Beetroot Growing Information:
Introduction of Beetroot Growing
One of the easily grown vegetable in your backyard, container, terrace gardening is beetroot vegetable. It is less affected by pests and diseases and ideal for anyone new to vegetable gardening. Beet root is grown for its fleshy roots that are used as vegetable, salads and even for pickling. The beetroot crop is indigenous to Asia Minor and Europe, though it is grown for thousands of years for medicinal purposes but lately found in third century as an edible vegetable. The big fact about beetroot growing is not much gets wasted in this plant; tap roots, and the young leaves can be consumed just like spinach.
The plant stem is plate and short in length, producing leaves which are heart shaped. The flowers of the plant have five petals, tinged reddish or green in color, and are small densely spikes up to 5 mm. Beetroot fruits are in clusters of hard nutlets. Beetroot crop is grown all over the world in temperate regions.
Scientific / botanical name of Beetroot
Beetroot comes the from family species of Beta vulgaris and from the goosefoot family of Chenopodiacease. The plant plant derives from the wild species Beta maritime Linn.
Other names of Beetroot
Beeroot is called by other names in various countries as Beet, Sea Beet, Sugarbeet, Table Beet, Garden Beet, Red Beet or Golden Beet and the plant young leaves are called Beet Greens.
Beetroot in Indian Languages
- Hindi : Chukander
- Punjabi – ਚੁਕੰਦਰ
- Gujarati – બીટનો કંદ
- English : Beetroot
- Tamil : Beet
- Malayalam : Beetroot
- Telugu : Beetroot
- Kannada : Beetroot
- Konkani : Beetroot
- Marathi : Biitt
Health benefits and Nutrition Facts of Beetroot
- One cup of raw beets contain – 58 calories; 13 grams of carbohydrate, 9 grams of sugar, 4 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein
- For daily needs, beetroot provides – 1% Vitamin A, 2% Calcium, 11% Vitamin C and 6% Iron
- Lowers blood pressure
- Boost body stamina
- Fights inflammation
- Has Anti-Cancer properties
- Rich in valuable nutrients and fiber
- Detoxification Support.
Beetroot Varieties / Beetroot Cultivars
The following are the improved varieties in India.
- Detroit Dark Red: In this variety the flesh of the taproot is dark blood red, the taproot are smooth and round in shape with deep red skin. This cultivar is a heavy yielder with a harvest duration of 80 to 100 days.
- Crimson Globe: In this variety the roots are round to flat round. The color of the flesh is crimson red and the outer skin is medium red. The crop can be harvested in 55 to 60 days.
- Early Wonder: In this variety the roots are flat globular. The flesh of the root is dark reddish with light red zoning and dark red skin color.
- Ooty-1: In this variety the taproots are round in shape. The flesh of the root is blood red in color. Grower can expect a yield about 27 to 28 tonnes per hectare. And the crop can be harvested in 100 to 120 days.
- Crosby Egyptian: In this variety the beetroots are flat globe in shape. The flesh of the roots is dark purplish red in color. The crop can be harvested within 55 to 60 days.
- Some private seed distributors market other varieties such as Madhur, Ruby Queen, and Ruby Red.
Climate and Soil requirement for Beetroot Growing
Beetroot farming under cool climate gives abundant and healthy yield. Beetroot is hardy crop that can tolerate harsh climate. Ideal weather can be between 15°C to 20°C for growth and development. It can tolerate high temperatures provided with moisture in soil. Hot weather can lead to zoning that is alternating light and dark red concentric circles are formed in taproot while cold weather leads to slow growth.
Beetroot can be grown on a wide range of soils. Sandy loam soils with pH 6 to 7 are much preferable. Beetroot plants are sensitive to acidic soils and are one of a few vegetable that can grow well in saline soils. Heavy clayey and hard soils will hamper the root growth and roots may be misshaped.
Land preparation in Beetroot Growing
Make the land loose and friable and remove clods by ploughing thoroughly till fine tilth Is attained. Incorporate farm yard manure to the soil in the final ploughing and level the land. Form ridges and furrows at 30 cm to 40 cm apart.
Propagation in Beetroot Growing
Propagation of beetroot is done by seed. Beetroots sown in seedbeds and planning to transfer later, such plants have slightly late maturity and chances of root quality will be poor compared to direct seeding plants.
Seed rate, Season, Sowing and Spacing in Beetroot Growing
In India, the crop can be cultivated throughout the country and throughout the year provided there is proper irrigation to retain the soil moisture. In hilly regions its advised to sow from end of February to end of May and in plain region it can be sown between June to July and August to November.
