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Growing Beetroot (continued page 3)

Harvesting and Storing Beetroot
Harvesting of globe beetroot can begin around nine weeks after sowing the seed. At this stage the bulbs will be about 2.5cm (1in) in diameter and they will be at their most tender - important for salads. These first pickings should be evenly applied over growing area to give the remaining beetroot good room to grow larger. 

Continue to harvest as required until the beetroot reach about 8cm (3in) in diameter. At this point it is best to harvest all the beetroot and store them. If they are left in the ground much longer, they will become woody and not taste so good. Another sign that the roots are ready for harvest is when the foliage starts to go limp.

When harvesting beetroot, especially if they will not be eaten immediately, cut the leaves off about 5cm (2in) above the root. This will keep them fresh longer and prevent them from 'bleeding'. Use a trowel to dig gently under the bulb and gently tease it away from the soil. Avoid damaging the root in order to keep them fresh for long time.

Store the beetroot in boxes (layers separated by sand or peat) in a cool dark place such as the garage or shed. They must kept free of all but a very light frost.

Beetroot Recipes
Beetroot is a tasty and nutritious vegetable, try the recipes below if you have a glut of them.


Pests and Diseases 
Beetroot is relatively free from pests and diseases (aside from birds at the seedling stage), but the following list will help should any trouble arise.

Disease / Pest


Mangold Flies (Beet Leaf Miner) Leaves with light brown blisters. The leaves turn completely brown and fall off. Growth is stunted.

Swift Moth This is a root problem and may not be clearly seen at first. The plants look unhealthy, and growth is stunted. No obvious leaf damage. 

Rust Slightly raised round spots on the underside of the leaves. The spots are rust coloured (browny-red).

Aphids Leaves curl and new shoots are distorted

Container Growing Beetroot
Choose the largest container possible - at least 30cm (1ft) in diameter. For drainage, fill the bottom with stones or the like, then cover with potting compost to about 5cm (2in) from the rim. Scatter the seeds over the surface and lightly cover with more potting compost - water well. 

As the seeds develop, thin them so that there are about 6 plants for a 30cm (1ft) diameter pot (more if the pot is larger). From then on treat them as described throughout this article. Good luck!




Name: Ian Bissett
Date posted: June 11, 2011 - 11:10 am
Message: I have been growing some beetroot in a large planter, 5' x 2' x 2' and everything has been fine until recentley when the leaves started to keal over, I went to check the roots aznd they had all been eated away from the bottom up to nearley the top. Can anyone help please and let me know what has happened and how to stop it happening to the next lot I plant out?

Name: Ann West
Date posted: May 06, 2011 - 04:44 pm
Message: Beetroot. There is something eating the leaves as soon as they emerge, leaving just the stalks. The row is fairly well netted though possibly mice would find a gap. There is no sign of slugs but we have tried putting pellets down. We don't think this is the problem. Any ideas? We had super beetroot last year. We have been watering.

Name: Ray Brown
Date posted: November 14, 2010 - 03:20 am
Message: Interesting site!
If cooked does beetroot freeze ok or is it best to freeze fresh ?
Comments most welcome.

Name: Dave Musson
Date posted: October 20, 2010 - 02:59 pm
Message: I boil beet then slice it and freeze it. It always tastes sweeter after freezing. I want to know the best way to store it over the winter months.

Name: s scherp
E-mail: Private
Date posted: October 14, 2010 - 11:24 pm
Message: I am growing beetroot but would like to no how to bottle it.(use for saladss)? any ideas?? thanks.

Name: Ian Buchanan
Date posted: September 24, 2010 - 06:33 am
Message: I have grown beetroot for years. But this year they have been decimated by some creature eating 75% of each beetroot beneath the soil. Any ideas please.

Name: mary beaney
E-mail: Private
Date posted: September 07, 2010 - 11:49 am
Message: My husband has grown beetroot for years but this year they are being eaten - obviously by some animal ??? - would you have any idea what this could be - field mice maybe. If so what would be a deterrent to stop my beautiful beetroot being decimated by some animal's teeth
many thanks for your knowledgeable reply reply.

Name: Mr G M Longden
Date posted: August 20, 2010 - 02:58 pm
Message: my beetroot are maturing but during the day especially when it is warm the leaves wilt/droop after watering they recover. or without water recover in the evening. there is a large tree near to them is this what is causing the problem by removing moisture from them. sincerely, g m longden