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The Victorians used to use beetroot as a hardy bedding plant, and the striking foliage of 'Bulls Blood' makes it easy to see why. Dating from 1840, this heirloom cultivar produces deep red-purple edible leaves and small, tasty beets which are best harvested when they're 7cm (3in) in size. The plants do best in well-drained, rich soil (not freshly manured) and can even be grown in pots: at 5cm (2in) spacing for small beets, it's possible to fit several plants into the smallest space. It's a thirsty plant, particularly if grown in pots, and needs extra water during dry periods to reduce the likelihood of bolting.
Cultivar: Bulls Blood
Plant type: Vegetable
Skill level: Beginner
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