Cylindra Beet is an heirloom, open-pollinated beet variety that produces large, cylindrical beet roots. While this variety is primarily used for commercial processing, it is a great variety for the home gardener. The cylindrical beets are much easier to slice than round beets and you get many more slices per beet. This is best beet variety for canning and pickling. Cylindra beets are shaped like a thick carrot or a thin rutabaga. Roots average 5″ long with a 2″ diameter. In addition to the large roots, Cylindra produces large, healthy tops which may be eaten as well. As roots elongate, the tops/shoulders will become exposed above the soil. To keep these shoulders smooth, pull soil upon the beets as they mature.
Beets may be direct seeded or grown as transplants. Beet seeds are naturally multigerm, which means that each seed will germinate 2-3 plants. As a result, plants will require thinning once they emerge from the soil. Failure to thin will result in overcrowding and lack of consistently sized roots. Plants should be thinned to one every 3-4″ along the row. Beets may be planted on a bed with multiple rows close together. Harvest beets when roots have reached 3-4″ in size. For storage, remove the greens and keep the roots in the refrigerator.
Growing beets from transplants is also an effective method, because thinning can be done in the trays as opposed to the ground. Place one seed per cell in our seed starting trays and thin to one plant per cell. Transplant when a solid root system has developed, when the plants can be easily pulled from the cells. Transplant into the ground at 4″ spacing along the row. Beets work great grown in double rows to maximize garden space. For double row planting, plant two rows 4″ apart with 3′ between double rows.
Cylindra Beet Planting Information
Planting Method: transplant and direct seed
When to Plant: early spring and fall
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seed Spacing: 4-6″
Row Spacing: 3′
Days to Maturity: 55
Disease Tolerance: Scab, Cercospora