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Growing Beetroot

How to grow Beetroot in pots, containers garden beds and allotments



Family/Latin Name

Chenopodiaceae - Beta vulgaris

Type of Plant

Root - Crop Rotation Group = Root Crops

Suitable for


Garden Beds, Allotments, containers, pots

Pests & Diseases    Companion Plants    In the Kitchen

See also:-  Vegetable Growing Glossary  |    Container Growing  | Buying Seeds & Plants



Plant Dimensions

Height up to 30cm/12"   -  Spread Up to 20cm/8"

Yield per plant

1 Beetroot

Yield per 1.5m/5 ft row

2.2kg/5lb Globe varieties
4kg/9lb Long Varieties

Time between sowing and harvesting

About 10-12 weeks


Where to Sow

Outdoors in open ground or in containers at least 22cm/9" wide and 30cm/12" deep

Sowing time

Outdoors late March to July  - temperature   +10C/50F. 

How to Sow

2 seeds 2.5cm/1" deep - 10cm/4" between seeds -  in rows 30cm/12" apart or in groups/blocks

After Germination

When the seedlings are 2.5cm/1" high thin to 1 seedling per station. Throw away the thinnings as these do not transplant well.

Growing on - 

in Pots

Keep well watered and avoid dry spells to prevent the beets becoming woody or splitting

Growing on-

in open ground

As above


As above


Start pulling the beetroots once they have reached the size of a golf ball, pulling alternate plants to give space for the remaining roots to reach maturity (about the size of a cricket ball) for the globe varieties

Pests and Diseases

Companion Plants

Indications Leaves distorted
Treatment Organic
Spray with a weak solution of soapy water
Use water through a hosepipe to knock the aphids off the plants
Spray with an insecticide containing Fenitrothion
Prevention None
Mangold Fly or Beet Leaf Miner
Indications Light brown blisters on the leaves. The leaves turn completely brown and drop off and plant growth is stunted.
Treatment 1. Gently loosen the soil surrounding the plants with a trowel or hoe which will expose the pupae for birds to eat them.
2. Remove any affected leaves as soon as the damage is noticed

 Companion Flower Graphic

None in particular


If you know aphids are a problem in your area, grow flowers such as nasturtiums, calendula asters,  dahlias, and zinnias nearby -  but not too close.


Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies". To learn more about companion planting click here.

In the Kitchen

Storage:  In a cool, dry place  for up to 3 days or store longer term layered in boxes separating each layer with sand or peat, and keep in a cool dark but frost free place such as the garage or shed.

Preparing:  Twist off the leaves   which can be also eaten raw or cooked like spinach then wash in cold water. Beetroots tend to "bleed" and lose colour if the skin is broken or removed before or during cooking so it is best to cook them whole in their skins.

Cooking:  Beetroot are excellent for pickling and can also be used raw in salads and garnishes.

Bake/Roast Whole Medium = 1½ - 2 hours  DO NOT pierce or break the skins
Boil Whole Medium =  1 - 1½ hours
Fry/Sauté Thin Slices  =  10-20 minutes
Microwave Whole Medium =  8 - 10 minutes   

For more preparation and cooking information about beetroot plus lots of  recipes visit our sister site www.recipes4us.co.uk.

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