BEET or BEETROOT

This vegetable prefers light, rich soil, though over-manuring prior to sowing may produce coarse roots. Sow from late April until the end of June in drills 15 in. apart and 1 ½ in. deep. Beet is usually ready to pull for salads 12 weeks after sowing. Seed should be soaked for 24 hours before sowing. Each ‘seed’ is really a capsule or cluster of seeds and it is best to drop two capsules every 4 in. when sowing for salads. For beet intended for storage, drop two capsules about every 6 in.

When pulling for salads, twist the leaves and do not cut them off. Beet for storing should be lifted after the first autumn frost, the tops being twisted off as cutting usually causes the plants to ‘bleed’. Bruised or washed roots will not keep. Store in a dry, cool shed in boxes of peat or sand.

Good varieties include: Crimson Globe, Egyptian Turnip-rooted and Sutton’s Green-Top.

For perpetual or spinach beet see SPINACH.

For seakalc or silver beet see SEAKALE BEET.

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