Deep colour and a whole lot of crunch define beetroot. Its overpowering colour can turn any recipe shocking pink. The vegetable owes its colour to a pigment called betanin which is often extracted to create natural food colouring and dyes. Interestingly, beets were also used to add colour to wines back in the day.
Benefits Of BeetRoot
1.Helps in detoxification: Beetroot is reckoned to be a great purifier. It detoxifies your body by pulling the toxins into the colon from where they can be evacuated.
2 It is low in fat and calories: Although it has a high sugar content, it is low in calories and almost fat-free. Since it is loaded with fibre it makes you full without consuming too many calories.
3. It is rich in antioxidants: The antioxidants present in beetroot reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol, protect the artery walls and guard against heart disease and stroke.
4. Its good for hair: Beetroot is actually one of the best home remedies to fight the flakes and an itchy scalp.
Important Information About Beetroot
- Common name: Beetroot
- Indian names: Chukandhar(Hindi) and Beetrroot(Kannada)
- Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris
- Vegetable type: Taproot
- Varieties: Ooty 1, Detroit Dark Red, Crimson, Globe and Red Ball.
Features Of Beetroot
- Life-Cycle: annual
- Height: up to 35cm
- Width/Spread: 25cm
- Flowering season: Nil
- Flower: Nil
- Foliage: Heart shaped
Plant Growing Details
It requires direct exposure to sunlight for around 6-8 hours
It needs to be water regularly especially when the top-soil turns dry. It is important to keep the soil moist but not soggy. This is required to avoid rot and fungal diseases that can happen due to over-watering.
July & August are the best seasons to sow beetroot.
Line sowing is required for this vegetable.Sow beetroot seeds at 2cm depth and each seed should be sowed at an interval of 5 to 10 cm.
There are some pests and diseases that attack beetroot. We will speak about them and also the methods to prevent them.
Leaf miner and flea beetle
While not usually threatening to plants, leafminer control is often necessary to manage the highly visible tunnels in leaves that can reduce crop value.
Flea beetles are small jumping insects (similar in appearance to fleas) that can damage plants by chewing numerous small holes in the leaves.
Leaf miner and flea beetle can be controlled by spraying Malathion 50 EC 2 ml/lit.
a) Cercospora leaf spot
This results in significant losses, particularly in late summer when conditions are favourable (high temperatures, high humidity, longleaf wetness periods at night). Beetroots fail to grow to full size when the disease is severe.
Cercospora leaf spot can be controlled by spraying Mancozeb at 2 g/lit.
Rhizoctonia root rot
b) It can kill and stunt plants to result in significant yield losses. This can be controlled by spot drenching with Carbendazim at 1 g/lit.
Within 60 days, the roots are ready for harvest. The Beetroots are harvested by digging the sides of the roots and by loosening the roots from the soil and then it is pulled out from the soil. In 4 cm apart from the crown, the leaves are twisted and removed from the roots.
Place the disk, stem side up, into a bowl or saucer of shallow water. Refill the water if it gets too low. The water level should be just under the stems. When they grow to the size you like, use beet greens for salads, stir-fries, quiches, or anywhere you would be using spinach, chard, collards or kale.
Hope this blog about beetroot was insightful. Stay tuned for more upcoming blogs 🙂