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Sow under glass
Sow outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type
  • Ideal Ph range 6.0 to 7.5
  • Site Full Sun
Pick a sunny spot that hasn't had manure applied for at least one season. Beetroot prefers an alkaline soil so add a lime to your chosen site if it is acidic. Rake in a general purpose fertilizer about 2 weeks before sowing.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 10 to 14 days
  • Sow 20mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 100mm
  • Rows 300mm apart
Beetroot seeds are actually clusters of 2 or 3 seeds, sow a couple of clusters 2cm deep and 10cm apart. You can sow at 2 week intervals to give yourself a more staggerd supply. After germination thin the seedlings at each station, leaving the strongest looking seedling. Note as with most root vegetables, seedlings do not transplant well

Growing a bumper crop

You will have to protect the seedlings from birds with some netting. The netting can be removed when the first main leaves are established. Keep weed free and try not to damage the roots as they swell. It is important to keep a constant amount of moisture in the soil, too little and the plant may bolt (go to seed prematurely), to varied and the roots may split.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 420g per plant
Pull the Beetroot out of the ground by hand when the roots are no smaller than a golf ball and no bigger than a tennis ball. Twist of the stalks and leaves at the top of the root, do not cut as this will cause the root to bleed. Select the larger undamaged roots for storage, place in boxes of sand or dry peat making sure the roots do not touch. Keep the boxes in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight and protect from frost.

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Beetroot varieties

Barbabietola di Chioggia

Barabietola di Chioggia or just Chioggia as it is sometimes known is an Italian globe rooted heirloom variety. This variety is grown as a novelty rather than for its flavour. The concentric circles of dark pink & white flesh are striking and quite unique, though people are often disapointed to discover the flesh reverts to white when cooked! Slice on a mandolin and eat raw. Because of its appearence when sliced this variety is sometimes known as bullseye. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked as leaf beet.


Probably the most popular globe Beetroot variety. As its name suggests, it has been bred to be bolt resistant. It is also suitable for earlier sowing. Deep red sweet roots that can also be eaten as baby beets. Young leaves can also be added to salads. Stores well.


Long dark red cylindrical roots, a popular variety for slicing into disks. Roots grow 15cm to 20cm long. Sweet flavoured good textured flesh. The leaves are sweeter than other varities, young leaves are great in salads. Immature roots make excellent baby beetroot, mature roots store very well.

Detroit Globe

First introduced in the late 19th century, this globe-rooted variety is still very popular today. A reliable all round performer that is favoured by exhibitors due to its large uniform shaped roots. Smooth skinned, deep red roots with excellent texture and flavour, this variety is as good for eating as it for showing. Harvest this variety when roots are the size of tennis ball. Stores well