Beets? Little Help Here?!

Can I just start out by saying, beets are drop-dead gorgeous! The colors are vivid, bright and deep. I love the red veining that runs through the leaves, the contrast is just beautiful. And golden beets have a beautiful orange, almost red glow…

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Now, that I’ve swooned over them a bit, I have a confession. I don’t have a lot of experience growing beets. And I could definitely use some advice. As far as I can remember, this is my second year attempting to grow them, and the first year I’ve ever grown the golden variety.

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For some reason the goldens were not nearly as hardy as my plain ol’ red variety (I think they were Detroit Dark Reds). Is this a normal occurance? I planted about the same number of reds and golds, and my reds came up pretty reliably, while only a couple of the golds held on long enough to even form a root! What’s up with that?!

They were in the same bed, and should have recieved close to the same amount of water, AND I think I even planted them at the same time!!

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Another question: They are beautiful this year, and I’ve really enjoyed using the tops as cooked greens with my swiss chard…

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But why are my beet roots so small? They are barely larger than hefty radishes!

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Does anyone out there have great advice for growing large rooted beets? And should I just expect the goldens to be less reliable than the standard red variety?

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