Beta vulgaris (56 days) Open-pollinated. Also known as Forono and Formanova, a long smooth regular cylindrical beet, growing to 7", dark red, sweet and beety. Highly marketable and not at all woody, in the words of one trialer, “a fine all-around beet suitable for baking, cooking, and pickling.” Roberta rates them the darkest and least fibrous of our beets. Roots will push up out of the ground and develop rough shoulders. Heirloom from the 1880s, originally from Denmark. ②④
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About 800-3600 seeds/oz, with variations. ⅛ oz packet sows 20 ft; 1 oz sows 160 ft.
Days to maturity are from emergence after direct sowing.
Culture: Spring or fall, beets are hardy and easy to grow. Can be sown almost as soon as ground can be worked in spring. Minimum germination temperature 40°, optimal range 60–85°. For full-sized beets, you must thin to at least 3" apart. Early thinnings make good salad greens; baby-beet thinnings cooked with tops are a Yankee delight!
Disease: PM: Powdery Mildew DM: Downy Mildew CLS: Cercospora Leaf Spot looks like someone shot a series of small target-like circles in the foliage. Prolonged periods of rainfall and high humidity exacerbate this disease. In serious cases the spots darken and extend. Rotating crops, removing plant debris, and wider spacing to ensure adequate air circulation are preventive measures.
Scab, the same disease that afflicts potatoes, causes rough brown spots on the skin. Adequate irrigation is a preventive.
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.