A popular canned vegetable in some areas, beetroot is also good in salads and roasted. In addition to the familiar deep red varieties, these roots also come in a few colours as well as heirloom varieties that have alternating coloured rings.
Soak seeds overnight in water in order to more easily separate the seeds, which are produced in clusters of three seeds. They are best sown in the position they are to go, however they are more tolerant of transplanting than carrots.
- Late spring - early summer in sub arctic areas
- Late spring - late summer in areas with cold winters
- Spring - summer in areas with cool winters
- Spring - autumn in temperate areas
- All but the hottest months in warmer arid, subtropical and tropical areas
Roots can be harvested between 10 and 12 weeks after germination. Baby beetroot can be harvested earlier. The leaves can be harvested as soon as they’re big enough. They should be harvested young.
The beetroot root can be eaten raw, steamed, boiled or roasted. Cooking destroys the main vitamins. Beetroot can also be pickled. The leaves can be eaten after minimal cooking.
Beetroot leaves contain high levels of vitamins K, A and C as well as the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration. The leaves also contain smaller amounts of minerals, especially manganese and potassium.
The beetroot root contains a small amount of vitamin C and minerals such as manganese and potassium. The roots also contain high levels of folate and are a useful source of fibre.
- In boxes filled with sand