Swollen roots that are this tasty should be difficult to grow, but they are childs’ play if your soil is anywhere near reasonable. For best flavour they need to be grown fast and picked small.
If you’re short on growing space, or have patio or balcony area, then these are excellent crops to sow in a Miracle-Gro Gro Your Own gro-sac for potatoes and root vegetables.
Soil and position
Improve the soil by raking in Miracle-Gro Organic Choice All Purpose Peat Free Compost, or a fit for purpose such as Levington Organic Blend Soil Conditioner, to create a free-draining, humus-rich soil. Avoid shaded areas that get no sun at all.
Beetroot: Most people prefer red globe varieties although there are white or yellow globes and red varieties that produce cylindrical and long tapered roots. The usual beetroot variety is ‘Boltardy’, although ‘Detroit’ types are great for late sowing or the show bench.
Radish: Why bother with anything other than ‘French Breakfast’ or ‘Red Globe’ which are tasty, but not too hot when pulled before they get large and woody.
Wait until March and April to sow your first short rows of radish and beetroot in garden soil. Further sowings of radish in May and June will provide young roots for your fresh summer salads.
A further sowing of beetroot in May will supply a good crop for late summer and a final row sown in June will provide roots for winter storage.
Take out a drill about 3cm (1in) deep. Sow thinly to avoid overcrowding. Cover with soil and water well.
Fresh seedlings will need protecting from slugs and snails with a sprinkling of SlugClear Ultra on the soil around the row.
Avoid soil drying out or these roots will turn woody and tough. In dry spells water the soil thoroughly, adding some Miracle-Gro All Purpose Soluble Plant Food to the watering can every fortnight or so. Alternatively, if you’re using a hose pipe, attach a Miracle-Gro LiquaFeed All Purpose Starter Kit to conveniently feed as you water.
Thin beetroot when they have grown to golf ball size and radish as soon as they are touching each other. Take out every other root and use in the kitchen. The space will allow the roots to swell to maturity.