Prepare the land by forming ridges and furrows at 30 cm apart. Four to six seeds are sown together in one pit of two to three centimeter deep and at a spacing of 10 cm. Beetroot plants when they reach a height of 10 cm, start thinning the unhealthy, unwanted weak plants by cutting down the stem near to the soil. Keep one or two plants and remove the other plants. It is recommended not to pluck the seedlings with roots as they may damage the roots of the other plant. For a hectare of land 6 to 7 kilos of seeds is required to sow.
Seed Treatment in Beetroot Growing
For proper and quick germination the beetroot seeds should be treated. Wash the seeds and soak them overnight or soak the seeds in 0.5% Aretan solution for about 20 to 30 mins. Once the seeds are soaked, wash the seeds in running water and dry them in a shade before sowing.
Irrigation in Beetroot Growing
For the seeds to germinate, soil moisture must be maintained at least for two to three centimeter and establishment of seedling growth. As the plants grow do not allow the soil becoming dry and should be moist at least up to 15 to 20 cm. Poor quality of roots and large small hair like roots are the results for large fluctuations in soil moisture content.
Manures and Fertilizers in Beetroot Growing
Before sowing, well-rotted farm yard manure at 35 to 45 tons per hectare should be mixed to the soil at the time of land preparation. It is recommended not to use fresh manure with sawdust or wood shavings as this will aggravate scab.
A continuous supply of Nitrogen, phosphate and potassium at regular intervals must be maintained throughout the beetroot growing. About half of 150 kg of Nitrogen, 500 kg of Phosphorus and 200 kg of Potassium per hectare must be applied before planting and the remainder of the NPK must be applied as a side-dressing in regular intervals. These are general recommendations while actual amounts of fertilizers must be based on soil analyses. Apply boron 4 to 5 kg per hectare at the time of planting.
Intercultral operations in Beetroot Growing
Weeds interfere with the growth of beet seedlings. They compete in soil nutrition, water, space and light. Remove the weeds by hand so as not to disturb or damaging the roots. It can also be controlled by spraying herbicides by following the instructions on the container. If the beetroot farm is left unchecked, they can reduce the yield.
Pests and diseases in Beetroot Growing
Damping-Off (fungi): Beet root plant are more prone to damping-off. The fungi attack seeds and seedlings causing seed decay and topple the young plants. To control, seeds must be treated with fungicide before sowing. Proper water drainage must be maintained.
Leaf Spot (fungus): Brown to grey spots with reddish-purple borders are observed on the plants. Once the plant gets affected, it spreads by splashin water, insects, tools, workers and wind. The disease develops in mode temperatures with high humidity. To Control, After sighting early symptoms of disease apply fungicide.
Scab (bacteria): On the surface of the beet roots, corky spots are produced. Coarse organic matter in the soil help promote the disease development. To control, avoid the infested land, the bacteria can exist in the soil for many years.
Pests: Aphids, Red spider, flea beetle and other leaf eating insects are common pests that affect beetroot growing. To control, spray malathion 50 EC 2 ml per litre and select disease free seeds at the time of sowing.
Harvesting in Beetroot Growing
The crop is ready to harvest within 76 to 90 days after sowing. When the roots reach three to five centimeter, the beetroot crop is ready for harvesting while most roots are lifted when they reach five to seven centimeter. The crop either can be mechanically or by hand is lifted. Care should be taken while pulling the beets are not damaged from bruising.
Segregate all the damaged and injured beets. Beetroot grading is done upon the size of the beets. Wash the beets in water and dry them in shade to avoid from fungal attack.
Yield in Beetroot Growing
The crop depends on many factors such as the beet varieties, type of soil, climate and other farm management practices. Grower can expect on an average yield of 28 to 30 tons per hectare in 120 days.
Marketing of Beetroot
Beetroot has much demand locally and in export because of its health benefits and as a natural dye agent in textile industry. Beet roots can be marketed in local markets or exported by marketing agency. Beetroots are transported in a cool and with good ventilation vehicles to avoid fungal infestation.
Tips in Beetroot Growing.
- Beet roots grow best in loose, friable soil.
- Undecomposed compost or manure should not be applied to the crop, as such material enhances the development of multiple hairy roots.
- Avoid wet soils and delay planting until the soil is warm from fungal attack.
- Use bolt-resistant varieties from disease attacks.
- When the seedlings are about 3 to 4 cm high thin out to leave one seedling per 10cm.
- Protect the crop from birds. Young tender leaves often become breakfast for birds.
- Bolting occurs when the soil is dry; delay in thin out seedlings, lack of organic matter.
- Do not water too heavily, otherwise the roots might split.
- Beetroot can also be grown in pots and containers.