Have you ever heard of Mangel wurzel? Neither had we until recently. After researching we decided to try growing it this past winter and were surprised at how easy it was to grow. Mangel wurzel is also known as fodder beet, mangold, mangel beet and field beet and belong to the same family as beetroot and chard. Both the root and leaves are edible. The root can grow to more than 18kg however we pick them while they are young as we cannot imagine they would be nice eating at this size. It is a great potato substitute and has a lovely earthy flavour.
Choose you variety
There are primarily two varieties, being white and yellow. There is little information available on this but from our experience with growing both varieties we could not tell the difference in taste or in growing them.
Sowing your Mangel Wurzel seeds
Mangel wurzel can be direct sown or sown into seedling trays. Mangel wurzel can also be multi sown so you can plant 3 to 4 seeds per cell or hole. Space the plants between 20-30cm apart. Sow the seed 15mm deep.
Where to plant your Mangel Wurzel
Mangel wurzel is best grown in the cooler months, though it could be grown under shade during the hot summer. Mangel Wurzel loves full sun, rich well-draining soil. Do not forget to mulch it especially in the summer to stop the soil drying out.
Caring for you Mangel Wurzel
Mangel wurzel is an easy crop to manage, after planting in a well-prepared garden bed, we recommend liquid feeding for the first few weeks, then sit back and watch them grow.
Common Problem with Mangel Wurzel
The only problem we came across growing mangel wurzel was snail and slugs. Here is how we control them.
Great Companion Plants for Mangel Wurzel
Things that grow well with mangel wurzel are kohlrabi, onion, lettuce, brassicas, dill, lovage, marjoram, silver beet (Swiss Chard), dwarf bean, peas, and strawberries.
Bad companion Plants for Mangel Wurzel
Avoid growing with asparagus, carrots, sweetcorn, and spinach.