Beetroot loves the light and sandy soil but will tolerate shade or other types of soil. You can sow immediately after the cold season has passed, but you’re best off to start planting when the temperature is between 7°C and 25°C — and they taste best grown between 10 to 18°C. Sow your seeds in stages, a few at a time — this will ensure a continuous harvest. Sow into seedbeds, and when seedlings get bigger, thin out the weak ones to ensure that the plants are 10cm apart and the rows 30cm apart. Cover with 25mm of fine soil, firm, and water regularly.
Once the roots have developed, and they start to swell, water your beetroots moderately. If you keep them dry for too long, your beetroots will become hairy, and that’s not something that you want. When the beetroots reach the size of a golf ball, they are ready to be picked – this is usually around 12 to 16 weeks after sowing. To harvest, gently hold the top and lift while levering under the root with a hand fork. Remove the tops by twisting them off with your hands to prevent the plants from bleeding their juice – don’t throw the tops away; they have bags of taste and can be cooked and eaten like spinach.
Get creative in the kitchen.
Before cooking beets, cut off the tops within a couple of inches from the top. This helps lock in their nutrients. We suggest eating the richly red roots boiled, steamed, or roasted. If you’re roasting, cover with lemon juice to prevent browning. You can also eat them cold with salad by adding oil and vinegar.