Fire engine red, golden yellow, deep purple, or candy cane striped, their range of colors and flavors never ceases to amaze me.No matter the variety, just a few slices of these juicy, vibrant roots can transform any ho-hum dish into an extravagant delicacy.Figuring out when to harvest your beets depends on a few factors, including the variety, the time of year they were planted, and the average temperature where they are growing.While some people argue that the smaller roots have more flavor and juiciness, others prefer to allow them to reach a larger size before picking.Allowing them to grow a bit larger is certainly fine, but be warned that if you wait too long to harvest, they may become fibrous, soft, or wrinkled, and will eventually start to lose some of their succulent flavor.If the greens are beginning to look wilted – and you know the crop is near its time to harvest – the root is likely passing its prime and should be picked right away.When you have decided it’s time to harvest, use a garden fork or knife to gently loosen the soil around each plant, being careful not to accidentally slice into any of the roots.Tip: If you water your crop a couple of days before you plan to harvest, it will help the plants to come out of the soil more easily.It is best to only wash beetroots with water right before you plan to use them, as excess moisture will encourage faster rotting.Prepare your storage crate by pouring some sand or sawdust on the bottom and layer your beets on top.Once chopped or sliced to the desired size, spread them out on a baking tray and flash freeze them, to prevent them from sticking together.Tip: Vacuum sealing is a great way to prevent freezer burn and extend storage life.The liquid produced by this ferment is known as kvass, a healthy beet juice tonic popular in Russia and Eastern Europe for boosting the immune system.As the beets stew in a brine of water and salt, beneficial bacteria begin to grow and multiply.These healthy bacteria consume the natural sugars in the beets, producing lactic and acetic acid, which in turn preserves the vegetables.These healthy probiotics, similar to those found in yogurt, create a delicious pickled condiment that will populate your gut with beneficial microbes.Pour just enough brine into the crock or jar, cover the vegetables completely, and place a weight on top.Tighten the lid and keep your crock or jar at room temperature in a dark spot in the kitchen for about a week or so, or until bubbles to appear on the surface.You want to examine it periodically to make sure the veggies are still covered in liquid, and that there is nothing moldy or funky growing on top.If a white film appears on top of the ferment, do not fear – it is most likely just yeast and poses no health risk.The length of time this can take will vary depending on the ambient temperature and brine concentration, but you can expect the process to take approximately 7-10 days.It has a salty, slightly sour flavor and can also be used as a base for making borscht, the traditional Eastern European soup.The most wonderful things about beets is that they can be eaten in such a huge variety of different ways, each bringing out unique texture and flavor profiles of the vegetable.One of the most popular dishes made from beets is borscht, the deep red, hearty Eastern European soup – that’s often more like a stew – traditionally eaten on Christmas Eve and Easter.The red roots give it the earthy color and flavor, and its characteristic slightly sour undertones come from the use of beet kvass as a base.Roast them to bring out their juicy sweetness, ferment them for a hint of sourness, or eat them raw for a delightful crunch.A bit easier and less time consuming to prepare than a fermented version, our sister site, Foodal has a wonderful recipe for quick-pickled beets and turnips.Kick off a hearty dinner with this light and fresh green salad featuring arugula, beets, and goat cheese.Incredibly healthy, refreshing, and delicious, this recipe from Foodal will surely provide an energetic start to your day. .
Give Beets a Chance: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Beets
Beets, the word alone makes a lot of people shudder with disgust.According to a survey from Eating Well, beets are listed as one of the most hated vegetable along with Brussel sprouts, okra, and lima beans.Before you begin planting you also want to add compost to your garden, to ensure your soil has the proper nutrition.Make sure you keep the soil moist and add mulch around the plants to help maintain moisture; beets use a lot of water when they’re forming.When the diameter of the roots reach 1-3 inches, you know your beets are ready to be picked.Beets can be steamed, pickled, juiced, or used in dessert recipes for an added sweetness! .
