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Beetroot, also known as garden beet or red beet, is a nutritious root vegetable with a sweet and earthy flavor. This round, red or purple root vegetable is high in antioxidants, fiber, and various vitamins and minerals, making it a healthy addition to any diet. Beetroot can be eaten raw or cooked, and is commonly used in salads, soups, juices, and even as a natural food coloring.
Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
Plant Morphology: Beetroot is a taproot vegetable, which means it has a single, large root that grows straight down into the ground. The beetroot plant has dark green leaves with reddish veins that grow on long, slender stems. The leaves are edible and have a slightly bitter taste. The plant produces a flower spike with small, green flowers.
Soil and Climatic Requirements: Beetroot grows best in loose, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. The ideal pH range for beetroot is 6.0 to 7.0. Beetroot prefers a cool climate and is tolerant to light frost. It grows best in temperatures between 15°C to 30°C.
Crop Duration: 55 to 100 days
Cropping Season: Beetroot can be grown year-round in mild climates, but it is typically grown as a cool-season crop. The best time to plant beetroot is in the spring or fall.
Planting Type: Direct sowing
Spacing: 7-13 cm between plants and 30-45 cm between rows
Depth of Sowing: 1 to 2 cm
Germination Period: 5 to 17 days
Hours of Sunlight Required: Full sunlight to partial shade (4-6 hours of direct sunlight per day)
Watering: Beetroot requires regular watering, especially during hot and dry weather. Keep the soil consistently moist, but not waterlogged.
Companion Crops: Beetroot grows well with bush beans, lettuce, and onions.
Harvesting: Beetroot can be harvested when the roots are about 5-7 cm in diameter, but can be left in the ground to mature further. The leaves can also be harvested and eaten as a nutritious addition to salads or cooked dishes.
Problems of Beetroot Cultivation:
Pests: Aphids, flea beetles, and cutworms.
Diseases: Leaf spot, powdery mildew, and downy mildew.