Beetroot 'Crosby's Egyptian'
When Egypt-mania swept across Europe, many things were marketed as Egyptian to make them sound more exotic and appealing, including this beetroot. Having said that, Beetroot 'Egyptian' may not be Egyptian, but has certainly withstood the test of time, remaining just as popular today. First introduced to the United States in the 1860s, renowned Boston market gardener Josiah Crosby began refining the variety in his market garden to improve the appearance of each beet, improving this beet for a smoother skin and more flattened shape. The resulting beet, Beetroot 'Crosby's Egyptian' was first listed in Vilmorin's Catalogue in 1885 and J.H. Gregory's seed catalogue in 1888, and has been available to gardeners around the world ever since.
Beetroot is a fast growing crop suitable for sowing and growing year round in most climates. Best grown quickly to keep roots palatable, harvest leaves throughout the growing season to add to salads for a splash of colour, but don't pick too many as your beetroot crop needs them to grow. Soak seed overnight before sowing. Sow direct into a well prepared soil. Each seed contains 3 plants, so thinning will be required as plants germinate and grow, to ensure adequate root growth. Young seedlings can be added to salads or transplanted. Sow every 3-4 weeks to extend your harvest. Water regularly, especially during germination. Beetroot prefers a rich soil, with plenty of well rotted compost dug in. Drainage is important, as is a pH of 6.5-7, so add some lime or dolomite if needed. Beetroot of irregular colour, or woody, tough roots can be the result of irregular watering or a very high pH.