When to Harvest Beets from a Home Garden for Fresh Eating or
In this article, I’ll share some important details regarding when to harvest beets for peak nutrition, taste, texture, and storage life.My preferences are ‘Bull’s Blood’, ‘Detroit Dark Red’, ‘Early Wonder’, and ‘Golden Globe’ for greens production, but there are many others.If you’re going to enjoy edible beet greens fresh in a salad or on a sandwich without cooking them first, you’ll want to harvest the leaves when they are just two or three inches long, no matter what varieties you grow.Successive plantings of beet seeds in compost rich soil will keep you stocked with edible greens for months.Then, when I pull the root from the soil for the final harvest, I also cook up the greens so they don’t go to waste.I’m willing to bet that most of you reading this article are primarily interested in knowing when to harvest beets for their edible roots.Knowing when to harvest beets for roasting means a flavorful crop with the perfect texture.A single cut up beet can fill an entire quart-sized mason jar.Yes, depending on the variety, beet roots can get a little tough and pithy as they reach this large size, but the canning process softens them a good bit so it’s not a problem.If you do either, the beets will bleed, losing precious moisture which can lead to a shortened shelf life.Store harvested beets either in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the fridge or in a root cellar or basement packed in crates of very slightly damp sand.For many crops, the number of “days to maturity” noted on the seed packet is an important factor in determining when it’s time to harvest.This is not only because you can harvest the roots at various stages of their development, but also because beets will stay good long after that target date passes.And unlike over-mature green beans, beets left in the ground longer than necessary, will not dry out and shrivel up.If left in the ground at the end of the growing season, you can simply store your beets in the soil, right where they are.Store harvested beets in the refrigerator, a cool garage, or a root cellar for the longest shelf life. .
When to Harvest Beets So They Are Just Right
Filled with nutrients and a great addition to salads and other dishes, you might be ready to dig into the beets in your garden.In this guide, we’ll help you identify if your homegrown beets are plump and ready for picking.Keeping track of when you first planted the beets is the most crucial step to ensuring a timely harvest.Depending on the types of beets you grow, you can leave some in the ground for up to 4 months (12 weeks).As the beets stay in the ground longer, they will continue to mature and grow larger.The beetroot isn’t the only part of the plant that people consider before choosing a time to harvest.If you’re planning on eating the green tops from the beets, timing matters too.If you’d like a milder leaf flavor, aim to gather the beets around the 45-day mark.Aim to harvest the leaves when they are 6 inches in length, especially if you will eat them raw.Carefully snip one or two of the largest, outer leaves from each plant so that the beets will continue growing.Depending on the variety you plant, the green leaves and red stalks and stems grow to varying heights.Larger beetroots, which also correspond with a darker green color, have tops with a stronger flavor.If you did a fall planting in August to mid-September, beets will be ready late September through early November.Since many people prefer to pull up small batches of beets at a time, the first method is most common.The good news is that if you pick beets on time, they store well for up to a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.Keep the beet greens in the refrigerator crisper and wash them when you are ready to use them.In fact, if you live in a place with mild winters, you can even squeeze in a third planting season.It’s equally important to know when to harvest beets as it is how to tell if you waited too long to pick them.Once you plant beet seeds in loose, nutrient-rich soil, you can expect to see the first germination within ten days.Beets then enter the rosette growth stage when they grow and begin covering large parts of the ground.The flowering, fruit, and ripening stages follow, which are all excellent times to harvest beets.One of the biggest reasons that beets grow slowly is because they are planted too close together.(You can plant Cylindra beets closer together because they grow lengthwise more-so than widthwise.).Doing so offers the roots plenty of room to grow large bulbs, and it also ensures enough sunlight reaches the leaves.Another reason your beets might be growing too slow is that the soil has too much nitrogen and not enough phosphorus to balance it out.In that case, you’ll most likely notice that your beets have beautiful, lush tops but little signs of the beetroot poking up above the soil.Alternatively, pour some bone meal around the soil and watch just how quickly your beets grow.It’s also vital that you plant your beets in sandy, airy soil so that the roots can more easily grow.You can even try planting a new batch every couple of weeks in the early spring and fall so that you can enjoy fresh beets at the size of your liking for a longer period. .
