NAME: Giant Red Beet
OTHER COMMON NAMES: Mangelwurzel / Mangold Wurzel / Mangold / Mangel Beet / Field Beet / Mammoth Long Red Beet
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Beta Vulgaris
COLOR: Red Skinned Beets with Pale Yellow Flesh / Red Veined Leaves
PLANT SEEDS: Spring after danger of frost / Can also be fall planted in warmer areas
HARVEST: 150 Days
HARDINESS ZONE: Annual
PLANT HEIGHT: 12"
PLANT SPACING: 24"
LIGHT REQUIREMENTS: Sun
SOIL & WATER PREFERENCES: Average
QUANTITY: 75 Seeds
OTHER: These beets are indeed giant! A single beet can commonly grow to weigh 20 pounds, & beets weighing 40 pounds are not uncommon. The heaviest on record weighed over 54 pounds! The huge red roots have tender pale yellow flesh, & they can measure between 2 – 3’ long. These heirlooms were developed in the 1700s as a fodder crop for livestock & they are still in use today. They are grown as a summer crop in cooler climates, & in warmer climates can be grow both as a summer & as a winter crop. The beets do also store well.
Humans can enjoy these beets as well! For human consumption, the beet roots are harvested when they are younger & most sweet, tender, & flavorful. They can be boiled for mash, diced, pickled, & more. There is even an old Scottish mangel beet beer recipe. The leaves are also edible, & can be used in the same ways one would use spinach.
In some places in England & Wales, these giant beets are carved out & made into Halloween lanterns called “Punkies” like one would carve a pumpkin to make a jack o’ lantern.
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