In early Spring is the perfect time to plant members of the Beet family. I will be planting mine very soon, so I will show you all how to plant them in the coming week. For now, let’s meet them.

 🌿For our purposes, these are annual plants that begin, grow, and are harvested every year.
 🌿We can eat the roots and the leaves; they are most tasty when young.
 🌿Aren’t picky about position – full sun or part sun, or even dappled shade is totally fine.
 🌿Prefer planting direct in the garden bed by seed and are mostly pollinated by wind.

Cooked or raw, in salads, as a dip, as a soup, roasted, or pickled – we do love a good beet 😉.

The beets are actually in the Amaranth family. All parts edible and found almost everywhere. They are sweet, nutritious and easy to grow. The leaves of spinach, beet, chard and amaranth are fabulous raw – pick them as you like straight from the bed. Larger leaves are yum in stir-fries or wilted with butter and pepper. Picking smaller beetroot also gives remaining plants more room to grow, so you get a long harvest in total. Pretty much all the members of this family are beginner-friendly and require the same attention, so pick one you like and learn about growing them from there. If the beetroots get too woody, then you can always eat the leaves. If they bolt to seed, they still look amazing. It’s a totally good news story 🌿

yummy veg in the same family as beetroot

TOP TIP: If it is the roots you are after, then growing by seed right there direct in the garden bed is best (more on that in the next story), since root veg aren’t keen on being moved (transplanted) and though visited by flying critters, these rely mostly on wind to pollinate, so if you want them to go to seed, growing in a group near others of the same variety is a must, otherwise pollen will just blow away.

TOP TIP: Before sewing beet seeds, soak overnight in a cup of warm water (it’ll go cold overnight but that’s okay. Add a half teaspoon of boron (NOT the stronger Borax as it is too rich) to the water, as beets are prone to boron deficiency. It’s not essential, but if you have the time, so worth it.

This is the Amaranthaceae family. They are mostly annual or herbaceous perennial, with wind-pollinated anemophilous inflorescence. Some single germ, some multi-germ seed capsules, with simple mostly alternate leaf distribution.

Look wide, grow well, folks.🌿