Beetroot is such a versatile vege, being useful (and delicious) at every growth stage. Beets can be sown thickly for snipping as microgreens or gourmet salad leaves, or plucked after 8–10 weeks to roast whole or grate raw into salads. Or you can leave them in the ground all summer then boil, peel, slice and preserve in jars. To preserve beetroot, make a simple pickling solution from 1 cup malt vinegar, 1 cup water and ½ cup white or brown sugar. Simmer for 5 minutes then pour over the hot beetroot in jars and seal. Pickled beets keep for at least a year. Sow beetroot direct, or transplant punnets of seedlings,. Plant in rich, free-draining, well-cultivated soil. Beets prefer to cool roots so, if possible, choose a spot that gets a little respite from the hottest sun in midsummer, or they’ll bolt to seed.