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I've planted two rows of beetroot, they are flourishing (lots of nice leaves) but only about 1/4 of them seem to be developing beetroots. The others seem basically to only have a taproot or tiny beet.  I spaced them according to instructions on the seed package. 

Any suggestions  -  type of fertilizer, watering (not necessary this summer?!) etc?

Otherwise I guess I will just harvest the leaves and stir-fry them with onion and garlic over pasta.....


Beetroot don't always develop at the same rate in my experience. I get big 'uns alongside little 'uns. Are they getting plenty of sun? You could try a nitrogen-based fertiliser but don't overdo it.


my beet roots were around 4ft talll (plant lol not beet) and the beets were nto even golf ball sized, i pulled them up to make room for other stuff, will not be growing it again lol

Planted mine ( for the first time) outside in early May after growing from seed. Good soil, plenty of chicken pellets dug in. Watered (by the rain) almost daily. Some have hardly grown. The best, after 15-16 weeks, not much bigger than an egg. Looks like another few weeks or so to harvest these, but some in danger of bolting. What's to be done?! (and I don't even like beetroot)

I agree with Italophile in that beetroot doesn't always develop at the same rate, you can get huge tennis balls sizes along side golf ball sizes. 

..and regards a crop for this year it has been the worst ever for me, beetroot usually grows for fun in the garden, I was still eating pickled beetroot until May from last year. Planted two varieties this time - Detroit 2 and Burpees Golden along side each other both had the same growing conditions and they've developed the same as yours, so did a MD last weekend and lifted the lot, had more BG than D2 but only enough for a meal. Sowed some more seeds of both varieties under cover in the veg plot and they are already showing through.

I'd put the poor growth down to the weather - too much rain and not enough heat or sun. Try sowing again, depending where you are in the country it's not too late for a late crop, that's if we get some heat and sun. What do you have to lose, you may get golf ball sized beetroot, a good size to pickle




Or, in my case, the other extreme of a month and a half of baking 35C+ temps and not a drop of rain. Even with regular watering, the beetroot (in terms of size) has been a mixture of golf balls, tennis balls, with a couple of oversized oranges.


Ours have not been as large as they should have been, but they have been sweet and tender - I'm roasting them whole with other veg (onions, courgettes, carrots etc) and they're delicious.

Beetroot need to be grown quickly and don't like to be checked. Not sure if the rain was enough unless, Andre, your soil is heavy and wet. I sow in 4 rows, 3 inches apart, and space them 4 inches apart in the I do with carrots, spring onions, etc.......and keep them well watered. I have been picking now for some 6 weeks and they are juicy, tasty and delicious. Beetroot do grow unevenly so I just pick the biggest as they come. (the reason I sow as I do is because I use a home-made template on a handle to make my seed drills. It sounds too close spacing but in practice it works very well)

I planted some beetroot as seeds and was pleased when they grew so well, very pretty leaves too. Today i noticed a few beetroot shaped bulbs sitting loosly in the ground, so i pulled them up, they are a bit smaller that tennis balls. Trouble is, what do I do with them now? Do I boil them? I don't remember buying the seed even but I'm enjoying the novilty of beetroot, now I'd like to cook them up, not sure how though. (I'm new to allotment growing) Nene

Hiya nene. I boil them until a fork goes into them easily, allow them to cool. When cold I peel off the loose outer skin, slice them and put into jars. I add vinegar and a little salt and screw top covers on jars. They keep for months ...and delicious. For use now, same treatment but instead I put in plastic containers in fridge. Best not to let Beetroot get too ball size maybe

Or, for delicious flavour, you can wrap them in foil with a bunch of herbs and bake at 180C for about 45 minutes for smaller beetroot, maybe an hour and a bit for bigger ones. Test them with a fine skewer. When the skewer slides easily into them, they're cooked. Let them cool till you can handle them. The skins will rub off easily with your fingers. Slice them, dress with good EVOO and a splash of good vinegar and some P&S.

Don't forget, too, that the leaves and stems make a delicious salad. Blanch the stems for about 30 seconds, add the leaves for another 30 seconds, drain and dry very well. Dress with good EVOO, good vinegar and some P&S.


Thanks so much, I'll give both methods a go and report back.

You can also steam them. Once cooked the skins come off easily and they are nice eaten hot with other vegs. 


I sometimes steam or bake them, slip the skins off and serve with a parsley sauce with fish - very pretty and totally delicious.


I baked some with a handful of herbs from the garden and they were absolutely lovely, I had only ever brought them already packaged for salads and I really had no idea how versitile these little burgandy guys could be. Thanks everyone.


Green Magpie

I've planted two rows of beetroot this year, at different times. thei earlier ones were not bad - they didn't get past golf-ball sized but they were sweet and tasty. But the later rwo, of the same variety, is doing almost nothing - small leaves and no swelling of the roots at all. I think it's the weather - they need a bit of warmth and they just haven't had it.


I grew beetroot for the first time this year. We've had a mix of sizes but none as big as I'd hoped. I think it was all the rain - they didnt get a chance to put down a good root system and then too little sun and warmth.

We have eaten ours grated in salad, very nice.

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