Log-in

Detroit Dark Red Beet

Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris

$3.95

Out of Stock - see date below

Would you like to be notified by email when Detroit Dark Red Beet becomes available?

Description

60 days. Erica first came across the Detroit Dark Red beet in 1997 as a farm apprentice in Santa Cruz, CA and thought, "why is this beet named after Detroit?" A Michigan native herself, Erica could not believe this sweet beet hailed from the Motor City. Apparently, it's relatively unknown that around the turn of the 20th century Detroit was a leading hub of vegetable seed activity. The Detroit Dark Red beet was first introduced in 1892 by D.M. Ferry seed company of Detroit (see Seed Stories). Since then, it has set the standard for red beets. Detroit Dark Red is nearly globe shaped and displays a striking, deep red color. 2.5-3" diameter roots. Stores well. These sweet beets are great raw, cooked, pickled, grated or juiced. Greens are edible—eat them just like you would chard!

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

For early beets, you can start seeds indoors 3/15 (at 80°). Once leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Transplant outside 5/1 (3” apart in rows 12” apart). Or, sow beet seeds outside anytime 5/15 – 8/1. Sow seeds ½” deep, 1.5” apart in rows 12” apart. Keep seeds consistently moist until germination. Days to germination: 5-7. Try interplanting radish seeds with beets which will be ready much earlier than the beets. Rocks and clods in soil will cause beets to be disfigured. Keep beets moist and well weeded. Beets will have the best flavor and texture when grown in cooler weather.

 

Harvest:

Check beets frequently and harvest them as soon as they are mature (as soon as they stop increasing in size). Some roots might not reach full size – harvest them too. Don’t let your beets stay in the ground too long – they will become tough and woody.

 

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Beets are a fairly difficult seed saving crop as they are a biennial. Sow seeds 8/1. Dig beet roots when mature in fall & select the best roots for the seed crop. Store beet roots over the winter at 34°-37° & 95% humidity. Plant beet roots outside as soon as the soil thaws, 30” apart and they will flower and produce seed over the summer. Beets are wind pollinated and cross-pollinated crops (isolation distance from other beets and chard is 1-2 miles). But since beets & chard don’t normally overwinter and flower you won’t usually need to worry about crossing unless 1) neighbors are saving beet/chard seeds or 2) you live near sugar beet fields which are usually GMO (sometimes sugar beet plants will bolt).  Minimum population size: 25 plants.

Seed Stories

 It is believed that beets originated in the Mediteranean region where, moderated by the Mediteranean Sea, cooler summertime temperatures and warmer wintertime temperatures are ideal for beets. Beets are in the “Goosefoot” family (Chenopodiaceae) along with spinach, orach, Good King Henry, lamb’s quarters, and chard. Chard (aka “Swiss Chard) and beet share the same species (Beta vulgaris), which means that they are very closely related and will easily pollinate one another. The first documented use of beets as vegetables is in Germany in the 16th century.

Erica first came across the Detroit Dark Red beet in 1997 as a farm apprentice in Santa Cruz, CA and thought, "Why is this beet named after Detroit?" A Michigan native herself, Erica could not believe this sweet beet hailed from the Motor City. It is relatively unknown that around the turn of the 20th century, Detroit was a leading hub of vegetable seed activity.  A Mr. Reeves of Port Hope, Ontario made original selections of Detroit Dark Red beet from Early Blood Turnip. Further selections and improvements were made by D.M. Ferry & Co of Detroit, who first listed it in their 1892 catalog as Detroit Dark Red Turnip. While many of the beet varieties from that era have gone extinct, Detroit Dark Red has been so popular and adaptable that it set the standard for red beets and continues to be popular today. We are working to grow Detroit Dark Red seeds locally – finally bringin’ the DDR beet back to Michigan!

Detroit Dark Red Beet [[start tab]]

Description

60 days. Erica first came across the Detroit Dark Red beet in 1997 as a farm apprentice in Santa Cruz, CA and thought, "why is this beet named after Detroit?" A Michigan native herself, Erica could not believe this sweet beet hailed from the Motor City. Apparently, it's relatively unknown that around the turn of the 20th century Detroit was a leading hub of vegetable seed activity. The Detroit Dark Red beet was first introduced in 1892 by D.M. Ferry seed company of Detroit (see Seed Stories). Since then, it has set the standard for red beets. Detroit Dark Red is nearly globe shaped and displays a striking, deep red color. 2.5-3" diameter roots. Stores well. These sweet beets are great raw, cooked, pickled, grated or juiced. Greens are edible—eat them just like you would chard!

[[end tab]] [[start tab]]

Growing

Growing Instructions (for USDA Zone 5b):

For early beets, you can start seeds indoors 3/15 (at 80°). Once leaves appear, grow plants at 72°. Transplant outside 5/1 (3” apart in rows 12” apart). Or, sow beet seeds outside anytime 5/15 – 8/1. Sow seeds ½” deep, 1.5” apart in rows 12” apart. Keep seeds consistently moist until germination. Days to germination: 5-7. Try interplanting radish seeds with beets which will be ready much earlier than the beets. Rocks and clods in soil will cause beets to be disfigured. Keep beets moist and well weeded. Beets will have the best flavor and texture when grown in cooler weather.

 

Harvest:

Check beets frequently and harvest them as soon as they are mature (as soon as they stop increasing in size). Some roots might not reach full size – harvest them too. Don’t let your beets stay in the ground too long – they will become tough and woody.

 

Seed Saving Instructions (for gardeners):

Beets are a fairly difficult seed saving crop as they are a biennial. Sow seeds 8/1. Dig beet roots when mature in fall & select the best roots for the seed crop. Store beet roots over the winter at 34°-37° & 95% humidity. Plant beet roots outside as soon as the soil thaws, 30” apart and they will flower and produce seed over the summer. Beets are wind pollinated and cross-pollinated crops (isolation distance from other beets and chard is 1-2 miles). But since beets & chard don’t normally overwinter and flower you won’t usually need to worry about crossing unless 1) neighbors are saving beet/chard seeds or 2) you live near sugar beet fields which are usually GMO (sometimes sugar beet plants will bolt).  Minimum population size: 25 plants.

[[end tab]] [[start tab]]

Seed Stories

 It is believed that beets originated in the Mediteranean region where, moderated by the Mediteranean Sea, cooler summertime temperatures and warmer wintertime temperatures are ideal for beets. Beets are in the “Goosefoot” family (Chenopodiaceae) along with spinach, orach, Good King Henry, lamb’s quarters, and chard. Chard (aka “Swiss Chard) and beet share the same species (Beta vulgaris), which means that they are very closely related and will easily pollinate one another. The first documented use of beets as vegetables is in Germany in the 16th century.

Erica first came across the Detroit Dark Red beet in 1997 as a farm apprentice in Santa Cruz, CA and thought, "Why is this beet named after Detroit?" A Michigan native herself, Erica could not believe this sweet beet hailed from the Motor City. It is relatively unknown that around the turn of the 20th century, Detroit was a leading hub of vegetable seed activity.  A Mr. Reeves of Port Hope, Ontario made original selections of Detroit Dark Red beet from Early Blood Turnip. Further selections and improvements were made by D.M. Ferry & Co of Detroit, who first listed it in their 1892 catalog as Detroit Dark Red Turnip. While many of the beet varieties from that era have gone extinct, Detroit Dark Red has been so popular and adaptable that it set the standard for red beets and continues to be popular today. We are working to grow Detroit Dark Red seeds locally – finally bringin’ the DDR beet back to Michigan!

[[end tab]]
$3.95 Out of Stock
Scroll to top