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BETA vulgaris 'Early Blood Turnip'

Image of Beta vulgaris 'Early Blood Turnip'



Botanical Name

BETA vulgaris 'Early Blood Turnip'

Plant Common Name

Beet, Early Blood Turnip Beet

General Description

These plump beets are both early and the size and shape of a turnip. An heirloom variety dating to 1825, 'Early Blood Turnip' is not frequently grown in modern gardens even though it's a quality beet. Its roots develop quickly and may be harvested from 48 to 68 days after sowing. Baby beets can be harvested 40 days after sowing. This cultivar also boasts violet-red leaf stems that can be eaten fresh or cooked when young and tender.

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 and red stems of 'Early Blood Turnip' may also be eaten as greens in a fresh salad.


  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    5 - 10

  • Sunset Zone

    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

  • Plant Type


  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun

  • Height

    1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m

  • Width

    6"-12" / 15.2cm - 30.5cm

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer

  • Native To


Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH


  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Very Fast

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit


  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest


  • Flower Color

    Red, Green

  • Fruit Color


  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Red, Dark Green, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Red, Dark Green, Violet

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Dark Green, Violet

  • Fragrant Flowers


  • Fragrant Fruit


  • Fragrant Foliage


  • Bark or Stem Fragrant


  • Repeat Bloomer


  • Showy Fruit


  • Edible Fruit


  • Showy Foliage


  • Foliage Texture


  • Foliage Sheen


  • Evergreen


  • Showy Bark


Special Characteristics

  • Usage

    Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable

  • Sharp or Has Thorns


  • Invasive


  • Self-Sowing