In my What I’m Planting in 2011 post I mentioned the Mangel beet. I wanted to give everyone more information on this wonderful plant, including a little history, and planting information.
Mangel Beets are a member of the Beta Vulgaris family, and a French heirloom from the 1800’s. They have a milder, more subtle flavor than their cousin, the red beet. They’re a sweet yellow-fleshed root that can reach up to 10 lbs. before becoming “woody”. They grow large green leaves that can be steamed and eaten at any time while the plant grows. Mangels are easy to grow and keep very well.
When the soil begins to thaw, sow 1 seed per inch in rows 12 inches apart. Continue to plant new seeds every 2-4 weeks for a continued supply. The seedbed should be kept moist during this time.
Soil and Water:
Mangels prefer neutral soils. Work compost into the first few inches and water moderately through harvest time.
You can harvest the green leaves at the top anytime to feed to your chickens or to steam for your dinner table. The flavor will be the best when the root is small to medium sized. Store harvested beets in cool areas, and pack in moist sand to extend storage time.
You can buy Mangel Beet seeds directly off Amazon at: Organic Yellow Intermediate Mangel Beet – 50 Seeds if you’d like to try them in your garden!