) with compost. Water the compost before sowing the seeds.
- I sow my seeds thinly (sparingly) in rows or circles in a pot that are 15 cm apart and 2.5 cm deep. Cover the seeds and they should germinate between 1-3 weeks. The time it takes for the first shoots to pop through depends on the temperature outside.
- Once the little seedlings have appeared, remove some of the seedlings so that the remaining ones are about 15 cm apart. This is called thinning and gives room for the remaining beetroot seedlings to grow well. The seedlings that you have removed can be washed and added to your salad, as they are edible … and tasty!
- Keep the beetroot seedlings watered well so that the compost mix is moist. Beetroot love water and dislike dry spells.
When to harvest beetroot
Homegrown beetroot are ready to harvest once you can see their root plumping up! The earliest beetroot can be the size of a table tennis ball with the leaves being edible too (just like spinach). This root vegetable is very easy to pull out of the ground or container.
You can also leave the beetroot in the ground till they are ready to be eaten. Some of my summer sown beetroot were feeding us in the middle of winter. One was amazingly huge, you can read all about it in my previous Beetroot Post.
I love eating roasted beetroot, which you can make by washing, dicing and baking in the oven at 200c for about 25 mins. A drizzle of oil and seasoning is all you need to add before popping it in the oven. I also love making a vibrant Beetroot Raita or dip, which is so refreshingly delicious to eat in summer!