We all love vegetables that are easy to grow, right?
The satisfaction of pulling up flavorful, crunchy veggies that have grown happily by themselves with minimal input can make you feel like you’re really winning at the whole gardening thing.
So what’s a veggie that is easy to grow, healthy, and tastes great?
Want to know how to grow beetroot at home? I’ve got you covered!
This article will outline all the basic beetroot growing facts that you need from start to finish.
Let’s get into it!
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Beetroot Growing Conditions
Beetroot is a cool-season crop but it can be planted year-round in most temperate regions.
It’s probably best to avoid planting seeds in the heat of a hot summer or the midst of a very cold winter unless you have some measures in place to keep them cool (and moist) or warm respectively, but beetroot makes the perfect spring and fall vegetable for most regions.
Beetroot likes a temperature range of between 50˚ – 70˚F. It will grow at lower temperatures but very slowly.
In keeping with its preference for cool weather, beetroot doesn’t need a whole heap of light. It actually only requires about 4 hours of direct sunlight per day to thrive. Too much sun will cause it to bolt and grow tough and stringy.
If your vegetable garden gets a lot of sun, you could put up some shade cloth for your beetroot, or intercrop it between some larger vegetables that will help to provide some shade.
Intercropping will also allow you to grow beetroot in mid-summer once the temperatures rise.
If you do this, remember, it’s important to place them somewhere cooler than your standard heated home, ideally around 60˚F.
I’ve got more tips for winter growing here if that’s what you’re looking for.
Drainage, drainage, drainage.
Just like other root vegetables, beetroot loves free-draining soil which makes it well suited to raised garden beds. If your crop isn’t super successful, it’s almost definitely going to be down to the quality of the soil.
Beetroot grows well where leafy greens have grown previously.
Alternatively, mulching with aged compost is a great way to add a more balanced composition of nutrients and ensure that there isn’t an oversupply of nitrogen. Making your own is the best option. If you don’t have a kitchen compost bin yet, have a browse through my recommendations here.
Beetroot has fairly minimal water requirements; it is definitely not a thirsty crop. However, it also doesn’t like to dry out. It needs to be kept consistently moist.
The easiest way to manage the water requirements of beetroot is to intercrop plants between some taller vegetables that you will water. These taller crops will help to keep the ground moist while providing a little shade and protection for the beetroot.
In the summer, you may need to water your beetroot directly to prevent it from drying out. The best way to do this is with a soaker hose to avoid wetting the foliage unnecessarily.
How to Grow Beetroot at Home
Now you know what the ideal conditions are for growing beetroot, let’s get into the finer details of growing beetroot at home.
Beetroot can be easily planted by direct sowing the seeds in your garden, or by planting seeds in a seedling tray and then transplanting them.
Due to its low-temperature requirements, beetroot seeds are usually successful when directly sown. However, the teeny tiny seedlings need a little extra TLC in your garden if grown this way. They can easily dry out or be a tasty treat for slugs when they’re this small.
If you’re confident that you’ll be able to keep your babies safe and secure, then direct sowing is the way to go. But if you know that you have a slug problem, growing seedlings in trays and then transplanting might be the safer option.
Growing from Seed
The first step is to soak the beetroot seeds overnight for quicker germination.
Once you’ve done this, plant the seeds around 4 inches apart with around 8-10 inches between rows if direct sowing. You can plant much closer together in a seedling tray.
The more space between your beetroots once in the ground, the bigger they will grow, but also the more prone to drying out they will be… it’s a fine balance!
Beetroot seeds need to be kept consistently moist while germinating. The seedlings also need to be kept consistently moist. This is easier to manage if your seedlings are in seedling trays!
From Babies to Harvest
Beetroot care is all about water once your seedlings are going strong and in the ground. Water little and often for the best results.
Beetroots are fast-growing crops so provided you start with healthy soil, you are unlikely to need to add any amendments.
Harvesting is simple, simply pull up the plant from its base and if your soil is nice and loose, the root should come up easily. If not, carefully loosen the soil around the plant with a garden fork.
Beetroot is best eaten fresh and can be eaten raw when grated into a salad or cooked by roasting or boiling. You can also eat the leaves which is an added zero-waste bonus!
How to Grow Beetroot in Pots
If you’re wondering how to grow beetroot in pots, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s surprisingly easy.
Beetroots are compact plants and don’t need a lot of space, so provided you get the light and temperature requirements right and plant your beetroot in good quality, free-draining soil, you should be successful!
Now that we’ve been over the basics of how to grow beetroot at home, I hope you’re feeling confident that this easy-to-grow veggie could be gracing your dinner table pretty soon!
The main tips for growing beetroot at home are to get the watering right and not let it get too hot. If you can nail this, you should be rewarded with a sweet, juicy crop!
Are you a beetroot lover? Do you grow your beetroot in your garden or in pots? I’d love to know how you do it and whether you have any more tips! Feel free to comment below.