Chioggia Guardsmark Beet - Organic
350 seeds per packet approx.
Season & Zone
Season: Cool season
Start indoors at the end of May or early June. Transplant to the garden by mid-August so the plants are in the ground for 45-60 days before the first hard frost. Optimal soil temperature for germination: 10-30°C (50-85°F). Seeds should germinate in 7-10 days.
Sow 3-4 seeds per pot, 5mm (¼”) deep, under very bright light. Thin to the strongest plant. Transplants should be set out when they have 6-8 true leaves. Space transplants 45-60cm (18-24″) apart in rows 75-90cm (30-36″) apart.
Ideal pH: 6.0-7.5. Plant in humus-rich soil amended with composted manure. Mix ¼ cup complete organic fertilizer into the soil under each transplant. High nitrogen levels result in loose sprouts with internal browning, so do not fertilize after midsummer. Cool temperatures during sprout development are important for compact, quality sprouts.
Sprouts are sweeter after moderate freezes. Pick when sprouts are firm and well-formed, beginning with the ones at the bottom. The upper sprouts continue to form and enlarge as the bottom ones are harvested. For a once over harvest, to ensure you have enough for your holiday meal, pinch out the growing point at the top of the stem when the lower sprouts are 1-2 cm (½-¾”) in diameter. A full stem of evenly sized sprouts will develop in about 2 weeks.
After harvesting the sprouts, there is another harvest-in early spring. The plant sends up long, edible flower stalks which are tender and sweet when steamed, or served raw with a dip.
Season & Zone
Diseases & Pests
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