Introduction| Beta Vulgaris
Beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant. They are cultivated for their edible taproots, leaves (called as beet greens) and grow well in America, Europe, India, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine. The plant grows to a height of 2 feet Green and a leafy portion of the beet is also edible to eat.
Beets are eaten boiled, raw or roasted and combined with other salad vegetables. Young leaves are added in salads for flavor and adult can be boiled or steamed. It is also used in the coloring of tomato soups, sauces, pickles, jams, jellies, ice-creams, smoothies and sweets and as a medicinal plant to treat illness, digestion and blood circulation.
There are different varieties of beets and each has its unique properties. Most of them are grown for its beet which comes in a variety of size, shape, and color. Below table gives an idea about beetroot varieties, maturity time and its specification.
|S.No.||Beetroot Variety||Maturity Time||Specification|
|1||Detroit dark red||58 days||Deep red color with 2-3 inch size|
|2||Golden||55 days||Carrot-colored beets|
|3||Formanova||60 days||Cylinder shaped beet & grows up to 8 inches long|
|4||Chioggia||55 days||Distinct red & white striped flesh|
100 grams of beet contains 43 calories, 10 grams of carbohydrates and free from cholesterol. Beets contain vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium, Iron, magnesium and a good source of betanin, fiber, and violaxanthin.
companion planting is the planting of different crop plants for pollination, pest control and to increase the productivity levels. You can prefer beets with onions, lettuce, cabbage, and dwarf beans.
How to Grow Beets in Pots?
Beet is a sweet and healthy food that grows easily in pots or containers. The factors that are responsible for the growth of beets in pots are illustrated below…
- Seed Variety: Choose hybrid seed variety that is readily available in local nursery or garden center. Boltardy variety beets are best for sowing seeds in pots. Selecting a beet variety that you more likely to grow and enjoy the fruit. Hybrid varieties often result in high yielding, tasty fruit, and faster growth.
- Pot & Soil: Select a pot or large container about 8 inches in depth & diameter and has holes at the bottom for proper drainage. To grow Beetroots prefer neutral, moist and well-drain fertile soil. Maintain the soil ph between 6.5 & 7.0. In addition to this, you can also add rotted organic matter.
- Water & Sunlight: Place the pot in sunlight for a minimum of 8 hours a day. Plenty of water is necessary for the seeds to germinate. Water the plant on daily basis to sprout. Avoid over-watering as it can produce more leaves and diminishes root size. Water them for every 10-14 days once the plant matures. The best temperature to sprout the seeds is 50 F.
- Pests & Diseases:
|Beet webworm||Powdery mildew|
|Aphids||Black root rot|
|Jassids||Ceracospora leaf spot|
|Vegetable weevil||Damping off disease|
|Cutworm||Fungal leaf spot|
|Beet cyst nematodes||Downy mildew|
To overcome pests and disease problems, use insecticidal soap to deter pests and cut or remove the dead or diseased leaves & stems immediately to save other parts of the plant.
- Nutrient Deficiency: Deficiencies in beetroot plants is due to the lack of nutrients such as Nitrogen, Potassium, and Phosphorus. Here is the list of nutrient elements and its deficiency symptoms in plants…
|Nitrogen||Small growth, pale green or yellow leaves|
|Phosphorus||Dull leaves, purple spotting near margins|
|Calcium||Pale leaf margins curled forward and scorched|
|Magnesium||Older leaves, necrosis and interveinal chlorosis|
|Potassium||Narrow leaves, enlargement of petioles|
|Iron||Chlorotic mottling, late general chlorosis|
- Fertilizers: It’s good to use slow-release fertilizers that can be added to the soil. Use organic fertilizers such as compost or rotted manure for the plants to thrive faster. You can also add N-P-K fertilizers in the ratio of 5-10-10.
- Harvesting: Beets are ready to harvest when they reach a size similar to height. You can see the beets after 8 weeks from sowing. The best tasty fruit has the size about 8 cm in diameter. Use cutters to harvest beets from the plant and enjoy them. Harvesting largely sized beets when plants reach a height of 2 feet and become tough, woody and flavorless.
It’s a time-taking process if you start growing beets from seeds. Instead, you can prefer from growing beet itself. A simple procedure using this method as it saves your money and time is given below…
- Take a healthy, normal sized beet and slice the top portion of the beet (1/3rd) with a kitchen knife.
- Fill the glass or jar with water and place the beet into the water with cut-side facing downward.
- Place the setup in sunlight and change the water for every 2-3 days to prevent bacterial growth.
- It takes several weeks to produce greens and shoots. Once beets begin to grow greens and shoots you can harvest them.
To grow healthy beets in your home, proper plant care must be taken. Here are few precautions that help beetroot plants to grow effectively.
- Make sure you don’t add too much of clay or sand and soil should be soft nature.
- Applying too much of nitrogen-rich fertilizer can damage leaf growth and root development.
- Do not cut the leaves instead twist them above crown up to 5 cm as it prevents bleeding, flavor, and color of the beet.
- When you transfer the seedlings to outdoors prefer warm sunlight to grow.
- Store fresh beets in the fridge for 7-10 days and leaves separately.
Eating or consuming beet juice helps to live strong, happy life and cures the problems like digestion, diabetics, liver, cancer & blood pressure in humans…..
- Liver: Betanin compound in beets has enormous health benefits. It energizes the liver functions and protects the liver bile ducts.
- Brain Health: Nitrates in beets help to flow blood freely in the brain and is directly relates to the aging. The fiber content in beets helps to promote regularity of digestive tract.
- Diabetes: Beets contains antioxidants such as alpha-lipoic acid that helps to lower glucose levels, increase insulin sensitivity and prevents oxidative stress levels in diabetic patients.
- Blood Pressure: High blood pressure can damage the blood vessels, heart strokes and other cardiovascular diseases. Consuming beet juice can improve blood circulation and possibly lowers blood pressure.
- Pregnant Women: Beets for pregnant women has major health benefits. It reduces the risk of birth defects, boosts the immune system, prevents osteoporosis, constipation, and swelling.
- Improves Stamina: Having beets in your diet may help to boost the performance of your daily activities. It also helps to improve cell signaling, hormones, and energy levels.
- Fights against Cancer: Studies shows that beets are good at preventing skin, lung and colon cancer as they contain the pigment betacyanins. Beets in powdered form slows down the development of tumor cells.
Though it has some health benefits, consuming beet juice in excess amounts may result in some side effects that include…
- Kidney stones
- Stomach upset
- Blood pressure issues
- Vocal cord problems
Start growing beets in pots that have myriad applications in cooking and health. If you have amazing ideas about growing beets, please share your experience with us.