How to Grow Beetroot
A light and fertile soil is best for beetroot and all other root crops, but heavy land can be made suitable by adding bulky organic matter, preferably for the preceding crop.
In the region of 6-1/2lb (2.9kg) per 10ft (3m) of row for the smaller earlies; 9 lb (4kg) or more for maincrop. Time from Sowing to harvest Depending on what you want them for 12-16 weeks is normal, though those for cooking when large can stay in until you want them.
‘Boltardy’, ‘Regala’; both are resistant to bolting.’ Cheltenham Mono’ for storing. ‘Detroit Little Ball’ for pickling and for use when still smell.
Don’t sow unnecessarily early because even the bolt-resistant varieties will run to seed if you abuse them. Sow from April to end of June in drills half an inch deep and either 7in (18cm) apart, for small roots, or 12in (30cm) for maincrop. Sow in late May/early June for winter storage.
Thin and single seedlings when large enough to handle. Thin for small roots to 2in (5cm) apart. For maincrop and those for storage, thin to 4in (10cm). This spacing will give a heavy crop of medium sized roots.
Pests and diseases
Sparrows destroying the seedlings are probably the worst pest.
Pull up earlies when they’re little more than golf ball size and maincrop when about tennis ball size. Leave those to be stored until October when they can be either covered with straw or lifted and clamped.