If you've never heard of the mangold vegetable before, don't fret – most people haven't! In fact, we just recently learned about this very ancient plant that has a very confusing history! So what is this plant and how to grow mangold vegetables? Keep reading to find out!
How to Grow Mangold
What is a Mangold Vegetable?
Mangel-wurzel (mangelwurzel) is also referred to as mangold-wurzel or simply mangold and hails from Germany. Often confused with turnips, they are in fact related to the sugar beet and the red beet. Although closely related, they tend to be bigger than beets and have a reddish/yellow color.
Mangold vegetables were primarily used for animal feed throughout the 18th century, until people found out that it's completely edible! Like most root vegetables, the root of the mangold can be boiled and then mashed (like mashed potatoes), sliced for salads, juices, and even pickles. The leaves of the mangold are also edible by steaming them.
If planted in the right conditions, mangold roots can taste sweet like beets, while the leaves are akin to spinach, and the stems taste like asparagus.
- Mangolds prefer soil that is high in composted material and has steady irrigation.
- Once this happens, the roots will become very soft and sweet, like beets!
- Mangold prefer cooler climates, so they're not recommended for tropical regions.
- They will take about 4-5 months to reach maturity, and, once they do, can reach a weight of 20lbs!
- Select a site with full sun to partial shade.
- Prepare a mound or a raised bed with at least 12 inches of loose, well draining soil.
- Work in composted material.
- Planting should be done either in early spring or fall.
- Sow each seed about 2 inches apart, and plant about 1/2 inch deep.
- Once the seedlings are 2 inches tall, thin them to a spacing of 4-8 inches.
- Mulch around young plants to retain moisture and prevent weeds.
- Water at least an inch per week, as these vegetables love moist soil.
- Plants will be ready for harvest within 5 months!
So now that you know how to grow mangold, it's time to roll up your sleeves and get to planting!
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