Planting Beetroot from Seeds
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I adore beetroot and last year I grew quite a lot . It was fabulous having fresh beetroot and I had such a good crop, I even managed to pickle some and gift it at Christmas time. So this year I decided I would definitely grow some more, and as I have great success with Bolthardy I decided to buy the same seed again this year. But I also wanted to experiment a little, so when I was making my Thompson and Morgan order I chose chioggia beetroot seeds to try as well. It’s a much redder beetroot with white and red rings when cut. So thought they would look fantastic on a salad plate. I have started my beetroot seeds at home. I don’t have a lot of space but have some plastic frames on the driveway that work well to get seeds going.
I used an organic compost to fill my seed trays and once it was full I pushed it down firmly with my fingers then added more compost. Otherwise when it’s watered and the compost settles there isn’t enough and it sinks down and you need a reasonable amount for the roots to form in. Last year I used toilet roll tubes cut in half and filled with compost which was great because when it came to planting I just popped the whole thing in the ground and the cardboard gradually broke down in the soil. With a marker pen I use for labels as a dibber I made a hole approx 1cm deep and popped the seeds in. I’m not that fussy if one seed or up to three go in the same hole, as I found last year that beetroot are quite happy growing together. I would just twist out the largest beetroot from the ground and leave the others to continue to grow. So don’t panic if two or three seeds go tumbling in the same hole. The next step is to cover the seeds with a bit more compost and then water well. Pop them in your propagator, green house or windowsill. And plant out later when the plants are large enough to handle.
I have to say I often picked the very young tops off my beetroots once they were established outside. Young beetroot leaves are fab in a salad and are rich in iron, calcium and beta- carotene too! This year I plan to experiment with beetroot and try different recipes. Although I can eat it raw, boiled or roasted until the cows come home, I think it would be good to try maybe a beetroot cake or something different. Do you have a favourite beetroot recipe that you would like to share? I’m always interested in hearing about new and different recipes and ideas that I can try.