The fodder beet is native to the temperate zone of Europe, is thought to have originated from a cross between the red and white garden beet, and was likely first cultivated in Germany (Wilson, 1859). Fodder beets were cultivated throughout Europe from at least the mid-1500s primarily as livestock fodder but were also eaten by people, especially during food shortages.
Red Mammoth Mangel Beets produce an massive crop of edible beet leaves and a large root up to 20# or more in size! These beets prefer deeply tilled, free draining, sandy soil to achieve full size. Simply allow your animals to graze on the tops, cut the tops for feeding or harvest the root.
Beet seeds can be planted in early spring or midsummer. Soak seeds overnight in damp towel before planting for excellent germination. Plant beet seeds 1” apart, 1/2" deep, and thin weakest seedlings to desired spacing. Keep soil evenly moist to prevent beet roots from getting woody. For longer harvest, stagger beet plantings every 2-3 weeks.
Heirloom seeds are hardy but always take care with your garden seeds to give them the appropriate amount of moisture - not letting the vegetable seeds dry out prematurely or overwatering and possibly having them rot.