Merlin Beet is a hybrid beet variety that is known for it’s uniformity and sugar content. Merlin produces consistently round roots that are 3-4″ in diameter. These beets are a dark burgundy color and have a deep, rich inside. Merlin is a variety known for its sweetness, as it has a very high sugar content compared to other beet varieties. Due to the high sugar content, they store very well in a refrigerated environment. In addition to the beet roots, Merlin produces glossy, green tops that can be eaten as well. These tops can get as large as 15-17″ and are relatively disease resistant. Merlin is a great variety for eating raw in salads, roasting or pickling. It also is a great variety for juicing due to the high sugar content.
Beets may be direct seeded or grown as transplants. Beet seeds are 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.
Merlin 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: Downy Mildew, Cercospora