Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris
Days to Maturity: 20–35 days
Native: Mediterranean region, Europe
Hardiness: Biennial; fairly cold tolerant. Will overwinter in mild climates and withstand light to moderate freezes.
Variety Information: As a baby green, small leaves with wide, fan-like, savoyed (crinkled) green leaves. Mix of white and red stems.
When to Sow Outside: 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, when soil temperature is at least 40°F, ideally 75°–90°F. Sow as late as 2 months before first fall frost. Mild climates: Sow in fall.
When to Start Inside: RECOMMENDED. Sow indoors any time of year, with indoor temperatures 60°–75°F. Successive Sowings: Every 2 weeks for a continual supply.
Days to Emerge: 5–10 days
Seed Depth: ½"
Seed Spacing: 3/4"
Thinning: Not required.
Harvesting: When seedlings emerge, the first pair of leaves to show are the cotyledons, which can look very different from the leaves that follow, called "true" leaves. Baby greens are ready to harvest when they have true leaves, at 2"–4". Slow growers, or cool growing temperatures may require more time. Harvest by cutting just above the soil line. For more than one harvest (up to 3 before flavor declines) leave about 1/2" of leafy growth on the small plants so they can regenerate.