Beetroot Cylindra, as its name suggests is a cylindrical (half-long or stump-rooted) beetroot. Smooth-skinned with dark purple-red flesh, it grows a dark red, elongated root 7 to 10cm (6 to 8in) long.
This unique variety has a very fine, smooth texture with little fibre, the root maintains its sweetness and tenderness over a long growing season and does not get woody.
The roots are sweet with an earthy-caramel taste, especially lovely when roasted. The roots stand proud above the soil, but can be earthed up, and remain in good condition a long period. The red-green leaves are sweeter and more “beety” tasting than other beet leaves.
Beetroot Cylindra matures medium early, a little more slowly than globe-shaped beetroot, but because of its cylindrical root shape can be and can be spaced more closely together, making it productive in small spaces. Because of its uniform width, it is ideal for cutting into uniform slices (it is sometimes called Butter Slicer), perfect for slicing, pickling and canning……Germination is in about 10 days and you will have roots to eat in about 3 months. Sow either in module trays (for careful transplanting about a month after sowing) or in situ outside about 1 inch deep, 4 inches apart in rows about 12 inches apart. Traditionally two seeds are sown at each point and then one is taken away when the seedlings are 1 inch high. Bear in mind that a beetroot seed is actually a “cluster” of up to five seeds, so you may need to thin out if they all germinate. Sow every two weeks from April until July (for a continuous supply of young beets) although you can start even earlier (March) in a greenhouse or polytunnel. Sow another batch in July which will be ready to lift in October for winter storage. Young beets are sensitive to cold spells which is why we generally wait until April to sow. Protect young seedlings with fleece if required. Overwatering encourages leave growth at the expense of root formation.