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Baby Beets
If you’re planning to serve your tender baby beets whole and unpeeled, try hilling the soil around their shoulders as they grow. This will keep the skin from hardening over and losing its smooth, red appearance.
Beet Geometry Saves Time
Beets do long service in the garden, from the first snippets of spring greens to rich, flavorful storage beets in winter. But their “seeds” are actually pods containing multiple seeds, so rows must be laboriously thinned. Turn that trait into a time-saver by planting multi-plant blocks. Using soil blocks or plug trays, sow two seeds in each block. This will produce four or five seedlings per block. Plant the blocks 10 inches apart in rows 12 inches apart. They will grow fine in clusters, and you’ll have plenty of space in between for cultivating in two directions~much easier than weeding a crowded row. The same trick works for onion seedlings, which are also difficult to weed. Plant them in groups of four and they will push themselves apart a bit as they grow.
Late Great Beets
Storage beets need to be planted early in the season to give them plenty of time to make full size. But did you know you could start a second crop of smaller beets just for fresh fall eating? Sow these six weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. You’ll be rewarded with tender, tasty beets that you can harvest all the way up to the first hard freeze. They’re great steamed in a covered pan with butter or even sliced raw in salads. And the tender greens are delicious too. The cool weather keeps them mild and fresh tasting.

Direct-sow Beet seeds as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring when the soil has warmed to about 50°F and through the summer for successive crops. Young, tender Beets make the best eating whether they are grated raw in salads, steamed and chilled, or roasted. Beet tops, or greens, are good too; eaten together with Beets, they ensure a dinner rich in vitamins and minerals.Want to store long-keeping Beets like a pioneer? Select the best unblemished Beets. Do not clean them, trim the greens, retain the taproots and allow surface moisture to dry. In a breathable container (wooden box), spread a layer of sterile sand, lay down a layer of Beets, continuing these layers to the top. Store in a cool (33°F to 39°F), humid spot like a root cellar or insulated garage. You can dig them out like treasure for up to four months or so. (Check them every once in a while to see how they are doing.)

Roast whole beets in the oven to retain their rich flavor for special, more hearty fare. (Don’t forget to roast extra beets and serve them sliced and chilled over baby greens with crumbled goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, finely diced scallions with a raspberry vinaigrette. Big yum.)

Average seed life: 2 years

#1305 Kestrel Baby Beets: 45-55 days
A graceful, globe-shaped gem, Kestrel produces sweet, tender baby beets. An American hybrid developed to mature early yet hold well in the garden, it has deep ruby-colored flesh that is soft-crisp with a delicate, luscious flavor. Harvest these babies at 1″ in diameter. Terrific for roasting with other baby root vegetables. We even loved it raw in the fields! (F1.)

Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.25

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#1315 Boro Beets: 50 days
Mature or harvested as babies, this is one mouth-watering beauty of a beet. Its terrific flavor makes it a true all-purpose variety for eating fresh when just picked, boiling and chilling in composed salads. It may also be canned or pickled for long-term use or stored safely in the root cellar for soul-satisfying borscht and roasting over the winter. Red on red, Boro yields mid-sized, uniform, 3″ globes with attractive, smooth red skin and a ringless, dark wine-red interior. Taller topped, its 12″ greens are lush, tender and great tasting. An extremely heavy producer with good disease-resistance, it may be sowed throughout the summer for multiple and later fall harvests. (F1.)

Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.35

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#1325 Touchstone Golden Beets: 55 days
If you liked our high-maintenance Golden Beet heirloom, you will adore easy-to-grow Touchstone. It has better germination, higher yield and a succulent, sweet taste second to none. Touchstone’s beautiful pale orange exterior encases golden-orange, juicy-crisp flesh coveted by gourmets. Its smooth-skinned, uniform 4″ globes are topped with vigorously growing light green tops that are so good, you would almost grow Touchstone for its tops alone. (OP.)

Packet of 175 Seeds / $3.55

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#1330 Chioggia Beets: 45-55 days
From Italy hails this heirloom striped beet - a most unusual rosy-red, round beet on the outside with alternating rings of white and bright pink on the inside. Exceptionally sweet, steam Chioggia lightly to avoid ‘bleeding’. Avoid overcooking to retain their delicate, rich flavor. Or, try coarsely grating them on top of a salad for an unusual garnish. Beet green lovers take note: Chioggia’s greens were one of the top taste test winners. They are paler green than usual, with a flavor and texture of fine, young, Swiss chard. (OP.)

Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.25

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#1340 Albina Vereduna Beets: 50-60 days
For those who crave the unusual, we present an heirloom “albino” beet originating in Holland. This is a white beet with a sweet taste and a texture that is a bit more like that of a potato. Steam Albina Vereduna lightly, do not overcook or its color will turn a bit gray. Grated raw, Albina Vereduna is lovely in salads, particularly on top of gorgeous red lettuces dressed with a fruity vinaigrette made with fresh orange juice. Toss in a few roasted pecans or filberts and you have a quick masterpiece which is also high in calcium and Vitamin A. (OP.)

Packet of 110 Seeds / $3.75

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#1350 Bull's Blood Beets: 35-60 days
Bull’s Blood is grown for its delicious, slightly globe-shaped Beets and its richly flavorful, gorgeous leaves that mature from green to vibrant merlot-red. For the drama of radicchio without its bitterness, grow it as baby greens for scissor-harvest at 35 days. Let a few of these ornamental plants flower to keep beneficial insects happy. (OP.)

Packet of 110 Seeds / $3.25

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#1360 Cylindra Beets: 55-65 days
With the figure of a fat, snub-nosed carrot 2″ in diameter, this prized heirloom has thin, smooth deep purple-red skin and fine-textured flesh that is never woody. Its handsome lush green tops are more tender than most other beet greens. (OP.)

Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.05

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#1370 The Unbeatable Beet Mixture: 45-65 days
Who is the sweetest of them all? The answer lies within our packet of red, white, yellow and candy-striped Beets. Perfect for small space gardens that like diversity, we’ve included Detroit Dark Red, Golden, Albina Vereduna and Chioggia. (OP.)

Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.25

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#1380 Detroit Dark Red Beet:55-60 days
Bred in Canada in 1892, it’s still the one to beat for flavor and long-term storage. The 3″ to 4″ diameter roots have dense, wine-red flesh and tall lime-green foliage. (OP.)

Packet of 220 Seeds / $3.15

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