All About Growing Beets

Growing beets in your garden, and cooking beets in your kitchen, will open your world to rarer beet varieties, including ‘Chioggia’ and golden beets, and even mangels to use as homegrown livestock feed.

| February/March 2012

Colorful Beets Illustration

Red table beets are only the tip of the beet iceberg: Mangel beets can be used as livestock fodder, storage beets can be eaten all winter, and white or golden beets make a stunning edible display when mixed in a beet salad.


(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

Growing beets will give you delicious, colorful roots and nutritious greens. Closely related to spinach and chard, and once called “blood turnips” because of their bright red juice, beets also can be golden, white or striped. If you keep livestock, you can grow special varieties of forage or mangel beets to feed to your animals in winter.

Types to Try

Red table beets produce edible greens in 35 days, followed by round or cylindrical roots a month later. Leaves from most red beets have red stems and leaf veins similar to red-leafed chard varieties.

White, orange and golden beets are prized for their mild, nutty flavor. Because they don’t bleed red juice, these beets are best for roasting with other vegetables.

Storage beets are table beet varieties that excel when grown for fall harvest followed by winter storage in your refrigerator or root cellar.

Mangel beets, often called forage beets or mangel-wurzel beets, grow huge roots weighing from 5 to 20 pounds each that can be used as livestock fodder in winter.

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