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Soil preparation
  • Remove weeds and stones
  • You will need bulky organic matter like well-rotted manure, compost, leafmould, composted bark or mushroom compost
  • Dig over the soil to a depth 14 - 18in depth and incorporate the compost
  • If you have light, sandy soil start digging over in spring, this will help to hold the moisture and nutrients
  • If you have clay soil you can start improving it in autumn, this will prevent soil from cracking and create better drainage
  • If you have a heavy soil choose short or round-rooted beetroots
Sowing

                Indoors:

  • Beetroots prefer deep and moist soil
  • Sow under glass from late February into March
  • It’s good to start sowing in fibre pots
  • First soak soil, then sow 3 seeds in the middle of the pot and cover with soil
  • Thins out seedlings and harden off before planting out

                Outdoors:

  • To have a regular supply of fresh beetroot sow every two weeks from mid-April to July
  • Sow two seeds at 4in intervals, an inch deep in rows 12in apart
  • Those sown from June onwards can be stored over winter
  • When the seedlings are about 1in high thin out to 1 seedling per 4in station
Growing
  • You have to be very careful with watering: too much and your crops will produce more leaves than root, too little and the roots will dry out and turn woody
  • If the weather is dry, soak the base of the plant early or late in the day
  • Hoe regularly and pull out by hand any weed seeds
Harvesting
  • You can start pulling up the plants when they reach the size of the golf ball
  • Pull every second plant leaving room for others to grow and mature
  • The mature plants can be pulled when they are the size of a cricket ball, don’t let the beetroot grow to big as it will lose its taste