Beetroot, also known as garden beet, is a popular root vegetable that is widely grown in kitchen gardens all over the world, including India. It is a versatile vegetable that can be consumed in a variety of ways, from roasted to pickled to juiced. Beetroot is a great source of essential vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber, making it an excellent addition to a healthy diet. In this article, we will discuss how to grow beetroot in an Indian kitchen garden.
|Scientific Name||Beta vulgaris|
|Months/Season Grown||Winter (Oct-Feb) and Summer (Feb-Apr)|
|Weeks to Grow||8-10 weeks|
|Harvest per plant||0.5-1 kg|
Varieties of Beetroot
Several varieties of beetroot can be grown in India, including
Detroit Dark Red: This is a popular variety of beetroot with deep red flesh and a sweet flavor.
Early Wonder: This variety is known for its early maturing, and it produces tender, sweet roots that are ideal for pickling.
Chioggia: This variety has a unique striped pattern on its roots, and its flesh is pink and white.
Cylindra: This variety produces long, cylindrical-shaped roots that are ideal for slicing and roasting.
Season and Soil Conditions
Beetroot is a cool-season vegetable that grows best in temperatures between 15°C to 20°C. It can be grown in both the winter and summer months in India. In the winter season, it can be planted from October to February, while in the summer season, it can be planted from February to April.
Beetroot prefers well-draining soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5. It can be grown in sandy, loamy, or clay soils that are rich in organic matter. Before planting, the soil should be well-prepared by adding compost or well-rotted manure to improve soil fertility and structure.
Caring for Beetroot
Week 1-2: In the first two weeks after planting, it is essential to keep the soil consistently moist by watering regularly. Weeding should be done to prevent competition for nutrients.
Week 3-4: In the third and fourth weeks, it is crucial to thin out the seedlings to allow for proper root development. Fertilizer should be applied to the soil to promote growth.
Week 5-6: In the fifth and sixth weeks, continue to water and fertilize the plants as needed. Mulching can be done to conserve moisture and suppress weed growth.
Week 7-8: In the seventh and eighth weeks, the beetroot plants will be growing quickly, and it is important to continue to monitor soil moisture and weed growth. It is also advisable to add a side dressing of fertilizer.
Harvesting and Nutrition
Beetroot is ready to be harvested when the roots are approximately 2-3 inches in diameter. The leaves of the beetroot plant can also be harvested and consumed as a nutritious green vegetable.
Beetroot is a rich source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, iron, and potassium. It is also high in dietary fiber and antioxidants, making it a healthy addition to any diet.
Yield from a Small Kitchen Garden
The yield of beetroot from a small kitchen garden depends on various factors such as the variety of beetroot grown, the quality of the soil, and the care provided. However, in general, a small kitchen garden can yield approximately 10-15 beetroots per square meter.
Beetroot is an easy-to-grow and nutritious vegetable that is ideal for Indian kitchen gardens. By providing the right soil conditions, temperature, and care, you can grow a bumper crop of delicious and healthy beetroot in your own backyard.