The beetroot is one of the great vegetable that is a house of minerals, vitamins and anti-oxidants, and is very easy to grow and makes a perfect intercrop in home gardens. It grows all through the year except in sizzling summers and harsh winters.
Season Beetroot is a round-the-year crop. You can sow the seeds du
ring the months of February to April and then June to November when the temperatures aren’t all that extreme.
Location Constraints Always choose a location that receives sunlight and shade for equal number of hours in a day. If you find the heat soaring high or nights chilly, use a shade to cover the seedlings. Ensure the land is thoroughly ploughed before sowing the seeds. Debris and inorganic matter in the soil can obstruct root growth resulting in irregular and unhealthy beetroots.Use template for sowing the seeds from TheOrganic.Life
Sunlight After sowing the seeds, 6 to 8hrs of sunlight is required everyday for the beetroot seeds to germinate. If you are sowing the seeds during winter then 10hours would be required.
Spacing To sow beetroot seeds, make 1inch deep holes in the land and space them 10cms apart. Beetroots usually are not huge so they will not occupy much space underground. Watering the land and draining it well before sowing the seeds will speed up the germination process.
Growth One trick that makes a lot of difference to your beetroot crop is soaking the seeds in lukewarm water for 15mins. This will enhance germination and also make the seeds healthy. Depending upon the weather, the seedlings will appear in a span of 10 to 15days. Check for growth in the seeds and pluck out those that do not show any progress. Use Organic Growth Promoter Combo to increase plant fruiting and increase disease resistance.
Height and Spreading Beetroot plants do not grow any longer than 10cms. Since the seeds are well spaced do not worry about the space between two plants. If the plant seems to over grow pick the beetroot immediately. Delay in harvesting will make the beets woody and inedible.
Temperature An optimum temperature of 30degrees Celsius is enough for beetroot plants. Too much cold or heat will cause a lot of harm to the entire beetroot crop. If the daytime temperature increases or night time temperature drops severely, use a shade to cover the plants.
Watering Until the seedlings appear, water the seeds everyday but make sure the soil is well drained. Excessive water will cause the beetroot plant to produce more leaves but tiny roots. Moreover, there are chances of the roots rotting due to dampness. Use self- watering planter box for vital growth and survival of plants
Nutrient Management Do not add manure or any other organic fertiliser when the beetroots are still in the seed stage. Sometimes fertilisers make the soil acidic which in turn makes the land dangerous to grow beetroot. After you see tiny plants popping out, you can add vermicompost or manure to enrich the soil. Use vermicompost for organic farming from TheOrganic.Life.
Pest Management Beetroot plants are usually free from pest infestation. However, damp soil can cause severe rotting in a very short span of time and also cause leaf spotting. Always remove dry foliage near the plant and allow the root to breathe. That controls weeds in the beetroot crop. Pest control combo-Neem based is a product from TheOrganic.Life which helps in keeping the crop health .
Harvesting of beetroot Beetroots are ready for harvest anywhere between 35 to 40days depending upon the weather and soil. Be quick to harvest them because even slight delay will make the roots woody in texture and sour in taste. Before picking them, water the land and loosen the soil around the roots with a fork. Slowly pick the roots without damaging them.
Uses and health benefits The high nitrate levels in beetroot are known to keep blood pressure in control and also fight bad cholesterol. Recent researches found that beetroot is packed with cancer fighting cells that work as an immune system against an array of diseases.
Additional Information – The leaves of beetroot plant are edible too and can be used as a salad dressing. Either steamed or baked, beetroot leaves are rich in folates and minerals required for a healthy body.