Beets have been cultivated for centuries upon centuries, and they have been used for both beetroots, as well as beet greens, and much of what has made beets popular is that this vegetable is quite easy to grow and harvest. Growing beets is quite simple. To grow beets, you want to use softer soil, unless you are planting them in the cooler months, when you would want to use soil with a bit more density to protect the vegetables from frost. In fact, beets actually fare best in the cooler months of spring and fall.
Knowing when to pick beets is actually quite easy, as well. You should harvest the beet greens of the plants when they are between four and six inches, when the greens and beetroots are most tender. The beetroots of the beets will be about one and a quarter to two inches in diameter at this time – a prime size for pickling and storing beets. You can pick beets at larger sizes, too, but as they grow, the beetroots become less tender and more fibrous.
Harvesting beets is quite easy, then, and the varieties of ways you can eat beets make this vegetable a very popular one. After harvesting the beets, you can store the beet greens for several days in the refrigerator. You can also store the beat roots, after thoroughly washing and drying them, for one to two weeks. There are methods, however, to store beets for a longer period of time. Beets can be stored in a humid, but cool, environment, like a root cellar in moistened sand. If you decide to store your beets for long term, using this method, they should keep for approximately two to five months. Other long term storage methods include freezing, canning, and pickling beets. Frozen beets are the often considered to be the least favorable in quality, yet they will store for approximately 8 months frozen. Canned or pickled beets, however, can be stored for over a year.
After you have discovered when to pick beets based on your usage of this healthy vegetable, you can try many of the storage and consumption methods for the tasty beet greens and beetroots. Beets, which are rich in folate, manganese, and potassium, are healthy and delicious, so enjoy these vegetables in a variety of ways after successfully growing and harvesting your beets!
Here you can read about a variety of ways to eat beets!