Beetroot, Beta vulgaris, are herbacious biennial root vegetables in the family Chenopodiaceae grown for their edible root. The plant is usually erect with a long main root and a rosette of leaves growing on stems. The leaves are oval in shape, arranged alternately on the stem and grow 20–40 cm (7.9–15.7 in) in length. The roots are usually red in color. The plant produces sessile green flowers and can reach 1–2 m (3.3–6.6 ft) in height. Beetroot are usually grown as annual plants, harvested after one growing season. Beetroot may also be referred to as beets, garden beet or spinach beet and originated from the Mediterranean.
scientific Name: Beta vulgaris
Common Name: beetroot, beet, garden beet, red beet, or golden beet.
How to grow and maintain beetroot:
Beetroots are cool season vegetables with a long growing season. They grow best in cool climates but can tolerate some heat as well as some freezing. The optimum temperature for their growth is between 15.5 and 18.3°C (60–65°F). Beets grow best in a loose, well draining soil with a pH between 6.2 and 6.8 and should be planted in full sun for optimum development.
Sow the seeds or plant the seedlings. Sow your beetroot seeds 2cm (3/4″-1″) deep. Keep seeds or seedlings apart at a distance of at least 5 to 10cm (2-4″). It’ll be easiest to plant them in rows.
Water daily until the leaves begin to sprout. At the beginning, your seeds need plenty of water to start the germination process. The roots will take moisture from the soil once they’re established.That being said, avoid over-watering. This causes beetroot to produce more leaves and less root, risking them “bolting”(flowering and not producing a vegetable). What’s more, under-watering creates woody roots.Once you have sprouts, only water them every 10-14 days in dry spells. Other than when the weather is unnaturally dry, normal rainfall should be fine.
Fertilise your plants. Add 4–6 liters (1.1–1.6 US gal) of complete organic fertilizer per 10 square metres of bed. Add a thin layer of compost or well-rotted manure. You may also want to use 30g of high nitrogen fertiliser per square metre if your plants aren’t growing well.Watch our for birds and weeds. Depending on your area, you may need to devise some sort of cover for your plants to keep them away from animals. As for weeds, you’ll have to take care of those by hand. As soon as you see one cropping up, get rid of it. However, be careful weeding. Avoid using hoes or other sharp objects near the roots or you might cut them. Hand weeding is best.
Harvest (some of) your plants. When you can start seeing the root, you will have a good idea of its size. The beetroots are ready to harvest when they are approximately the size of a small orange; too large and they won’t be as tasty. Do this by holding the top and leveraging the root up with a fork-like tool or spade.
Generally they’re ready around 8 weeks after sowing, or when the veggie reaches 2.5cm (1 inch) in diameter. Many people harvest alternately, picking out some of the beetroots now and leaving others to develop to full maturity. This allows the others to grow bigger more quickly. The ones with a diameter of about 7.5cm (3 inches) usually have the best flavor.