Sowing, Harvesting and Yield
The seedbed must be well equipped by plowing 15-20cm deep to rupture up clods. The top soil should be leveled as much possible, have a high-quality crumb arrangement and sufficient moisture.
Beetroot seeds must be treated prior to sowing to enhance germination. Germination is pretentious to high nitrate content of the dry seeds and is also concealed by the ammonia produced by the bacteria. All seed that is supposed to be planted must, therefore, be bathed in running water for at least 120 minutes. The seed is soaked @0.5% Aretan solution for 25 minutes after washing and dried for at least 6.5 hours at room temperature prior to sowing.
Beetroot is habitually harvested when the roots accomplish 3-5cm in diameter, but most of them are lifted around 5-7.5cm in diameter. The average yield of the beet varies from 250-300 q/ha. Yield in Beetroot cultivation depends on the type of seeds, soil, cultivars, etc.
The soil should never be left dry and it must be kept damp to a depth of 20-25cm. slightly water the plants daily till the young seedlings pop-up. About 30mm of water must be supplied at every irrigation. Huge fluctuations regarding soil moisture content results in deprived and poor-quality roots that are mal-formed and have tiny hair and side roots.
Aphids are green or dark brown insects’ approx 2mm in length. They suck on the lower surface of the leaves and damage is only done when the numbers increase substantially. Infested leaves are curly and rolled.
Control: Use registered chemicals. Crop rotation can also assist.
Cercospora leaf spot
It is caused by a fungus which pierces the leaves and produces small encircling spots of approx 3mm in diameter. These spots can also be seen on the flowers and seeds on plants cultivated for seed production. The spots initially are brown with a dark purple border and then turn gray in the middle. The tissue right in the middle falls as the spot ages.
• Crop rotation.
• Seed management with scheduled chemicals.
• Avoid over watering.
Infected plants are recognized by bulky red-brown or orange pustules on the inside of the leaves.
Control: Particular measures are not required since the disease rarely causes any harm.
The roots are spherical to a compressed globe, average red with modest shoulders. The flesh is middling dark red with vague zones. The top: medium to tall with great, intensely green leaves and maroon shade. This is best for heavy and high-quality yielding.
Detroit Dark Red:
Roots are entirely sound with uniform, deep red skin, and smoothness. Dark blood-red along with light-red zoning, top: medium to tall, big vivid green leaves with maroon shades. It is a heavy yielding crop.
Roots are a flat sphere with a little taproot and an even peripheral. The internal color is dark purplish-red with some vague zoning. The top: medium to tall, bottle green with red veins. This variety attains maturity in 55 to 60 days after sowing.
The roots are compressed orb having curved shoulders with an even and dark reddish skin. The core is dark red among some lighter red zoning. The top: profound green along with red veins. This variety takes about 55 to 60 days to mature.
Manures and Fertilizers
A continuous supply of nitrogen (N), phosphate (PO43-) and potassium (K) is necessary throughout the season to attain high yields and high-quality. Nitrogen fertilizing is significant and 300-400 kg/ha of limestone, ammonium nitrate or ammonium sulphate, depending on soil, are applied in 2-3 dressings during the growing season. About 150 kg/ha of nitrogen is usually applied at planting time and the rest when the plants are about 10-15 cm high. A total of 500-600 kg/ha of superphosphate and 200-300 kg/ha of potassium chloride are applied just before sowing. Alternatively, a fertilizer mixture of 2:3:2 at 10000-1200 kg/ha may be applied.
Indian Growing Zone
In India Beetroot is mainly cultivated in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra. The total cultivable areas of Beetroot in Tamil Nadu during 2014-15 were 1116 in hectares.
Beetroot is a cool-weather crop that is hardy and tolerates some freezing. It grows best in spring and autumn but does well in summer on the Highveld and in winter in the Lowveld. Excessively hot weather causes the appearance of alternating light and dark red concentric circles in the root known as zoning. On the other hand, very cold weather results in slow or no growth of the plant. Prolonged periods of low temperatures during winter can induce bolting. Beetroot seeds germinate at soil temperatures from 5°C to 30 °C, with the optimum being 18°C to 24°C.
Beetroot does best on deep and well-drained loamy to sandy soils. Heavy clay soils or soils which crust after rain or irrigation may cause establishment problems and the production of misshapen roots. Beetroot prefers a soil pH of 5.3 - 7.0, but can tolerate a pH of up to 8.5. Acid soils are likely to create nutrient deficiency problems and should be avoided or limed to raise the pH. Mature beets are fairly tolerant to salinity, whereas seedlings are relatively sensitive.