why can't i grow beetroot?

I don't seem able to grow beetroot any more!  I try to follow the seed packet instructions closely, but they just seem to be straggly and rubbish. I seem to get thin red stems that crawl along the ground, but no globes.

Am I planting too shallow? I don't have a greenhouse. I plant direct into the soil, in a small raised bed. I have tried in rows and also in the ' square foot' block method.

Still no result. What am I doing wrong?



  • I grew my beetroot seeds in module trays this year for the first time ever and had a decent crop for the first time. Chris on this Forum is the man to ask (sorry Verdun as I know that all your pointers are very valid, but for someone who has never had any luck with beetroot until this year Chris was the one to point me in the right direction). In fact we are probably going to try Chris's suggestion with container carrots next Spring as those have always been a failure for us too.

  • hi moonmimama     before you plant next time soak them in warm or cold water overnight ot till drys up don't put to much water just to make then wet and they will germinate a lot quicker I did it this year and must of had about 100 come some to give away and now I have 5 big jars left  2 onions lots chilli/// cue  relish /green and red chutneys with and w/out chilli///enough to se out the full season the beet I use is the long type calinda??    hope it helps

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  • Sorry you got the 'ump Verdun, that wasn't my intention and I know you are the ornamental grass King, among other things, but I have to give credit to Chris. Hollie hock that is exactly what I did, and it worked for me. Moomin - your name takes me back to reading our daughter the Moomin stories when she was young, she still loves them now (37 yr. old).

  • Me tooimage

  • Thanks for all your suggestions folks. I love beetroot so will keep on trying.

    I'm sure I read that beetroot don't like to be moved which is why I sow direct, but I think I will try modules again. Also I will enrich and feed my soil a bit more - my little raised beds on the allotment do dry out badly. I will also try soaking the seeds first.

    I'm surprised to hear the 'maritime crop' theory. Beetroot always seemed to do perfectly well in good old West Yorkshire fields when I was a girl.

    Yes GD2. My daughters were also fans of Moomin troll stories. My youngest ( now 28) still calls me Moomin mama !

    Well - back to the old seed catalogues. I swear by Dobies...

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