(Beta vulgaris) If crapaudine doesn't look like your idea of a modern table beet, that’s because, frankly, it’s not. The variety whose name comes from the French word for a female toad, is thought to be the oldest beet cultivar still in existence, dating back possibly 1000 years to the time of Charlemagne. It has a wild appearance, large bronze-red leaves and long gnarled carrot-like roots with a thick, wrinkly, bark-like skin and abundant fine root hairs. Crapaudine is beet royalty and still beloved in French markets and kitchens today. Classically it is roasted whole over a charcoal fire after which the skin easily slips off revealing the bright red flesh. It has some of the deepest, savory flavor of any beet we’ve ever roasted.
75 days. UO
Packet: 100 seeds
Product Code: BEE-CR-pkt
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Seeds can be sown as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring (April) and into late July. Some people try to push the season even earlier by sowing in flats indoors and transplanting, but we are not those kinds of people. Direct seeding is strongly recommended.
Note: Beets prefer cooler ambient temperatures, light, sandy, and loamy soil, and an even watering schedule (do not let the soil dry out before emergence!). For baby beets and greens, seeds can be sown every 2 weeks until 2 months before your first projected heavy frost.
6-8 seeds per linear foot, thinning to 2-3" between plants in rows 12-18" apart. Each seed is actually many seeds encapsulated in one package!
5-10 days @ soil temp 55-75F
Full sun to part shade
Low to medium. While beets do prefer well-prepared and fertile (to avoid scab, make sure any addition of organic matter is well composted) soil, they will tolerate lower fertility. Aim for a neutral to slightly alkaline soil with a pH between 6.0-7.0. Acidic soils (pH below 6.0) are a no no for beets!
Specific minerals needed for quality beets are boron (most common mineral deficiency in beets), calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Aim for 1-2-2 (N-P-K) fertilizer one week before sowing.
Remember that beets prefer cooler temperatures, even water, and space. Keep em weeded!
If you find that your beets are producing voluptuous greens and small roots, this means your soil is too heavy in Nitrogen.
Temperature fluctuations often causes zoning (white rings) in the roots.