Beta vulgaris 'Detroit Dark Red' (Common Beet, Detroit Dark Red Beet) is a popular cultivar of the common beet, known as the Detroit Dark Red Beet. Beets are biennial plants grown primarily for their edible roots, which are used in a variety of culinary dishes.
Roots: The most distinctive feature of the 'Detroit Dark Red' beet is its dark red to burgundy roots. These roots are typically round or globular in shape, with a sweet and earthy flavor when cooked. They are often used in salads, roasted dishes, pickles, and canning.
Leaves: While the roots are the primary edible part of the plant, the young leaves of the 'Detroit Dark Red' beet are also edible and can be used in salads or as a cooked green. Beet greens are nutritious and have a flavor similar to Swiss chard.
Growth Habit: 'Detroit Dark Red' beets are typically grown as an annual. They produce a rosette of green leaves at ground level and send up flower stalks when they enter their second year of growth. However, they are usually harvested for their roots before flowering.
Size: The size of the roots can vary depending on when they are harvested. For baby beets, you can harvest them when they are just a couple of inches in diameter, while mature beets can grow to be 3-4 inches or larger.
Days to Maturity: 'Detroit Dark Red' beets are known for their relatively short growing season. They can be ready for harvest in as little as 50 to 60 days after planting.
Cultivation: These beets are relatively easy to grow. They prefer well-draining soil and full sun but can tolerate some shade. Regular watering and thinning are important to ensure healthy root development.
Storage: Once harvested, 'Detroit Dark Red' beets can be stored in a cool, dark place for several weeks. They can also be canned or pickled for longer-term storage.
Versatility: These beets are versatile in the kitchen and can be used in various culinary applications, from salads and side dishes to soups and even desserts like beet cake.
Nutritional Value: Beets are a good source of essential nutrients, including folate, potassium, and dietary fiber. They are also rich in antioxidants and have been associated with various health benefits.
'Detroit Dark Red' beets are a popular choice for home gardeners and commercial growers alike due to their reliable production and delicious flavor. They are known for their uniform, deep red color and sweet taste, making them a favorite for both fresh and preserved beet dishes.