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How to grow beetroot

How to grow beetroot

If you're looking for a vegetable that's easy to grow, tasty in salads and stir-fries, and highly nutritious, it's hard to beat the beet. Not only are beets delicious raw or cooked, but they have a long history of medicinal uses. From its root to the top of its greens, this member of the chicory family is one food you should definitely consider growing in your garden or in containers on your patio or balcony.

Know your climate

Beets are a cool-season crop. That means that you should plant them in late summer or early fall and harvest them when the weather starts to get cold. They can be grown in northern climates, but they will be more susceptible to frost and freeze damage than other vegetables.

Beets are a root vegetable, meaning that they grow below ground instead of above it like corn or potatoes do. This makes them hardier than other plants because their roots help protect them from freezing temperatures as well as diseases like rot or mold.

Pick a suitable variety

The first step to growing beetroot is to pick a variety. First, check the seed packet for information on how long it takes to grow and whether it's suitable for your climate. Look at its description and choose one that's right for your soil type and pH level (the acidity or alkalinity of soil).

Consider how long you have until summer ends: some varieties grow more rapidly than others, but may not have time to mature before frost hits.

Space plants properly

Plant beetroot at least 30cm (12 inches) apart in rows rather than a circular pattern, or in blocks rather than rows. This will ensure there is enough space for the roots to grow without becoming tangled.

The best way to space the plants is by using a grid pattern—for example, plant one seed every 2cm (1 inch). Another way to do this is hexagonal planting—plant one seed every 2cm (1 inch), then place another where it's perpendicular, but offset slightly so that you're not covering any of your previous plantings with its leaves.

For square planting—plant one seed per square; place another square where it's perpendicular but offset slightly so that you're not covering any of your previous plantings with its leaves.

Ensure correct soil drainage

Beets are root crops, so they need good drainage to thrive. To ensure this, add organic matter to the soil. This improves drainage and helps prevent root rot.

If you're growing in a container, use a potting mix that drains well. If you're growing in the ground, add organic matter to improve drainage—think peat moss or composted manure (not fresh manure).

Temperature control

You can control the temperature of your beetroot beds with either a cooling system or a heating system. Cooling systems are cheaper, but they only work in summer. Heating systems are more expensive, but they can be used all year round to extend the growing season, which means you can grow beetroot in both spring and autumn.

Water appropriately

Water beetroot regularly but not too much. Watering in the morning is best, because it allows the soil to dry out in between waterings. Beetroot can take a lot of water, but over-watering can lead to fungal diseases or rotting roots. Don't water at night because this leads to moist conditions that encourage fungal diseases or moulds on your plants' leaves and stems which can spread through the whole crop and ruin it entirely.

Harvest at the correct time

Harvest beetroots when the tops of the beetroot are about 5cm (2 inches) above the ground. When you harvest them, pull up gently to avoid damaging their roots.

The beetroots should be firm and have a good colour and no blemishes or damage. The leaves should be green and not yellowing – if they are, it’s an indication that the plant is too mature and will taste bitter when you cook with it.


Growing beetroot is an excellent way to get your kids involved in gardening. It can also be a great source of nutrition and add a splash of colour to your garden. With the right tools and soil preparation, growing beets is simple and easy!