Beetroot or Red Beet and also known as the table beet, garden beet, red beet, dinner beet or golden beet. It is one of several cultivated varieties of Beta vulgaris grown for their edible taproots and leaves (called beet greens). Besides being used as a food, beets have uses as a food colouring and as a medicinal plant. It’s also really easy and satisfying to grow!
The Benefits of beetroot are huge!
The root bulb is most often consumed, while the red beet and golden beets are easiest to find in the shops. The nutritional benefits are extraordinary, especially from B vitamins, minerals and fiber found in the bulb. They are also loaded with nitrates which help to lower blood pressure and boost endurance performance for athletes.
Beetroot is in the same family as silver beet and their leaves can be harvested in a similar way: They’re fantastic for tossing in salads, quick pickling, or making into fritters. We roast several at once by wrapping them in foil and tucking them into the oven to cook alongside potatoes, bread, or whatever else we might be cooking.
How to grow Beetroot
Sow the round varieties in Spring for an early crop. When the plants have four leaves, chop out with the hoe, leaving little clumps 9 in. apart. When the plants have grown bigger, in about a fortnight’s time, single them out. Pull the beet for eating when they are about 3 in. in diameter. If allowed to grow too large they will be coarse and stringy, and unfit for the kitchen.
In early summer sow the long variety for main crop and winter use at the same distances as for round variety. The ground must not be freshly manured, or the roots will be liable to fork and the shape spoilt. In taking up, be careful not to break the roots, or they will bleed and lose colour when cooking. Store in a clamp or in ashes. Very useful to have available in winter when other homegrown vegetables are scarce.