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Other varieties

Beetroot

Beetroot Beta Vulgaris

Beetroots do best in a light soil that is rich, but has not been recently manured. Earliest sowings can be made into seed trays under glass in February or March, and the quickest varieties will be ready in about two months. The “seeds” of older varieties are actually fruit clusters that contain three or four seeds. They should be thinned to a single plant after germination, allowing about 10cm between plants. The leaves, as well as the roots, are good to eat. Varieties cross easily; so only grow one variety for seed at a time.

Covent Garden

Described by Vilmorin in The Vegetable Garden (1885), this is a long, slender beet with deep red flesh and a delicate, smooth flavour. The black-red leaves make an attractive addition to both veg plot and flower border. Our Seed Guardians report that this variety seems to experience no problems with pests or diseases.

Please note: this variety needs a little bit more of a helping hand, so we are not able to send out seeds with gifts, however by adopting it you will be directly contributing to its conservation, so that one day we will be able to make it available to everyone.

Dobbies Purple

Bred in the early 1900s by Dobbies of Edinburgh, this variety produces attractive red stems and long, tapered roots weighing up to 1.5kg if allowed to grow on. Even at this tremendous size the roots do not become woody. The beets have a sweet flavour, some having lighter rings when cut across. The roots can be cut prior to cooking without any of the colour bleeding.

Please note: this variety needs a little bit more of a helping hand, so we are not able to send out seeds with gifts, however by adopting it you will be directly contributing to its conservation, so that one day we will be able to make it available to everyone.

White Devoy

This late-maturing, pure white beetroot with a delicate flavour was derived from the purple beetroot ‘Devoy’. It produces irregularly shaped, hairy, tapering beets with knobbly side roots. The edible foliage can be cooked and eaten like chard. Seed Guardian Mike Wicken says “add to the salad bowl for something a little different – and a surprise for your guests when they discover it’s a beetroot!”.

Please note: this variety needs a little bit more of a helping hand, so we are not able to send out seeds with gifts, however by adopting it you will be directly contributing to its conservation, so that one day we will be able to make it available to everyone.

Yellow Intermediate Mangel

Mangel (meaning shortage) Worzels have a history in England of being used for sport (mangold hurling), for celebration (mangold lanterns at punkie night in Somerset) and as a winter staple. This variety is a French heirloom from the 1800s. The yellow/orange-skinned roots have a sweet white flesh and the leaves make chard-like steamed greens. Seed Guardian Anne Wheldon gives them her “special commendation”.

Please note: this variety needs a little bit more of a helping hand, so we are not able to send out seeds with gifts, however by adopting it you will be directly contributing to its conservation, so that one day we will be able to make it available to everyone.


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