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Beta vulgaris var. esculenta

Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris var. esculenta

Common Name(s): Beetroot

Categories:

Description:

Beetroot is a popular salad, pickling and roasting vegetable. The foliage (leaves) can also be cooked in the same way as spinach. Beetroot is quite adaptable to different climatic regions and can be grown for most months of the year, although it is mainly a cool-season crop.

Family: Amaranthaceae

Botanical Pronunciation: BET-uh vul-GAIR-iss

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Deciduous
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Semi Frost Hardy
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Non Indigenous
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Full Sun
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Moderate Watering
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Pruning Required

Common Pests and Diseases

Cutworm may attack seedlings. Fungal leaf spot during wet weather.

Foliage

Beta vulgaris leaf

Fruit

Crimson Globe yields very sweet crimson fruits; Detroit Dark Red gives round, dark red fruits; Globe Dark Red has excellent heat tolerance, good colour and taste.

Harvest

The roots are ready for the table about 9-10 weeks after sowing, or as soon as they are the size of a golf ball. To prevent bleeding during cooking, which results in loss of colour, leave about 50mm of stalk on the root when you cut off the rest of the plant.

Interesting Info

The Beetroot seed consists of a cluster of two to four true seeds. When it germinates, it appears as if two or four seedlings grow from one seed. Beetroot is quite adaptable to different climatic regions and can be grown for most months of the year, although it is mainly a cool-season crop. Beetroot is very sensitive to a deficiency of boron.

Beetroot is rich in beta carotene, calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, folic acid, silica, vitamin B5, manganese and high in fibre.

Interesting Planting Ideas

Plant near African marigolds, bush beans, cabbages, calendulas, cauliflower, kohlrabi, larkspur, leeks, lettuces, onions and parsley.

Maintenance

Beetroot is very sensitive to a deficiency of boron, which causes black patches and split roots. Use commercial borax at a rate of 50g/10m2 applied with fertilizer to rectify this problem.

Origin

Europe and Asia.

Planting Instructions

Sow seed about 75mm apart in shallow drills 10–20mm deep. The best time to sow is from September to March.

Possible Problems

Beetroot is very sensitive to a deficiency of boron.

Soil Conditions

Grow in compost-enriched soil. Dont grow beetroot in freshly manured soil as this tends to cause the plants to produce misshapen and forked roots.

Storage Organ

beetroot

Uses

Beetroot is a popular salad, pickling and roasting vegetable. The foliage (leaves) can also be cooked in the same way as spinach.

medicinal - beetroot acts as a natural laxative and breaks down kidney stones.  As an antioxidant it fights free radicals and boosts the immune system. It helps build blood, clears rubbish, toxins and debris from the kidneys and liver, and boosts energy.

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