Beets for Beginners
If your soil is very compacted you’ll need to churn up the top several inches with a garden fork and rake it well to break up clods of earth.Pre-warming the soil with a cold frame or row cover will help you to get the earliest sowings off to a good start, but don’t be tempted to start beet seeds too early as this often results in the plant ‘bolting’ (flowering), which means that the vegetable is past its prime.Our Garden Planner can advise you on when to sow beets (and lots of other crops) in your area, using climate data from your nearest weather station for maximum accuracy.The clippings will add small amounts of additional nitrogen to the soil, which your beets will love, while also helping to retain moisture and keep weeds down.The root should easily come free from the soil but a hand fork can be used for additional leverage if required, especially with cylindrical varieties.Foodies will tell you that beets should taste ‘earthy’, but I have a sweet tooth and prefer a sweeter beetroot (the variety ‘Boltardy’ never disappoints).Roasting beetroot is a trendy way to prepare it, but I find that boiling preserves a sweeter flavor – try both methods though, as your preference may differ to mine.Why not grate the raw roots and pair with the young leaves in a salad, make soup, or even – I kid you not – bake a cake?It’s worth mentioning that as well as the traditional red beets, yellow and white varieties are available which won’t stain your fingers. .
How to store beets from your garden when you have a bumper harvest
A common thing that happens in our gardens is that we end up planting too much of some vegetables and then come harvest time we have more than we can possibly eat.No matter how much you love beets (there’s a phrase I would never have written 15 years ago…) if you’ve grown a bumper crop, you might find yourself wondering, “What am I going to do with all of these?”.You might start thinking that you have to spend an afternoon in your kitchen canning a big batch of pickled beets.I’ve harvested beets from my garden in late October in zone 5, stored them using the method I describe below, and was still using them fresh the next April and May.I usually go through the rows and remove the biggest beets for eating and leave the smaller ones to grow a bit bigger.So, it makes sense to take advantage of the natural refrigeration of the fall and early winter weather and keep them outside in your garden as long as possible.Unlike in the spring, plant growth slows down in the fall so there’s not much chance of them growing too large.They’ll turn to mush if you let the ground freeze around them, so make sure you harvest the entire bed before that happens.Here in Madison, WI (zone 5), I generally clear out my bed of beets sometime in October or early November at the latest, or when the forecast calls for nighttime temperatures into the mid-20’s.If your beets are wet and muddy, maybe because it’s rained recently, or you have heavy soil, you may want to lay them out to dry before putting them into storage.Spread newspaper or a tarp in a location out of the elements and freezing weather, a heated garage or your basement.Lay the beets out in a single layer overnight to dry and then continue with the remaining steps.Many vegetables have a waxy layer that protects them, and if you scrub this off by with washing you’ll compromise their storage life.If you’re only storing a small amount of beets for a short period of time you can feel free to wash them clean.Leaf miner can be a problem in my garden, so often my leaves are pretty destroyed by the time I harvest them.Fresh, organic, local food can be difficult to find, and expensive to buy, in the winter.This will give you quick access to your own produce without having to make a special trip to the grocery store for ingredients.And if you also store homegrown onions, dry garlic, put away potatoes, and keep carrots fresh in your house you have the makings of an amazing winter meal right from your own pantry.Discover delicious ideas for featuring your preserved food in healthy recipes all winter long.With a few simple techniques you can continue to enjoy food grown in your own garden (or purchased from the farmers market) throughout the long, cold months of winter.This class will teach you how to make every harvest last longer by quickly and easily preserving vegetables at the height of their season.You’ll love the feeling of sitting down to a meal and knowing a large part of it came from your garden!In this book I’ll teach you how to use your basement, fridge, and freezer to eat from your garden all 12 months of the year. .
