Sweetest Beet?

vgkg(Z-7)November 6, 2012

Hi there folks,

I usually grow Detroit Reds (doing well this fall) but was wondering if any of you had a favorite beet variety that might be sweeter? Thanks for suggestions.

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farmerdill

Best for my money is the ancient Blood Turnip. It is not pretty or uniform but has the best flavor.

Among the modern varieties; Eagle
If you like beet greens and a decent table beet Tall Top Early Wonder.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 5:34PM
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planatus(6)

They are all so different that it's hard to say, but if you want lots of uniform beets you gotta stick with the red ones. That said, yellow, white and pink beets have a less complex flavor, so they come through as sweeter when cooked. I have yet to find a variety that is fast and productive, but I keep growing the light beets as table fare because they are so good, and so beautiful. Several seed companies offer mixtures, which is a good way to get to know these offbeat beets.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 8:13AM
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jonfrum(6)

When I think beets I really don't think sweet. There are subtle taste differences, they cook up differently, and some store better than others. What I look for in beets definitely isn't sweetness. Corn? Definitely. But today, most all the corn grown for fresh sale is plenty sweet enough.

Taste is always going to be personal, so one person's 'sweet' beets is going to be mushy to another. I'd just rotate thrugh as many varieties as you have room for, until you find one you really like.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 12:22PM
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zzackey(8b GA)

jonfrom, we bought some very sweet beets at Sav-a-lot the other day. They tasted like candy to me! I've only eaten the canned ones. From now on I will only eat the fresh ones.
Farmerdill, I always enjoy reading what you advise. I'm not sure where to find the seeds for the ones you recommended or know if they will grow in 8b. I several varieties I got on seed exchange. I've never planted them before. Can you please give me advice on how to grow them and when to harvest them? Thanks!

    Bookmark   November 8, 2012 at 8:05PM
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farmerdill

Zackey. I plant beets in late February. Have not had any success with fall beets, just too hot and dry here to get them started. They like a high pH so I use wood ashes on beet plots, other than that no special prep. only a few varieties have not not done well. Most are good, a few excellent.
Wetzel is the only company I have found that vend the Blood Turnip. I have been getting them from Merrifield http://merrifieldgardencenter.com/Products/Seeds---Seed-Starting-Supplies/Vegetable-Seeds.aspx

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 8:11AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Hi again, Veggieking - long time no see.

    Bookmark   November 9, 2012 at 11:12AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Thanks for all the great advice!!
Those are good looking beets Farmerdill! I will try the suggested varieties. Being here in Z-7 we can grow beets well both in spring and fall. My luck with beets has improved since using Thomas Jefferson's method which I saw at Montecello a few years ago. I use to sprinkle the seed randomly in a wide row and thinned them out. But TJ's method using a wide row was to plant 2 thin rows within the wide row. The extra room helped greatly. Another tip is that a beet seed is a clump of seeds together so thinning them each out to just one beet sprout helps make for bigger beets.

Hi Flora, yes, been absent for a long time here, my posting time has been spread too thin, esp now that I'm retired, ha.
Happy Gardening Everyone! Gardening can't be Beet...ugh ;)

    Bookmark   November 10, 2012 at 5:41PM
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chervil2(z5 MA)

I was very impressed with the 3 Root Grex Beet from Fedco seeds. The beets were giant and stayed sweet and tender for many months in the garden.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 9:17AM
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suburbangreen(8)

I like a hybrid called Red Ace for overall quality. It's a dark red type that's sweet, early, and uniform.
Early wonder is another one I like to grow.

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 9:51PM
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