Plant of the Month
Common Name: Detroit Dark Red Beet
Scientific Name: Beta vulgaris var. crassa
Native Range: Europe & Asia
Hardiness Zone: 2-7. For zones 8-11 grow as a fall crop
Days to Maturity: 55-65
General Description: The Detroit Dark Red Beet is the most popular all-purpose red beet. It is globe-shaped, tender with blood-red flesh that is sweet and delicious. Beets are easy to grow and tolerate a wide range of climates. Beets prefer cool weather; in zones 8-11 where summers can be hot, grow them as a fall, winter or early spring crop.
- Light: Full sun to part shade
- Water: Consistent moisture
- Soil: Well-drained, sandy loam soil high in organic matter. Avoid acidic soil areas.
Sow seeds directly into soil in early spring as soon as soil can be worked. Beets tend to have spotty germination. Presoaking seeds for 1-2 hours will soften seed coat and speed germination. Plant seeds ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart. Seeds need close contact with the soil; it is best practice to press down on soil after planting. Sprouts will emerge in 10-20 days. Thin seedlings when they reach 4-5 inch to 3 inches apart.
Pull up plants when exposed root tops are 2 inches across.
- Reddish green leaves make a great addition to summer salads
- Planting garlic and mint with your beets will improve the growth and flavor
- Beets are very sensitive to toxic substances in the soil and may not germinate if planted near walnut trees or soils containing herbicides