Botanical Name: Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris
Days to Maturity: 50–60 days
Native: Mediterranean region, Europe
Hardiness: Biennial; fairly cold tolerant. Will overwinter in mild climates and withstand light to moderate freezes.
Plant Dimensions: Up to 24" tall
Variety Information: Large, glossy, dark green, deeply crumpled leaves with broad white petioles (leafstalks).
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 40#176;F, ideally 75°–90°F. Sow as late as 2 months before first fall frost. Mild Climates: Sow in fall.
When to Start Inside: 4 to 6 weeks before transplanting out, 2 to 4 weeks before your average last frost date (protect from heavy freezes).
Days to Emerge: 5–10 days
Seed Depth: ½"
Seed Spacing: A group of 2–3 seeds every 6"–8"
Row Spacing: 18"
Thinning: When ½" tall, thin to 1 every 8"
Harvesting: Pick up to 1/3 of the outer leaves as needed, and let more leaves grow from the center of the plant; or, if desired, harvest the whole plant 2" above ground, and it will grow back. Pick very young leaves, at 2"-4" for using fresh in salads.