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Ask Gerry : Vegetable Growing : Beetroot

Beetroot eaten in the ground

, Headford Posted On: February 7, 2017

Just wondering what could have eaten my beetroots? Surely it couldn’t have been done by slugs and I don’t see any rabbits or hares around.You might enlighten me. They were taken out of the ground in November with all this damage.

The photo shows more signifcant damage than  slugs generally cause, and rabbits are the most likely, becaus e deer tend to eat the tops of plants. Rats are a possibility and curved shaved out bits on the ground are typical.

beetroot bulbs do not swell

, stranorlar Posted On: July 31, 2011

my beetroot are all leaves and very little bulb.can you help please?


The beetroot may still be immature and the root will increase in size, or they may have gone to flower and seed, in which case they will not get any bigger.

Or they are too crowded together or the soil is too rich in nitrogen from too much manure or compost. 


What’s wrong with my beetroot?

, Bray Posted On: July 28, 2011

I harvested my little crop of beetroot the other day. I left about 3-4 cms of stalk and the roots intact, washed and boiled gently for about 2.5 hours. After cooling, I peeled gently with my fingers before going to slice and pickle them. However half of them are soft and perfect and half of them are like wood? Size doesn’t seem to make a difference. Some of the bigger ones are like soft butter and some the size of a golf ball are like woody stringy bullets. What’s wrong?


The chances are that some went to flower and seed and this makes them tough.

How to rid my beetroot of woodlice’

Posted On: April 29, 2011

I have sown 2 rows of beetroot seed in a raised bed and found it alarming that half of them disappeared overnight. Then I saw a few (arghh!) woodlice in the bed. How do I get rid of them?

If beetroot seedling disappeared over night, it was probably snails.

To reduce woodlice, reduce sources of shelter.

beetroot sown in polytunnel last autumn

, ROUNDWOOD Posted On: May 3, 2010

This beetroot survived the extreme frosts and has grown very well with mostly top leaves and the beetroot under ground is NOT maturing. I am feeding once a week with tomatoe feed. for the past 4 weeks. will i continue in this fashion or clear them all out as a lost cause.


That beetroot will soon flower and go to seed.

Beetroot is ready for use in about 10 to 12 weeks from sowing, spring for summer, summer for autumn.

Also it is an outdoor crop, no need to grow in a tunnel. More at:


Beetroot planted last October

, Portarlington Posted On: April 5, 2009

I was given beetroot plants last october which i planted in my polytunnel. They have overwintered ok, and are growing. Will they produce beets this year, or should I take them out and plant new seedlings now?


Beetroot over-wintered is likely to go to seed soon. It is possible that they will form roots but only if they were small all winter.

Leave them be and sow some seeds now.

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