Beetroot Seeds (Detroit 2) Organic
Many people have an aversion to beetroot because the only way they have ever tasted it is boiled and drowned in vinegar. If this is your experience, we recommend giving it a second chance. Beetroot is a fine root crop that is easy to grow, is incredibly good for you, and stores well, therefore can usually be eaten all year round. On top of all these benefits, when it comes to cooking it has multiple uses – boil it, bake it, grate it into salads, make chutneys, wine and even cakes (beetroot brownies anyone?). Try baking young, small (golf-ball sized) beets in the oven wrapped in tinfoil – they are a revelation. .
June to October
- Beetroot likes a fertile soil with good levels of soil nutrient. Ideally it should be planted in a soil that has been manured the previous winter.
- Don’t worry if you have not prepared any beds prior to sowing – you can still successfully grow beets so long as the soil is healthy.
- Appy an organic fertiliser about a week before sowing/planting out.
- Beetroot can be sown either in module trays inside in March (transplanted in April for an early crop) or directly outside from, April to July.
- Sow seeds about 2cm deep, thinly in rows 30cm apart.
- A beetroot seed is actually a ‘cluster’ of up to five seeds, so thinning will always be necessary (unless you buy special ‘mono-germ’ varieties).
- Thin seedlings in module trays to one plant per module. For plants outside thin to between 3cm (for baby beets) or 10cm for large beets.
- If you wish to have a continuous supply of young beets sow every two weeks from April until July.
- Later sowings can be left to mature for storage.
- Young beets are sensitive to cold spells (it encourages them to produce flower heads, known as ‘bolting’), which is why we generally wait until April to sow.
- Protect young seedlings with fleece if required.
- Keep the ground weed free by hoeing carefully and water in dry weather.
- Beetroots are heavy feeders and therefore will probably benefit from an additional nitrogen-rich feed during the growing season. Apply an organic fertiliser during the growing period or some liquid feed. Check out our Homemade Liquid Feed recipe (beetroot particularly needs nitrogen so we suggest making a feed using nitrogen rich plants such as nettles).
- Start to harvest when they are golf ball size – leaving every second one behind to fully mature.
- Do not let beets grow larger than a tennis ball.
- Lift July-sown crop in October and store in sand or peat – they will keep for 3-4 months.
- Twist off leaves a few centimetres above the root before storing. Handle carefully – they will ‘bleed’ if damaged.
Visit the GIY Veg directory for more growing details and tips.