Beet, Detroit Dark Red Medium Top
HEIRLOOM. Unbeatable beets: dark red, extremely sweet flesh.
Days To Maturity The average number of days from when the plant is actively growing in the garden to the expected time of harvest.
Fruit Size The average size of the fruit produced by this product.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Sow Method This refers to whether the seed should be sown early indoors and the seedlings transplanted outside later, or if the seed should be sown directly in the garden at the recommended planting time.
How to Sow
- Sow beet seeds in well-worked, well-drained soil in full sun after danger of frost in spring. In frost free areas, sow in fall.
- Beets are sensitive to acidic soils and prefer a pH of 6.0 – 7.0. If your soil is more acidic, add Garden Lime as directed on the bag.
- Sow thinly in rows 12 inches apart and cover with ½ inches of fine soil. Firm lightly and keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge in 14-21 days.
- Thin to stand about 3" apart when seedlings are 1-2" tall. Note that beet seeds are actually clusters of seeds and require more thinning than other crops.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote uninterrupted growth. Plants need about 1 inch of rain per week during the growing season. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. It’s best to water with a drip or trickle system that delivers water at low pressure at the soil level. If you water with overhead sprinklers, water early in the day so the foliage has time to dry off before evening, to minimize disease problems. Keep the soil moist but not saturated.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Pick the greens when they are 4-6 inches long and the roots are less than 2 inches in diameter.
- Harvest roots at 1 inch for baby beets, up to 3 inches for mature beets.
- Store fall-harvested beets at 33-35°F at 95% humidity.
- Cook beet greens like spinach.
- Beet roots can be pickled, grilled, baked or broiled.
- To prevent red beets from excessive “bleeding” in cooking, wait until after cooking to peel, remove taproots and slice. Trim off the tops about 1 inch above the roots and wash carefully with a vegetable brush. Boil until tender, then plunge into cold water. When cool enough to handle, slip the skins off with your fingers and remove the little taproots. Slice the beets, or serve whole.