Being the learner gardener, it is always good to write about easy to grow vegetables and the beautiful amazing Beetroot, is my current choice.
In the ground, at the moment I am growing Bulls Blood Beetroot with seeds from Kings Seeds. I have previously had great success from the Cylindra variety, which is shaped like a cylinder and grows typically to somewhere between 15cm and 20cm. The bulls blood variety is American Heirloom and more shaped like a small ball. There are many different varieties of Beetroot, including different colours like white and orange, so check with your local garden centre, as to the best type for your location.
Suitable Beetroot growing conditions
Beetroot is usually sown direct, germination is about 15 days, and the Beetroot is ready after 55-70 days. Watch out for the Beetroot going woody if left in the ground too long.
Beetroot is an excellent starter vegetable for the learner gardener because it will grow in the majority of soil types. Still, the soil should be fertile and moist, loose, and light for the roots to grow, as it is a root vegetable. So, it is best to make sure the soil has been well worked first and has plenty of compost. A feed of compost is always good, but don’t cover the growing Beetroot as they like their tops – top of the roots – just out of the ground.
Beetroot will grow in the neutral soils of alkaline or acidic but will not be happy at the high-end alkaline or acidic soils. Beetroot can be sown all year round in the warmer North of New Zealand.
Soil temperature needs to be higher than 10°C (50°F). If you are growing during the warmer months, make sure that the Beetroot is watered and depending on the temperature, consider shade cloth. Beetroot is grown in sunny positions.
Thinning of the smaller or weaker seedling when they reach approximately 5cm (2”) may be required.
Beetroot nasties: Pests and Diseases
Beetroot can be susceptible to pests and disease whitefly and thrips, mildew, rust, leaf spot and leaf miner.
Be aware of the furry creatures too. I have a new kitten who attempted to do his best to undo the sowing that I had completed, even when I did my best to protect it. In the end, I placed a garden tunnel in place, only for the kitten to attack that as well, so, do not only watch out for pests and disease but also your domestic household animals attempting to cause your vegetable garden some issues.
Who are the right companions for your Beetroot and who is not?
Companion Planting is all about getting the most out of your garden and the space available.
So, who are good neighbours for Beetroot? Good neighbours tend to be Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Kohl Rabi, Lettuce, Onion, Peas, Potato, Spinach and Silverbeet.
The bad neighbours that are not so good for Beetroots and like to emit scents that Beetroot will be unhappy with are Climbing beans and Tomatoes. Beetroot also has a troubled relationship with Asparagus, Carrots, and Sweetcorn.
Beautiful Amazing Beetroot health and nutritional benefits
I am no expert; however, various sources indicate that Beetroot may help in the following:
- Will assist in lowering blood pressure (hypertension), with Beetroot juice.
- Has potent antioxidant benefits.
- Beetroot is excellent for detoxing.
- Increases stamina.
- Has anti-cancer benefits.
My strong recommendation is to check all the above out before pursuing for health benefits.
Beetroot has the following nutritional benefits:
- Has good levels of vitamin B6.
- Is a good source of dietary fibre, folate, niacin, thiamine and vitamin C, and
- Has a significant dietary amount of potassium.
Millions of uses for the beautiful amazing Beetroot
Beetroot is a versatile vegetable.
It can be used in a million different ways like being boiled, steamed, or cooked in the microwave.
Beetroot can be juiced, made into a soup, used raw in a salad or there must be a million or so tasty recipes where Beetroot can be used, you just need to find your favourite.