Quick-growing tops perfect for early beet greens, while roots size up quickly for bunched baby beets. Also a great full size beet with vibrant tops. Similar quality to Detroit Dark Red for early season crops.
Excellent baby beet
Soil and Nutrient Requirements
Beets appreciate loose, well drained soils with acidity between 6.2 and 6.8, but they will tolerate 6.0-7.5 and a wide range of soil textures. Heavy clay soils can be helped by the addition of organic matter, but make sure it is well composted or it will increase the risk of scab. Best quality arises from deeply cultivated raised beds, free of stones and debris. Fertilize with the ratio of 1-2-2 (N-P-K) seven days before seeding. 1-3 side dressings may be necessary. Beets can suffer from internal black spot if boron levels are inadequate. Use 1lb of boron per acre.
Thin to 2-4” depending on desired size
When to Sow
Direct seed as soon as soil can be worked in the spring, or up to 6-8 weeks before fall frost. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 55-75°F.
Fluctuations in the weather can cause white zoning in the roots.
Keep beets well weeded. Beets fighting for space become tough and stringy.
Too much nitrogen can cause a lot of leaf growth at the expense of root development.
Harvest when roots reach desired size. For winter storage, allow crop to stand for a few mild frosts, but harvest before a hard freeze. For beet greens, harvest starting around five weeks, or when leaves are ~3”. Use floating row covers to extend season.
Optimal storage conditions for roots are 32°F and 95% humidity, cut tops at 1” above crown, wash and let dry. Roots store well for up to 6 months. For best storage of greens, cool with water immediately after harvest and refrigerate in a plastic bag to retain moisture.
Leafhoppers are small wedge shaped insects suck the juice from leaves rather than eating holes through them. If leaves are yellowing and curling under, examine the underside for leafhoppers. They overwinter in the Louisiana area and arrive with storm fronts in other parts of the country.
Flea beetles can present a problem, particularly for young plants, by chewing small holes in the leaves. Healthy plants usually outgrow the damage to produce a fine crop. Where undamaged leaves are desired or flea beetles are especially problematic, use floating row cover (see Supplies) from time of planting until two weeks after leaves emerge.
Aphids can be washed off plants with a hard stream of water. They have several natural predators that control populations including parasites (aphids appear grey or bloated), lady beetle larvae and lacewings.
Leafminers are generally controlled by natural predators. Deep plowing in the spring can help, as well as controlling alternate hosts such as lambsquarter, chickweed, nightshade and plantain.