The beetroot, also known as the table beet, garden beet, red or golden beet, is any of the cultivated varieties grown for their edible taproots. Beets are a cool season, root vegetable crop that grows quickly. Plants can survive frost and near freezing temperatures, making them a good choice for northern gardeners like myself. Beets serve as a good source of folate manganese, and contain betaines which may function to reduce the concentration of homocysteine in the blood vessels known to contribute to the development of heart disease, stroke, or peripheral vascular disease.
Detroit Dark Reds exhibit deep, crimson colored taproots and green, crimson-edged shooting stalks.
Seasonal preference: Spring, Fall, Winter
Germination duration: 10 to 20 days
Germination conditions: Light
Days to maturity: 50 to 70 days
Companion plants: Broccoli, Brussels’ Sprouts, Bush Beans, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chard, Kohlrabi, Onion, Radish
Incompatible plants: Charlock, Field Mustard, Pole Beans
Seed description: Dark brown, looks like a piece of granola or a grapenut
First leaves description: Long, oblong, smooth edges with rounded tips
True leaves description: Oblong, ruffled edges
Thinning time: Once seedlings reach 2-in tall
Final spacing: 3 to 4-in
Plant height: 8 to 10-in
Plant spread: 12-in
Root depth: 10-in
Light preference: Full sun when cool; provide shade if temperatures exceed 75-degrees
Moisture preference: Well drained, moist throughout
Soil preference: 6.0 to 7.0 pH
Produce size: 3-in, round
Produce yield: 1
Greens should be trimmed around 6-in tall; roots at 2-in round for best flavor.
Fresh (Raw), Fresh (Cooked), Canned, Pickled, Frozen
For the best result, store in the ground up to the first frost, tops trimmed. Will keep between 5 to 7 days in the refrigerator. One method of underground storage is to place beets in a plastic basket in a hole three feet deep and four feet square. Place a sheet of plastic on top of the beets, followed by a layer of cornstalks and straw. Beets can also be stored in a cool, dark cellar if placed in moist sand.