Beetroot Golden Detroit
Beetroot grows brilliantly in our mild damp climate, so why not grow a variety of different types?
Golden Detroit produces wonderful yellow orange roots that are great on their own, and look stunning served up alongside more common purple varieties. The yellow ribbed leaves are valuable too. Pick them young for adding to salads.
Time from seed to plate: 8 weeks
Sow beetroot anytime from April to July. If you've got time, soak beetroot seeds overnight in water to remove the natural germination inhibitor from them to speed up sprouting.
Drag a trowel across your bed to create a shallow groove in the soil about half an inch deep. Leave about 2 inches between each seed, and 12 inches between each row. Cover with soil, firm, and water.
If we're short of space, or want to get the plants off to a quick start we sow our seeds in gutters filled with compost. About four weeks after sowing, slide the whole lot out into a pre-formed groove in your plot. Have a look at the video.
There's no need to thin out the seedlings that come up. The roots will push against each other to create their own space.
Only water beetroot if the ground is very parched. This tends to encourage leaf growth, when you want the roots to swell!
Pick a few young leaves for salads. They're bright green with yellow stems so they add wonderful colour.
Start harvesting roots when they reach golf ball size. Pick out the bigger ones, creating extra growing space for the ones you leave behind. Remove the leaves by twisting to prevent bleeding.
Make sure you harvest the entire crop before the frosts that normally arrive in October, although you can leave a couple in the ground to give you a few salad leaves in the spring. Don't try and eat these roots though - they'll have the taste, and texture of dry earth!