Exceptional beetroot

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I’VE always thought beetroot is an interesting vegetable.
It’s incredibly versatile in the kitchen. The root can be grated raw into a salad, roasted with winter vegetables, made into a chocolate cake and more, and the leaves can be used in the same way you would use spinach.
It’s also incredibly good for you. It’s a good source of folic acid, fibre, manganese and potassium and the greens are rich in calcium, iron and vitamins A and C.
At Awapuni, we stock two types of beetroot, the regular round kind and the lesser-known cylindra variety which, as its name suggests, is a cylindrical beetroot and great for bottling.
Once you have them, it’s simply a matter of working out where to plant your seedlings. Beetroot likes welldrained, friable (breaks apart in your hands) soil.
It grows well next to brassicas like broccoli and cauliflower, which take longer to mature and spread out. This means you can plant beetroot in the spaces between your brassicas, and harvest them before the brassicas start needing the extra room.
Alternatively, it grows great in pots. Wherever you plant, simply dig a little 3cm deep hole, place the seedling in the hole and fill in with soil.
Beetroot likes moisture as it starts to develop so keep your plants well watered. In about 10-12 weeks it should be ready. The great thing about beetroot is it can be eaten at any size. Just dig it up and enjoy.
— Tod Palenski
Awapuni Nurseries
www.awapuni.co.nz
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