For best results in the areas where slugs and snails are likely to eat emerging seedlings, we always scatter sow our seed into seed trays, in a broad band and leave until the tops are 5-7cm high, when we transplant them out at 10cm diagonal spacings. If necessary, the first transplants can go under a cloche for fast growth. In fertile, well worked soil in areas and seasons when slugs are not a problem, seed can be direct sown (scatter sown over a square metre for maximum production, and thin to one plant per 10cm2). Beetroot must have deeply worked, well aerated, fertile soil, if using manure it must have gone onto the previous crop, if applying fertiliser as you are preparing the bed, compost and Nature’s Garden will grow beautiful roots. If the leaves of your beetroot get black spots on them they are either too wet, too dry or do not have enough nutrients in the soil to keep them actively growing. To grow sweet juicy roots the tops must be actively growing at all times.
Beet: Silver, Rainbow, Lettuce And Swiss Chard (Beta vulgaris)
The better the conditions, the bigger, healthier and tastier the leaves will be. Ideally deep, free draining, heavily fed soil. The silver beet family is quite happy with manure in any form; composted, fresh, liquid etc. Harvest the leaves by carefully twisting off the plant rather than cutting. Black spots on the leaves are a sign that the roots are not happy, either too waterlogged, too dry, or not enough nutrients.