Do you know? We can eat beetroot tender leaves too!
Beetroot is a tuber vegetable that is popular for its colour and nutritional value. It could be a great news for beetroot lovers that not only its tuber but tender leaves also are edible.
Beetroot can be easily grown in grow bags and flowerpots and even on rooftop. Being a winter vegetable, beet is not normally grown in kitchen gardens.
Those bought from the market are likely to have pesticide residues on them. So, we can try growing beet at home to get organic beetroot.
Apart from making cooked items, beet is also used to make salads, pickle and squash. Tender leaves of beet are good for making side dishes.
Weather and soil
Beetroot normally grows in tropical and subtropical climates, but it gets the natural colour and nutrients when grown in winter.
Madhur and Detroit Dark Red varieties that gives medium sized tubers are suitable for cultivating in Kerala.
In Kerala, hilly regions like Wayanad and Idukki are good for growing beetroot.
Loam soil and direct sunlight are ideal for cultivating beetroot farming.
Beet can be grown in the period between October and February.
In other seasons, rail shelter farming can be tried for planting beet.
About 30 grams of seed is needed for beet farming on one-cent plot.
Till the land, remove weeds and break the clumps of soil before sowing seeds.
Add organic fertilisers in a ratio of 100 kg per one cent in the soil.
Till the soil thoroughly and make slightly high flowerbeds to sow the seeds.
Sow the seeds in plastic covers or flowerpots that have a diameter of at least one foot.
Beet can be cultivated on rooftops or courtyard according to space available.
Growing more number of plants closely will affect growth and size of tuber will diminish.
Remove the weeds and excess saplings 10 days after the seeds sprout.
Add some organic fertilisers and pile up some soil around the saplings.
Water the plants only moderately as too much water could reduce the size of tuber.
Let the tender shoot and pluck one or two tender leaves from a plant to make dishes.
The tuber will attain full growth within 70-80 days, if properly fertilised.
About 15-25 kg beetroot can be harvested from farming in one cent land.
The leaves will stay fresh even when the harvest time arrives.
As no chemicals are used in home grown beetroots, both tender leaves and tuber can be consumed safely.