We have had great success here with beetroot and as a consequence we have had to find new ways of eating them as there is only so much pickled beetroot you can eat. We have roasted them with Sunday lunch, fried them to make crisps, put them in a sort of pie and even eaten them raw in salads. Also the younger leaves can be used as spring greens. They are full of vitamins and are very good for your health. They are much more versatile than we give them credit for.

In the books they say plant in April, but here that is far too late. We plant the seeds into paper pots in January and keep them on the terrace bringing them in if a hard frost is predicted.
We then plant them out end of February, beginning of March, in time for the Spring rains if they come.
The books say thin the seedlings, we do this by pulling the smaller beets giving others room to grow larger, although this is only if you plant straight into the garden. We have found using the pots enables us to ensure every plant has enough space and also does not leave gaps where seeds have not germinated.

We tend to grow the globe varieties as our soil is not very deep. You should keep them watered when it is hot to stop the roots from splitting. This is why we do 2 plantings so that the first crop is fully grown before the very hot season. This enables us to eat it all year round. We have pulled beetroot fresh from the ground in January as it seems to be hardy enough for the little frost we do get here.

We are developing our knowledge of companion planting and we are going to plant onions with the beetroot this year. The onions will hopefully keep the bugs away from the beetroot.