Friday, October 2, 2020

Cultivation of beetroot

The beetroot (Beta vulgaris L.) is a vegetable crop and a true biennial also thickened root, belonging to the Quenopodiaceae family, widely cultivated throughout Brazil.

Beta vulgaris are grown for their swollen roots and leaves. However, the leaves can also be eaten as spinach.

In order to maximize yield of the beetroot, the proper management of the factors that influence the growth and development of culture, such as its water and nutritional needs, is necessary.

Beetroot needs a lot of water for fast growth and the volume needed could vary from 2 mm on a cold winter day to 8 mm on a hot summer day.

Suitable temperatures for growth and development are between 15°C to 18°C, with mean minimums of 5°C and mean maximums of 24°C. Even though beetroot is a cool-season crop, it is fairly tolerant to high temperatures, provided that soil moisture is adequate.

Beetroot can be grown on a wide range of soils, and it prefers a soil pH of 5.8 to 7.0. However, it still can tolerate a pH of up to 7,6. Acid soils are likely to create nutrient deficiency problems and should be avoided or limed to raise the pH.

The plant can withstand moderate frosts, but growth will be affected. Mature beets are fairly tolerant to salinity, whereas seedlings are relatively sensitive.

Beetroot is propagated by seed and fields need to be prepared correctly and thoroughly. The soil must be well tilled and the seedbed should be well prepared by ploughing 15 to 20 cm deep to break up clods. The soil should also be as level as possible, have a good crumb structure and enough moisture, and be free of unrotted plant material.

It is important to note that undecomposed compost or manure should not be applied to this crop, as such material enhances the development of multiple and hairy roots. High yields and good quality can be achieved by continuously supply of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium throughout the season. There’s no limit set for safe rate of phosphate may be applied but for nitrogen fertilizing is important. However, there is a suggestion to supply 300 to 400 kg/ha of limestone, ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulphate, depending on soil analyses, are applied in 2 or 3 dressings during the growing season.

Beetroot is ready for harvest between 75 to 90 days during summer and 100 to 120 days in winter.
Cultivation of beetroot

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