Q&As/Root Vegetables/Growing Beetroot from Seed

Question

I read that beetroot needs soil that’s rich in compost, sheep pellets, lime, blood and bone – all the good stuff! I have always done this, but always with the same result – amazing leaves but tiny beetroot! Please can you help?

Answer

It is possible that your soil preparation is a little too extensive and therefore the soil is now far too rich for this particular root crop. Unfortunately when the soil is too rich, root vegetables like beetroot and radishes tend to only product spectacular leaf growth, as you mention, without significant roots forming. 

In future before you plant, your soil preparation should include ensuring that the soil has good drainage and a fine tilth (very fine not lumpy texture). Do not add blood and bone, sheep pellets, lime or any other nitrogenous fertilisers. You mentioned you are in Mt Albert, so the soil already naturally includes many nutrients that are more than adequate to ensure you have success and grow good quality beetroot.

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