Magazine article Sunset

Inner Beauties

Magazine article Sunset

Inner Beauties

Article excerpt

Hard to find but easy to grow, Chioggia beets dress up any plate.


On the outside, a Chioggia (kee-oh-jah) looks like any common beet. But slicing it crosswise reveals a gorgeous red-and-white bull's-eye. This heirloom variety dates back to the mid-i8oos and has a sweet, mild flavor that makes it extra versatile. Order seeds from Seed Savers Exchange (


Compared with red beets, Chioggias don't bleed much color, so they're ideal for mixing in salads. Choose small beets if you're planning to eat them raw - they're more tender. Larger ones will be paler and a bit woody, so save them for roasting or boiling.


SOW seeds in rich, well-draining soil in full sun. Space seeds about an inch apart, and cover with 1U inch of compost. If growing in pots, choose a container that's at least 8 inches deep and wide, and fill with fresh potting soil.


KEEP soil moist but not soggy, and feed beets lightly with an organic fertilizer when tops are a few inches tall. …

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