Beetroot is a good source of iron and folic acid, betaine, magnesium, iron and various antioxidants. It also contains vitamins A, B6 and C. Recent health claims suggest beetroot can help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and even prevent dementia. Beetroot is high in dietary nitrate, which is believed to benefit the cardiovascular system and may protect against cancer.
Beetroot prefers a neutral to slightly alkaline soil. A ph of between 7 and 7.5 is ideal. Sow beetroot seed directly in the ground. A successive sowing, once every 3-4 weeks, will ensure a continuous supply. Soak the seed in lukewarm water for a few hours, or overnight, before planting, to aid germination. Sow seeds 5cm-10cm apart, depending on the variety (10cm for large roots; 5cm apart if harvesting baby beetroot).