Beetroots are easy to grow. You can sow seeds now and they’ll continue to grow slowly through the winter. Each ‘seed’ is a group of seeds stuck together in a corky-husk so they’re relatively large and easy to handle. In a square 30cm x 30cm, you can sow sixteen ‘seeds’ (4 x 4). Watch out for slugs and snails. You’ll need to pinch off the weaker seedlings if more than one germinates in each position. If you want more help with seed sowing, book on a fresh food garden course or you could try this recent tasty Organic Gardening book from English gardener, Bob Flowerdew.
I’ve tried many varieties of beetroot- white, orange, striped ‘chioggia’ and long thin ‘cylindra’ types but my favourite are the red, round ones, pulled when they’re about golf-ball sized.
Don’t be put off if you hate pickled beetroot. Home grown ones are very different. I made this raw salad for lunch this week. The grated carrot and beetroot keep well in the fridge for another day if you don’t dress them until you serve it. It went well with some zucchini fritters and would have been a wonderful portable lunch to take to work. If I make a large quantity of this salad, I dig out the grating attachment for the food processor to get those beautiful long curly wurly strands.
Equal quantities of carrot and beetroot, grated.
Freshly squeezed orange juice
Chopped parsley and freshly ground pepper to taste.
A sprinkling of Munchy seeds.