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BETA vulgaris 'Baby Ball'
Baby Ball Beet, Beet
Small with smooth skin, 'Baby Ball' beets are sweet, red and perfect for pickling or cooking whole. The ideal harvest size is 1 to 1.5 inches (2.5 to 4 cm) in diameter. These beets develop quickly and may be harvested about 55 days after sowing. Their bright glossy greens are also edible and have red leaf stems. Early harvest when temperatures are cool will ensure a sweet, mild flavor while older, roots harvested in hot weather often develop a bitter flavor.
Usually grown as annuals, beets are true biennials, which mean they generate large roots and lush foliage in the first year and flower, set seed and die in the second. The flowers are unimpressive but produce lots of seed that can be saved from year to year. Beets originate from Europe where they have been cultivated for hundreds of years.
This is a cool-season vegetable that can be grown in two seasonal cycles, if the growing season is four or more months long. For spring harvest, sow seeds in the garden in early spring, thin them to around a hand's width apart and harvest in early summer. For fall harvest, sow seeds in late summer and harvest roots before the first frost of autumn.
Grow beets in full sun and fertile, friable garden soil. It is best to berm up the soil where they are grown to ensure the roots have lots of loose, well-drained soil. They require regular water and light fertilization. The seeds germinate more quickly if soaked in warm water for 30 minutes before planting.
Beets are especially popular in northern European and Russian cooking because they grow best in cooler northerly regions. They taste great pickled, roasted, sautéed or added to salads and soups. The tender green leaves of 'Baby Ball' may also be cooked and eaten as a green in fresh salads.
12 - 1
5 - 10
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
6"-10" / 15.2cm - 25.4cm
5"-8" / 12.7cm - 20.3cm
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Spring, Summer, Fall
Red, Dark Green
Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable
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