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How to sow and grow Chioggia beets

Chioggia beets have beautiful red and white stripes. They taste a little sweeter than red beets and are delicious raw in salads.

Add young beet leaves to salads and the older ones to stir-fry dishes.
Chioggia bieten in de Makkelijke Moestuin
Chioggia beets: ready to harvest

What are Chioggia beets?

This tuberous root is best known as beet or beetroot. This Chioggia variety is related to the sugar beet. It contains fewer calories and less sugar but somehow tastes even sweeter.

Most beets grow round and red, but you have other varieties too. Flat or egg-shaped, white, or yellow. These ones are red and white striped on the inside: and they're beautiful. The leaves are green with a pinkish streak.

Chioggia beets are an old variety named for the Italian town they originate from.
Chioggia bieten van de Makkelijke Moestuin
Sliced Chioggia beet

Vitamins and minerals in Chioggia beets

Beets are super healthy. They're packed with vitamins: especially vitamin C and folic acid. They also contain a lot of minerals like manganese, iron, copper, potassium, and magnesium. The red coloring is great for healthy blood vessels and can help to lower blood pressure.

Bonus healthy snack? The leaves. They're full of carotene and minerals.
Chioggia bieten zijn super gezond
The whole plant is super healthy

More about our Chioggia beet seeds

Homegrown beets are delicious. Chioggia beets are pink on the outside and striped on the inside. They may take a little while to grow, but when they do you'll be glad you waited.

  • Species name: Chioggia
  • Family: root
  • Plants per square patch: 9
  • Height: 25 to 40 cm
  • Sowing time: mid-April to late August
  • Sowing depth: 1 - 1.5 cm
  • Germination time: 12 - 18°C and in 5 - 7 days
  • Time to harvest: after 9 - 10 weeks
  • Sunlight: the more sun there is, the sweeter the beets

Here you can find our Chioggia beets sold separately, but you can also find them in the MM-Specials seed pack:

What do you need to grow your own Chioggia beets?

Just this:
  • a 30x30 cm patch with airy, nutritious soil mix
  • Chioggia beet seeds
  • a place that gets at least 6-8 hours of sunlight a day

In other words: an MM-Mini, or a square patch in one of our garden boxes, filled with MM-Mix.

Growing your own Chioggia beets is super easy with the MM-Mix. If you grow in low-quality (potting) soil, disappointment is pretty much guaranteed. So don't skimp on soil mix: go for the best.
Chioggia bieten in een Makkelijke Moestuin mini
Chioggia beets in an MM-Mini

How do you sow and grow Chioggia beets?

Our Chioggia beets are included in the free Planty Gardening app. Use it, and you'll get step-by-step guidance from seed to harvest.

Each vegetable goes through a number of stages - we call them levels. The app tells you exactly what to do at each level and checks in when your plants are ready for the next.

So you don't need to know how to grow Chioggia beets before you start: the app takes you through every step.

But if you'd like to read more about those steps, here's what the whole process looks like:

Level 1: Sowing Chioggia beets

First, pick a square patch in the middle of your garden box and loosen up the damp MM-Mix. Then, sow like this:

  • poke 9 holes in the square patch (no deeper than 1 cm)
  • put 1 to 2 seeds in each hole
  • carefully cover the holes with soil mix

After about 10 days, you'll see something green come up. It depends a bit on the weather.
Zaden van de Makkelijke Moestuin Chioggia biet
Chioggia beet seeds

Level 2: Chioggia beet seedlings

As soon as you see the first seedlings, you know things are going well. They probably won't all come up at once, but give it another week.

Then it's time for the next level.

Level 3: Thinning out beets

Several seedlings come up in each hole you sowed? Choose the best and remove the rest: that's called thinning out. It might sound harsh, but it's necessary. The remaining plants need enough room to grow. 

Here's how: take a pair of scissors, leave the biggest and prettiest seedling per hole, and cut off the others at the soil line. Never pull them up like a weed. That can damage the roots of your remaining plants.

If you see spots where nothing came up, sow a few more seeds. Beets - like carrots and radishes - can't be transplanted.
Zaailing van de Makkelijke Moestuin Chioggia biet
These Chioggia beet seedlings are ready to be thinned out

Level 4: Caring for your Chioggia beet plants

After a week or 2, your seedlings will become small plants.

You hardly need to do anything for the next 5 weeks: if the weather's dry, give them some water and remove the odd dead or yellow leaf. Easy 🙂
Kleine plantjes van de Makkelijke Moestuin Chioggia biet
Small plants: 1 month after sowing

Level 5: Harvesting beet leaves

Chioggia beet plants produce a lot of fresh green leaves, more than red beets. They grow taller too.

About 4 weeks after sowing, you can harvest the leaves for salads.

Harvest - at most - a third of the leaves from each plant: it needs the rest to make the beet grow. Also, always leave the growth core: that's the center of the plant where new leaves come in.
Frisgroen blad van de Chioggia biet
The Chioggia's been fresh green leaves

Level 6: Harvesting Chioggia beets

About 8 to 9 weeks after sowing - at the earliest - you see your first beets. They often stick out a little above the soil mix.

When they're about the size of a ping-pong ball, they're ready to harvest. They won't all grow the same: some grow faster than others. Harvest the largest beets first, so that the rest can continue to grow.

Keep watering them regularly. This helps prevent the beets from getting woody.
Net geoogste Chioggia bieten uit de Makkelijke Moestuin
Freshly harvested Chioggia beets

What do you use Chioggia beets for?

Most people only eat the beet itself. You can boil it, stew it, or roast it in the oven. 

Raw beets are super healthy. You can grate them through a salad or enjoy them in a smoothie.

Since these beets have such a beautiful striped center, it's nice to slice them in a salad or use them as an edible garnish. If you boil the beets, they become paler in color and the stripes are less visible.

The young leaves are delicious raw in salads. Older beet leaves are good in stews, stir-fry dishes, or pasta.

The possibilities are almost endless:
Salade met schijfjes van jonge Chioggia bietjes
A beautiful salad with Chioggia beets. Photo: Silvia Hietbrink

The last levels

Keep harvesting until your beet patch is empty.

Beets are very resistant to cold, so you can leave them for a long time in the fall. A little frost makes the beets even sweeter 🙂

The last level: empty the square patch in your garden box or your MM-Mini and prepare it for the next round of sowing.

So: are you ready to grow Chioggia beets yourself?

Good idea 😉  They are super tasty and easy to grow. All you need is some patience.

Plus: with our app and materials, it's almost impossible to fail.

Order your Chioggia seeds here or get started with a complete starter kit:

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