How to Grow & Care for Beetroot Plants
Beetroot is the ultimate vegetable to grow for root-to-tip eating! Its young tender leaves can be eaten raw in salads or sandwiches, the older leaves can be cooked like spinach and the flavoursome beet or root can be used in a huge range of dishes.
Beetroot can be grown year-round but prefers to grow in the cooler months of the year in Australia. Avoid growing beetroot during the height of the wet season or the peak of summer.
Choose a full-to-part sun spot to grow beetroot. It will tolerate as little as 4 hours of direct sun per day and will happily grow in the part-shade of taller vegetable crops.
4 top tips for growing Beetroot
- Beetroot can be grown year-round
- Grow beetroot in full sun to part shade spot
- Beetroot is edible, root to tip! Pick a few leaves while the root grows.
- Grow beetroot easily from seeds or seedlings
Essential shopping list for growing beetroot plants
- Beetroot seeds or seedlings
- Scotts Osmocote® Compost Premium Soil Improver
- Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Tomato, Vegetable & Herb
- Garden trowel
- Pot & Scotts Osmocote® Plus Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Potting Mix - if growing in pots
- Choose a spot in your garden with full sun to partial shade. Remember beetroot can be planted amongst and under taller growing crops.
- Enrich the soil with organic matter before planting by mixing through Scotts Osmocote® Compost Premium Soil Improver and Scotts Osmocote® Controlled Release Fertiliser: Tomato, Vegetable & Herb.
Growing beetroot from seed
T grow beetroot from seed, sow beetroot seeds 1cm deep, 5-10cm apart into your prepared garden soil or Scotts Osmocote® Plus Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Potting Mix if growing in pots. Protect germinating seeds from slugs and snails with Defender Snail & Slug Pellets.
Beetroot seeds are “aggregate seeds” which means each seed will produce 2-3 seedlings. Thin seedlings out to the strongest ones as they grow once the seedlings are 3-5cm tall. You can replant any seedlings in another place in your garden.
Growing beetroot from seedlings
Carefully separate each beetroot seedling and plant them into prepared garden soil or Scotts Osmocote® Plus Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Potting Mix if growing in pots. Space seedlings 5-10cm apart.
How to plant beetroot in the garden
Sow beetroot seeds or plant beetroot seedlings into prepared soil, in a spot with full sun or part shade. Beetroot will tolerate growing in the dappled shade beneath taller growing crops, so it’s a great one to inter-plant amongst other longer-term crops in your garden.
How to plant beetroot in pots
Sow seeds or plant beetroot seedlings into a 30cm wide by 30cm high pot filled with Scotts Osmocote® Plus Organics Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Potting Mix. Allow 5-10cm spacing between each seed or seedling and water them in well. Ensure the pot has good drainage so the roots don’t become soggy. Regular watering will help produce sweet, plump beets that aren’t cracked and tough.
When to harvest your beetroot plant
You can begin to harvest a few outer beetroot leaves around 4-6 weeks after planting. Just make sure you only remove a few of the outer leaves from each plant, so that it can continue to grow happily.
The best time to harvest beetroots for their root or “beets” is when they’re about 3-6cm across - these are often called “baby-beets” and it’s when they’ll be at their sweetest. Beets up to 10cm across are still fine to eat, but they may be less flavourful and more woody - turn them into a tasty soup or beetroot dip.
Common beetroot plants & diseases
- Slugs and Snails can cause significant damage to beetroot leaves. Protect beetroot plants by setting beer traps (saucers filled with beer) amongst them or use Defender Snail & Slug Pellets.
- If whiteflies or caterpillars attack beetroot use Defender™ Pyrethrum Insect Spray as per the label instructions to control them.