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Beloved by gardeners for being simple to grow, growing your own beetroot can be incredibly rewarding with a bit of know-how. Rather than buying beetroot in supermarkets, in a few months you could have delicious beetroot from the garden.
Where should you plant beetroot?
Beetroot grows well in a sunny spot, so pick a place in full sun to grow the crop.
Beetroot also prefers an environment of fertile and well-drained, moist soil.
Beetroot is a root crop, so it will likely do well if the soil is free from any large stones.
How far apart should you plant beetroot?
The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) recommends to “sow three seeds at 10cm (4 inches) spacings, 2.5cm (1 inch) deep, in rows 30cm (1 foot) apart”.
From March and April to July, “sow small batches at fortnightly intervals”.
Once the seeds have been sown, the site should be watered regularly.
The area will also benefit from being kept free from weeds, however, take care not to damage the roots while removing any weeds.
According to Gardeners’ World, gardeners can also try ‘station sowing’ their beetroot crops.
Gardeners’ World explains: “It’s worth ‘station sowing’ beetroot to ensure a good crop.
“This means sowing two seeds at each location and thinning later to one seedling – the thinned seedlings are delicious eaten raw in salads. Label the row, then water along its length.”
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It is possible to sow beetroot earlier in the year, but the beetroot will require extra protection in this case.
The variety of beetroot chosen should also be resistant to bolting and suited for early sowing.
When growing beetroot earlier in the year, around the beginning of March, it is common for beetroot to be grown under cloches first of all.
Around one week after sowing, gardeners may notice the seedlings will start to appear.
Some six weeks after sowing the seed, the cloches can normally be removed.
This method can help to produce beetroot two to three weeks earlier than normal.
Alternatively, for the beetroot to be ready some two weeks earlier than normal, beetroot seeds can also be started off in a greenhouse or in modules indoors around mid-April.
When should you harvest beetroot?
How long it takes for beetroot to grow will vary depending on the type being grown.
However, some globe beetroots will be ready to harvest in eight to 10 weeks, while other varieties could take several more weeks to grow.
The RHS explains: “Pull up alternate plants once the roots are golf ball size, leaving the rest to reach maturity if you wish. Harvest these when no larger than a cricket ball.”
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