The Beetroot (Beta vulgaris) belongs to the same family as the Spinach, but is grown for its tap roots in market gardens. It is a somewhat exhaustive crop, and from 12 to 16 tons of roots may be regarded as a fair yield to the acre. The leaves, etc, will weigh about as much, and if not used as food for cattle will form a valuable manurial dressing. The amount of plant food taken out of an acre of the soil by 12 tons of Beetroot has been given as follows: -

12 tons of Roots.

12 tons of Leaves.

Nitrogen

40.5 lb..........

105.60 lb.

Magnesia

18.9 „ ..............

68.64 „

Phosphoric acid

27.0 ,, .................

39.60 „

Potash

94.5 „ ..................

155.76 „

Lime...

183.6 „ .....................

429.12 „

Total ...

364.5 lb..........

798.72 lb.

A soil rather heavy in texture but well and deepty worked, and well manured and limed, gives excellent results. Too much manure is apt to induce coarse and unsaleable roots, but a dressing of lime will help to rectify this.

This crop is valuable to the market gardener for the two reasons, that it provides a change to his land from the crops liable to club and because it can be stored for winter trade. Beetroot likes well-manured, friable, fresh and deeply moved soil. It is a capital crop to put in after spring greens, provided the organization is capable of getting it in sharp, without losing time. The plough and the drill should follow the cutters the same or, at latest, the next day. Beet is sown in drills 1 1/2 in. deep and 1 ft. apart. The quantity of seed required to sow an acre, so as to make as sure as possible of a full crop, is 20 lb. A sowing of 5 cwt. of salt to the acre before the seed is sown is considered a good thing, but stable manure should not be used immediately before sowing Beet, because it is apt to encourage the formation of "chumps".

Medium-sized Beet are most in favour in the London market, and growers should fight shy of sorts with a family likeness to the Mangold. One of the best Beets is the Clteltenham Green Top, although when this has been saved too near a field of mangold seed there are many among the roots too coarse for anything but the cow byre. To make sure, the grower should save his own Beet seed. Let him pick out shapely medium-sized roots in February or March and plant them in good soil, covering the top with 2 or 3 in. of soil until the period of spring frosts is past, then raking it off. One hundred roots ought to produce enough seed to sow 1 ac.

When grown, a crop of Beet is stored in pits or clamps in the same manner as mangolds. The roots should all be clamped by the end of November. The clamps should not be made too large, and should have a good covering of mould over a layer of clean straw. When the Beet is kept right into the spring, holes along the sides of the clamps should be made as soon as the time for growing induces the roots in the clumps to make new tops, or else heat will be engendered and many roots be spoiled. [W. G. L].