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A well know variety, easy to grow variety. Organic Detroit beetroots produce deep crimson, globe-shaped roots of excellent sweet flavour. Delicious eaten hot, or raw in salads.
Sow the beetroot thinly, early March-late June, about 2cm apart in rows, and cover with a little soil. Allow about 30cm between the rows. Beetroot can be sown as early as end of January in a frost-free greenhouse to enjoy fresh beets from April onwards.
A layer of mulch will help keep soil moisture consistent plus prevent weed growth. Use an organic mulch, like hay, that will help keep the soil neutral. Mulching root vegetables is not very common, but even if you just do it between the rows, the weeds will be less problem during the growing season, so it will be easier to keep weeds off your patch of vegetables; mulch after the veg seeds sprouted, so your vegetable seedlings will be visible and you will not step on them. This way you can just pull out the weeds from in between the beetroot plants inside the row and the space between the rows will stay clean and the mulch will provide additional nutrients to the veggies too.
As the beets develop you will begin to see the tops of the roots at soil level, providing you with an indication of how big the bulbs are. Harvest the bulbs when they are about the size of an orange, which should be about 8 weeks after planting.
Remove from soil by firmly grabbing the top greens near soil level and gently pulling upward while simultaneously inserting a garden trowel in the soil under the bulb and lifting upward. Try to get the beetroot and green top out of the garden intact.
Shake off loose soil and store in a cool, dry place. Don’t wash until ready to eat. Remove green tops by twisting them off, never cutting. When the green tops of freshly harvested beets are cut off the bulb will bleed, causing loss of flavour and colour in the beet.
When planning to store them over-winter, store the dry, unwashed beetroots in a box of sand. Place 2 inches of sand in a box, then a layer of beets, followed by another 2 inch layer of sand, then a layer of beets and so on until the box is full. Store box of beets and sand in a cool, dark location. The sand will prevent the beets from sprouting.