- The leaves are sweet
- Cylindrical shape
- Roots grow to 20cm (8″) long
- Heirloom, open-pollinated seeds
- Matures in 50-70 days
Cylindra beet seeds are a very sweet heirloom first introduced to the US from Europe in 1892. Its cylindrical shape makes it very nice for pickling or slicing. The leaves of this beet are a little sweeter than most other beets, and are very nice as salad greens. Roots grow to 20cm (8″) long, with dark red flesh. Nearly two thirds of the length of the root will grow above ground, so some gardeners like to hill up soil around each plant as the root emerges. This will keep the skins of the root very tender and protect them from insects. Cylindra beet seeds also happen to produce particularly nice micro-greens.
Matures in 50-70 days. (Open-pollinated seeds)
Season & Zone
Season: Cool Season
Exposure: Full-sun or partial-shade
Zone: Hardy to Zone 5
Direct sow late April to mid-July. Beets will not produce roots if planted when the soil is too cold. Seeds will germinate in 5-12 days, depending on soil temperature. Optimal soil temperature: 10-26°C (50-80°F).
Sow 1cm (½”) deep, 5-10cm (2-4″) apart in rows 30-45cm (12-18″) apart.
Ideal pH: 6.0-6.8. For uniformly sized beets, thin carefully to 7-15cm (3-6″) apart when seedlings are 5cm (2″) tall. Eat thinned plants, roots and all. root size is controlled by spacing and variety.
Harvest at any size, but for the best flavour, pull the beets as soon as they have reached full-size. Eat the greens too. Store in the ground, or in moist peat or sand just above freezing.
In optimum conditions at least 75% of seeds will germinate. Usual seed life: 3 years. Per 100′ row: 600-1M seeds, per acre: 436M seeds.
Diseases & Pests
If beets have black cankers in the roots, soil may need more boron. Dissolve 1 tablespoon of borax to 4L (8½ US pints) of water, and spread evenly over 9m² (100 sq ft) of soil. Do not overapply at a heavier rate. Circular lesions with a purple halo on the leaf is cercospera leaf spot. Prevent by rotation and sanitation. Leaf miner maggots cause blistered grey tunnels in leaves. Just squish them inside the leaf. Floating row cover carefully applied will prevent the leaf miner fly from laying its eggs.
Beets add minerals to the soil. The greens are very good for the compost. Plant with bush beans, Brassicas, corn, garlic, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, and mint. Add cut mint leaves as a mulch for beets. Avoid planting beets near pole beans.
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