How to grow beetroot

Garden fresh beetroot has more flavour and is packed with healthy nutrients. Find out how easy it is to grow your own beetroot at home.

Where to plant

Beetroot prefers cool to warm climates. It needs at least four hours of full sun a day and grows best at the base of larger plants like capsicum and tomatoes or anywhere you’ve just grown leafy greens like lettuce and spinach. A little bit of shade won’t hurt either.

Whether you’re planting in pots or the garden, soil preparation is a must. Use a medium rich, well-drained soil that’s been loosened with a garden fork. Mix in some compost and manure with a bit of blood and bone. Also mound the soil to improve drainage.

Planting beetroot seeds

Beetroot seeds have a hard outer coating, so soak them in a glass of water the night before planting. This will soften the seeds and encourage germination.

If you’re planting seedlings, gently pull them apart and plant about 5–10cm apart to allow enough space to grow and reduce competition for nutrients.

Care and maintenance

To ensure that your beetroot is tender and juicy, it’s important to water regularly. Keep the soil moist, not wet, until the seeds have germinated, then water every couple of days for the first month. If you don’t, beetroots can dry and even crack, exposing them to the risk of rot.

A steady supply of nutrients will help form tastier beetroot and better quality leaves. Use a liquid feed of seaweed and fish fertiliser at least once a fortnight. Also add some boron, which is generally lacking in Australian soils.

Harvesting beetroot

It’s best to harvest your beetroot while they’re young, about 2–3 months after you plant them. Often called ‘baby beets’, these will be juicier and sweeter. The larger they get, the tougher they are and you get less flavour.

The best way to pull them up is to loosen the soil around the beetroot and gently yank the foliage until it dislodges.

You can also start harvesting the leaves from around 6 weeks. Start with the outer leaves but make sure you leave a few on, so the plant keeps growing.

Start planting

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Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
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