It has a natural affinity with game; ….I notice that as well as offering beetroot as a side vegetable, it was an integral part of many dishes that include guinea fowl, pheasant, rabbit, hare, pigeon and kangaroo. - Maggie Beer from Maggie Beer's Spring Harvest recipes.
In the sub-tropics beetroot (Beta vulgaris) can be planted from April to September (August to April in temperate areas and April to August in the tropics). They are best directly sown into the garden bed rather than transplanted as seedlings because there is less chance for the root to become damaged. (Though I grew mine on from purchased seedlings.) The distance between plants should be from five to ten centimetres apart. Row distance is about 20 centimetres apart, and seed depth is a centimetre or slightly deeper.
As a root crop beetroot does not like to be over fertilised. Beetroot likes loose deep soil that has been amended with compost. I grew my beetroot in my raised keyhole garden bed which has lots of humus with good tilth.
The beetroot plant is quite attractive. The red and green leaves are edible and are produced on deep red/burgundy stems. The leaves can be added to salads, or prepared in a manner similar to silver-beet.
It takes between 56 to 70 days from the time of sowing the seed until the beets are ready for harvest. Generally beetroot are ready to harvest when the shoulders of the beets are protruding from the soil. Smaller beets have better flavour and they should be harvested before they become too large and fibrous or soft.
Options for using preparing them after harvest include baking, boiling them with sugar and vinegar, or if they are larger beetroot they can be preserved for later consumption.
Companion plants are onions, broccoli, Brussels sprout, cabbages, and Swiss chard.