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Here's what you need to know to grow some delicious, healthy beetroot

Lisa Garden on 16-10-2017

The healthy beetroot were discarded in Ancient Times in favour of the leaves

It wasn't until quite recently that healthy beetroot was maximised by eating the beets and not only the leaves. They are a member of the same family as spinach and are packed full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. In ancient times they were valued for use as a dye, tea and their medicinal properties and were effectively used to treat skin disorders, constipation, circulation and fevers. It wasn't until the 1800's that new varieties of beetroot became available, with sweet juicy roots and the British became famous for pickling them in vinegar, but there are many other ways that they can be cooked and eaten.


Healthy beetroot can be grown easily from seed for a great crop

Most people choose to grow their healthy beetroot from seed or some buy seedlings from their local garden centre which are well established and are ready for planting out in the garden. Beetroot is one of the hardiest vegetables that can be grown in the UK. The only thing that it dislikes if freshly manured soil, but it will still grow. It prefers a nice sunny spot with crumbly soil, as do all vegetables but will still perform in the shade or in stony ground, just not as well.


How do I plant my healthy beetroot?

Once you have chosen the spot, that you will use to plant your healthy beetroot seeds, you can scatter some bonemeal or blood fish and bone fertiliser to give it the best start. Beetroot is usually planted in rows 5 cm apart so that it has enough room to develop properly. It should be placed in a shallow groove of about 2 cm and covered with the surrounding soil. Sometimes it can help to soak seeds for a few hours before planting to wash any growth inhibitors away that are added to seeds to make them last longer. Once the seeds are in the ground they should be watered well.


Caring for your plants to ensure a healthy beetroot crop

Beetroot are easy to take care of and will only need water and weeding. The plants should emerge around 2 weeks after they have been sown and will need sporadic watering as opposed to little and often. Seeds should be thinned out once they have established as beetroot seed pods usually contain 2 or 3 plants. They should be left at 2cm between each plant, to get the best results. Beetroot can be sown from the end of April right through until mid July. The beets are ready to harvest when they are the size of a golf ball or earlier for tender young beets.


Buying seeds and seedlings to plant healthy beetroot in the garden

Local garden centres have everything that you need for a good tasty beetroot crop. Beetroot does very well in containers and garden centres will have tons of these to choose from. From fertiliser, compost or seeds and young beetroot plants, everything that you will need to enjoy the amazing health benefits of fresh beetroot from the garden can be found at your local garden centre.