Sugar Beet

Beta vulgaris 'Sugar Beet'

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Commonly grown as a commercial crop for sucrose production. The sugar beet is similar to the familiar red-rooted garden beet, but are much larger, reaching about 1 - 1.5 kg when mature. Sheep and cattle farmers can grow sugar beets as a forage crop. Uses: Beverages. Culinary. Alternative Fuel

Planning

Difficulty

Easy

Fruiting time

Autumn

Harvesting

Sugar beet can be harvested by hand or mechanically. The leaves usually stay in the field where they are used as green manure. The amount of soil on the root at harvest should be limited as much as possible.

Propagation

Seed

Sowing time in spring with a minimum spacing of 2.5 cm. Sowing depth should be around 4 cm and the seed should germinate around 15 days after planting.

Special features

Crop rotation

Rotate an area out of beets for at least 3 years before planting back in the same. Normally, beets are grown in the same ground every third year, peas, beans or grain being raised the other two years.

Special features

Origin

Central Europe

Natural climate

Temperate, Tropical and Sub-tropical

Environment

Light

Full Sun

Soil moisture

Moist

Soil type

Loam, Sand

Soil PH preference

Neutral

Frost hardiness

Tender

Uses

Edible

The beet is processed and turned into sugar, but the beet itself is also edible. They are often cooked before eating, or delicious raw.

Notes

Beverages. Culinary. Alternative Fuel.

Personality

Family

Amaranthaceae

Flower colour

Green, Yellow

Scent

None

Problems

Weeds should be brought under control before planting. Sugar beet plants are susceptible to Rhizomania, which turns the tap root into many small roots, which is not desirable.

Companion plants

Bush Beans, Garlic, members of the Cabbage Family, Mint