(Beta vulgaris) The Chioggia beet (pronounced kee-OH-gee-uh), also known as the Candy Cane or Bullseye Beet, is a beautiful Italian heirloom that dates back to pre-1840. It’s most noted for its striking deep pink and white spirals, which add a beautiful pop of color to salads or soups.
The Chioggia beet has a sweet, mild flavor and matures early. This variety also ‘bleeds’ less than other beets and won’t redden your other ingredients so much. The tops are green with a pink striped stem and can be enjoyed like spinach.
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Sow outside 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost for an early summer crop. Sow in late summer for fall crop. Avoid growing during hot temperatures as beets will become tough and stringy. Plant beet seeds 1” apart and thin to desired spacing.
Soak seeds for 8 to 24 hours before sowing for best germination.
Beets are a good indicator of soil pH. For optimal growth, a soil pH above 5.5–6 is best.
Thinning is necessary, as the seed is actually a dried fruit with 1-5 seeds, so you may get more than one seedling out of each seed planted.