Beets Harvest and Store Tips
Beets do not grow well and flavor will suffer if grown where daytime temperatures are consistently greater than 80°F (26°C).Where the ground freezes, lift beets before the soil freezes or protect them under a 12-inch (30 cm) thick layer of mulch–leaves, straw, or hay—that covers the planting bed and extends out 18 inches (45 cm) or more.If protected from freezing, the mulch can be pulled back during the winter and roots lifted.Beets stored in the garden must be harvested before new top growth begins in spring.Store beets in the refrigerator placed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper drawer.If there is no room in the refrigerator, beets can also be packed in a container—a bucket or plastic storage box or cooler–in moist sand, peat moss, or sawdust. .
This year pick or grow your own and make your own home canned food for the next pandemic winter!Whether you grow them yourself or pick them at a PYO farm, or buy them at the market, they're available fresh almost everywhere.In the U.S. beets typically peak in harvesting from June through October in the South, and in July to September in the North.Bring something to drink and a few snacks; you'd be surprised how you can work up a thirst and appetite!The smaller younger leaves (beet tops) can also be eaten as greens.Put them in the vegetable crisper in the fridge, in a loose plastic bag.Beet tops may be cooked and eaten, as they are an excellent source of vitamin A, iron, and betacarotene.Beets are a great source of fiber, folate, and potassium, which makes them especially good for pregnant women..Beets contain antioxidants, called betalains, carotenoids, and flavonoids, which prevent colon cancer and heart disease. .
Growing and Harvesting Beets Year-Round
Follow this guide for the best way to grow beets in all seasons, companion planting tips, and more.Interestingly, they are also related to common edible weeds such as goosefoot, lamb’s quarters, and pigweed.This crop yields a beautiful two-for-one harvest: Nutritious greens as well as nutrient dense roots.A cool-season vegetable, they grow best in the spring and fall seasons, but can be nurtured through winter and summer as well with a little extra care.I was able to grow 80 pounds of vegetables by focusing on shade-friendly root and leaf crops (like beets and carrots) in my forest garden.Two weeks before planting I loosen the soil about six to eight inches deep with a digging fork in my no-till garden.Gourmet Blend Beet Seeds: Enjoy this beautiful combo of ‘Chioggia’, ‘Detroit Dark Red’, and ‘Golden Boy’!Beets do well in container gardens, and you’ll enjoy growing any of the varieties listed above!In my hardiness zone 6a garden, I begin sowing around mid-March and continue through the end of August.This crop, like many root vegetables, does not tolerate transplanting very well, so your best bet is to sow it directly in the garden.For a better rate of germination, soak beet seeds in water for 24 hours before planting.Once the seedlings have grown to about four to five inches high, mulch in between the rows to help retain moisture and keep weeds down.Companion plants assist each other in growing well, and Carrots Love Tomatoes (CLT) is the classic guide on the topic.When harvesting a row/block of beets, blend in some compost soil, aged manure, or worm castings, and then sow that row/block again.Keep in mind that during the hot, dry periods of summer, you may get low germination rates.You can sow beets four weeks earlier than normal in the spring when using a cold frame.Beets are hardy to around 29 degrees unprotected, so if you don’t have a cold frame, you can start sowing them about two weeks before your spring frost date.Used together, row covers and cold frames can help you grow beets down to 15-18 degrees F, allowing you to harvest almost year-round, especially if you mulch well.Beets are most often afflicted by fungal related diseases such as leaf spot and downy mildew.To reduce the chances of fungal infections, thin seedlings to allow for good air flow.If your garden area is typically waterlogged with heavy soil, raised beds may be your best chance for success.Cut the greens about one inch above the root top and store them separately at around 32 degrees F with 90-95% humidity.For example, grate fresh beets over a salad for a pop of color and nutrition without affecting the taste (seriously!This root crop is a really unique and easy vegetable to grow, and a good way to add more nutrition to your homegrown and home-cooked meals. .