When the diameter of the roots reach 1-3 inches, you know your beets are ready to be picked. Your beets should be deep in color and medium in size. Smaller beets tend to taste better while larger beets tend to have a woodier taste. Water the ground a few days before harvest to loosen up the soil.
They will keep for one to two weeks. Best Long Term Storage Method: Beets can be stored in damp sand in a cool (32°F to 40°F), humid (95 percent) place such as a root cellar for two to five months.
The roots can be harvested at any size that suits you, from ‘baby’ beets up to chunky tennis ball size. Don’t leave them in the ground for too long though, as they can become tough and woody. Don’t cut the leaves off or trim the roots, or they will ‘bleed’ and make a terrible mess!
Small beets can result from a variety of conditions: Lack of light: While beets will grow and produce with only five hours of light, they will not thrive. Six or more hours of sun are preferred. Crowding: Beets need space to develop so difficult as it is, they should be thinned.
Using a hoe handle, stick or similar object, make a furrow ½ inch deep down the center of the ridge (Fig. 4). Each beet seed produces 2 to 6 plants. Space the seeds 1 to 2 inches apart in the row.
If you ‘ll be eating beets raw, you ‘ll want to peel off the hard outer skin with a vegetable peeler. Fresh, raw beets can be finely grated into salads for color or used as a garnish for soup. But beets are usually roasted, boiled or steamed and cut into thin slices, cubes or chunks as in this Winter Beet Salad recipe.
Beets are an annual crop that is in the same plant family as spinach and chard. This crop yields a beautiful two-for-one harvest: Nutritious greens as well as nutrient dense roots. This makes them an efficient way to grow more produce with less work and with less space!
Of all the mistakes that are made growing beets, failing to thin seedlings is probably the most common. And crowded beets aren’t happy beets — you ‘ll get plenty of beet tops, but only spindly roots beneath the soil. You can allow your seedlings to get about 5 inches tall before you thin.
Parsnips, carrots, turnips, kohlrabi, beetroot and swedes are all able to be left in the ground over winter, usually without losing any of your crops to rot, disease, or pest infestations. If beets are left in the ground throughout the winter, they will begin producing spring greens very early.
The beets will not spoil if left at cool room temperature for a few days, but they do best when refrigerated for up to 10 days. If they turn soft, discard them. Beet greens should be washed and cooked on the day you buy them.
Chopped vegetables do not have to be blanched to freeze. Just like carrots, they keep well raw. Cut the raw peeled beets into small pieces, transfer into a freezer bag, label and freeze.
Store beets in the refrigerator placed in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper drawer. Beets will keep in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 months. 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.
How to Grow Beets Mulch and then water regularly with about 1 inch of water per square foot per week. Weed as needed, but be gentle around young plants; beets have shallow roots that are easily disturbed. Consider covering beets with a row cover to prevent pests like leaf miners from attacking the plants’ leaves.
Another reason for a less than sweet beet is water stress. Beets become stronger in flavor and almost bitter and can develop white rings when subjected to a lack of water. The compound that gives beets their characteristic flavor is called geosmin. The best tasting beets have a balance between sugar and geosmin.
21 – 0 -0 is the best fertilizer for beets, it is a popular early spring fertilizer for leafy vegetable crops – that’s assuming you want the greens as well as the roots. If you are growing them exclusively for the beet roots use a fertilizer slightly lower in Nitrogen. See – Understanding Fertilizer Labels.