Drop that beet

Person Author: Ryan Lewis Calender March 30, 2012 Posted Tags: , , Comment No Comments

Beetroot is a relatively new taste for me as I’ve largely avoided it for the vast majority of my life so far. Growing up pickled beetroot was ever present but it wasn’t exactly appealing to a child’s palette. Allotment gardening has put pay to this. Not only is Betroot a rather easy vegetable to grow, it’s also a very versatile and rewarding.

Beetroot is typically a great salad vegetable that lends itself very well to slicing, dicing and grating when raw or alternatively it’s fantastic boiled and, of course, it is rather nice when pickled. After pickling my own with a custom spiced vinegar those days of revering that ‘weird purple vegetable in a jar of vinegar’ was gone. In it’s place I found a beautiful tasting food that was perfect with salads, cheeses and other dishes.

To sow your beetroot you have two options: direct sowing or sowing in modules. Direct sowing is a pretty straightforward option. Simply create a small drill, sow seeds thinly and evenly spaced and cover with a little soil. Water these in well and thin any seedlings that grow too closely together. Early sowings can then be eaten as baby beets. For modular sowing sow two or three seeds per module and cover them with a light covering of soil, water well and thin the weakest seedlings. When large enough and as weather permits, plant the modular grown beets in to their final positions. Water plants well through the growing season to promote good, succulent root growth and keep an eye out for pests. A weekly feed of seaweed and comfrey fertiliser will help to add additional nutrients and promote good plant health. Check out our beetroot varieties here.

Five to try:
Beetroot ‘Boltardy’ – As it’s name suggests this cultivar is resistant to bolting and excellent for sowing early on in the season.
Beetroot ‘Chioggia’ – A very striking beet with sweet, spherical roots. When sliced this beetroot really shows us what it’s made of with beautiful red and white concentric rings.
Beetroot ‘Cylindra’ – Unlike your typical globe shaped beets, ‘Cylindra’ produces a long, cylindrical root. The uniform shape makes it a great choice for slicing.
Beetroot ‘Detroit 2’ – A perfect crop for early and maincrop growing, ‘Detroit 2’ produces large, globe shaped roots.
Beetrot ‘Bull’s Blood’ – Unlike typical beetroot that is grown for its root, ‘Bull’s Blood’ is grown for it dark and tasty leaves, which are an excellent addition to salads.

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