'Albina Ice' is a truly white beetroot which does not bleed when cut. The roots are much sweeter and less earthy than red beetroot with a firmer texture, and are therefore a particularly good variety for children.
|When to sow
|March to July (Early March in a cold frame or under cloches for an earlier crop / sown in July to produce baby beet in the autumn)
|Where to sow
|Sow thinly in shallow drills 2cm (3/4") deep with 30cm (12") between rows. It is best to sow beetroot seeds directly into the ground (or a pot/container) when the temperature of the soil has warmed to about 7°C (44°F).
|What to do next
|Each 'seed' is actually a fruit composed of three or four seeds. Thin the seedlings gradually as they grow to an eventual spacing of 10cm (4"). If carefully removed, the seedlings can be transplanted to form additional rows. Once the roots have developed and they start to swell, beetroots need to be watered moderately. Beetroot has shallow roots and it is important to keep the plants moist. If they experience long dry periods, the beetroot will become hairy and fibrous. Intermittent or inadequate watering can result in stress cracks and breakdown of roots. Don't overwater as this only encourages leaf growth and not bulb growth. During cool weather, the plants can be watered once a week. During very hot weather, less water can be given two to three times a week instead of a lot of water once a week. To harvest; lift carefully, twist off the stems with your hands to prevent the plants bleeding their juice.
|June to October.
|The seeds require plenty of moisture to germinate. Soaking them in warm water for an hour or two prior to planting is a great way to speed up germination. Prevent a glut when planting beetroot by sowing your seed in stages, a small batch at a time every couple of weeks, will give a continuous harvest. If the soil is well drained (or they are grown in a pot or container) they be left in the soil for winter in mild areas. Cover with a layer of straw for extra protection.
|Good Companions - Onions, Silver beet, Kohlrabi, Lettuce, Cabbage, Dwarf Beans. Aromatic Herbs, Celery, Chamomile, Spinach, Chard. Bad Companions - tall beans, runner beans.
|Rich in beta carotene calcium , iron & folic acid.
|The roots can be eaten cooked (boiled, steamed or roasted) hot or cold, or grated raw in salads. Small beets are also excellent pickled.
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