Beta vulgaris (53 days baby; 85 days full size) F-1 hybrid. As an early baby and summer crop, vigorous healthy greens top elegant uniform heart-shaped roots. The tender deep red interior was mild and sweet even after 2018’s dry scorching June. Come fall, full-size rounded-heart roots develop sweet deep full flavor with zero bitter sharpness. Triple-happiness is complete when Kestrel emerges from long storage firm and yummy after other beet varieties have wrinkled or rotted! Kestrel is now perched in our beet-like hearts. Intermediate resistance to DM, PM, CLS and rhizoctonia. .⑤
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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.