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How to know when beetroot is ready?

Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
Hi all,

I've planted some beetroot seeds which seem to be doing nicely on top - 4/5 healthy-looking leaves per plant, around 3-4 inches long. However, when would I know when they are ready to pick and I can plant some more seeds? The RHS site says to wait until the beetroot is golfball size but how can I tell this when they are underground without disturbing them?

Also any tips on how to keep beetroot plants would be welcome. At the moment I just have them in 2 rectangular tubs (each plant is around 20cm apart), open to the air and watered daily in the evening when it's cooler.



  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 28,812
    Assuming you've sown the seeds correctly the roots will form at soil level so you can see when they're ready.    You can also pick some of the leaves when young as they're very good in salads - but leave enough to nourish the forming roots.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
    Hmm strange, the roots seem to be buried underneath the soil despite planting the seeds at roughly an inch deep. I gently lifted one of the plants up but couldn't see any beetroot underneath, just some small roots.

    The leaves on top are roughly 2-3 inches long on some of the plants now so its very puzzling! 
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,737
    edited June 2018
    They sound very young as yet ... take a look at the pics here

    You'll see that the leaves need to grow quite large ... the leaves grow first then they can manufacture the energy which feeds back into the roots and makes them swell.  If you didn't harvest them the beet would act as energy stores to fuel the plant in the next year's growth.  

    Make sure your beetroot have plenty of water in this hot dry weather.  

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
    Ah I see, thanks very much for sharing.
    Here is a picture of mine - not much going on so far! Anything you think I could be doing wrong?

  • johnbaronjohnbaron Posts: 75
    edited June 2018
    Insufficient patience  :D will be 5-10 times that size by the time you have got decent sized beetroots! 

    For comparison mine are about bout this big (second row of root veg from left) and the beets are 3-5cm in diameter currently, golf ball sized at biggest. I doubt I'll start harvesting them for a month yet. 

    You will see the top of the beetroot at surface. (Ignore the weeds I need to get out with the hoe!) 
  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
    Haha! You have a point, in about a week they've already grown significantly! More seedlings on the way too...

  • Shoxt3rShoxt3r Posts: 188
    Hurray, my first beetroot has started to appear - about the size of a ping pong ball so far. More tomato feed on them tonight so hopefully more on their way soon.

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