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Sea Beet experiences?

 
gardener
Posts: 1062
Location: Maine, zone 5
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Just wondering if anyone has done well with sea beet sea beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima) in the USA?  I live in zone 5 and am hoping to establish some perennial clumps of sea beet....is this likely?  Hoping someone else is far ahead of me on this one .
 
pollinator
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Greg Martin wrote:Just wondering if anyone has done well with sea beet sea beet (Beta vulgaris subsp. maritima) in the USA?  I live in zone 5 and am hoping to establish some perennial clumps of sea beet....is this likely?  Hoping someone else is far ahead of me on this one .



I'm not sure what the distribution of B. maritima is in the US, but as you can see from this map, it has become resident in California:  https://www.calflora.org/cgi-bin/species_query.cgi?where-taxon=Beta+vulgaris+ssp.+maritima

As the progenitor of Swiss chard and beets in general, there is biennialism mixed in with the perennial/annual growth characteristic.  If I recall correctly, annualism is a dominant trait in sea beet and bienniels came into favor for the ability to store sugar/carbohydrate after one year of growth (stored roots can then be replanted for seed production in the following year).  This map shows the distribution of B. maritima in Europe:  https://www.pgrportal.nl/upload_mm/d/c/f/ece941a3-deff-4d03-a1f7-ab7734395802_Betavulgarismaritima_28c8983a_530x530.jpg

So on the one hand, the very northern accessions in Norway may be able to tolerate a Maine estuary (are you located on or near the ocean?), but if you are farther inland, my have to be mulched if you wish to leave them in the soil.  I would think that you may, at any rate, be able to save roots in a root cellar as a last resort, but could indeed with the right stock establish a perennial stand.  Would be interesting if you are successful.
 
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