Beetroot is a great vegetable, able to provide you with anti-cancer and heart-protection properties thanks to its red pigments. Easy to grow, it is one of the top 10 vegetables grown in the home garden.
Soil and planting
Beetroot likes neutral soil without too much lime or acid (pH 6.5-7.0).
The soil should be soft and not have too much clay or too much sand; however, since the root develops at the surface, a clay soil can be tolerated if the top has been loosened by the addition of lots of well-rotted organic matter (don’t add this unless the soil has much clay).
The position needs to be sunny and open but it will tolerate part shade.
Remove weeds and any other debris, as well as any stones that might impede root growth.
The soil only needs tilling to one spade blade of depth
Sow beetroot seeds 2cm (3/4″-1″) deep. Keep seeds or seedlings apart at a distance of 5 to 10cm (2-4″).
Water daily. Do this until the leaves begin to sprout.
The roots will take moisture from the soil once they’re established.
Avoid over-watering. This causes beetroot to produce more leaves and less root. And under-watering creates woody roots.
Add 4-6 litres of complete organic fertiliser per 10 square metres of bed. Add athinlayer of compost or well-rotted manure.
Weeding Avoid using hoes or other sharp objects near the roots or you might cut them. Hand weeding is best.
Below is a list of several commonly available cultivars of beets. Generally, 55 to 65 days are needed from germination to harvest of the root. All cultivars can be harvested earlier for use as greens. Unless otherwise noted, the root colours are shades of red and dark red with different degrees of zoning noticeable in slices.
Variously coloured varieties
‘Albino’, heirloom (white root)
‘Bull’s Blood’, heirloom
‘Chioggia’, heirloom (distinct red and white zoned root)
‘Crosby’s Egyptian’, heirloom
‘Cylindra’ / ‘Formanova’, heirloom (elongated root)
‘Detroit Dark Red Medium Top’, heirloom
‘Early Wonder’, heirloom
‘Golden Beet’ / ‘Burpee’s Golden’, heirloom (yellow root)
‘Red Ace’ Hybrid
‘Ruby Queen’, 1957 AAS winner
‘Touchstone Gold’ (yellow root
When you can start seeing the root, you will have a good idea of its size.
Harvesting should be done when they are approximately the size of a small orange
A cross section through a mature beet root
Utilization and Value addition
Usually the deep purple roots of beetroot are eaten boiled, roasted or raw, and either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilized beets or into pickles
The beet can be graded and mixed with apple fruits to make a very nutritious and highly demanded fruit salad
Sliced, pickled beetroot
3.Beetroot juice drink
In preliminary research, beetroot juice reduced blood pressure in hypertensive individuals and so may have an effect on mechanisms of cardiovascular disease.
Tentative evidence has found that dietary nitrate supplementation such as from beets and other vegetables results
in a small to moderate improvement in endurance exercise performance