11. July 2020

How To Harvest Beets

How do you know when it's time to harvest beets? Here are a few telltale signs.

Vackra betor i fina färger skurna i klyftor.

It was just about time to harvest beets! Here are a few of my chioggia and golden beets, ready for the oven!

 

I just can't get enough of beets! They absolutely shine as a main dish but also make a really nice side to meat or fish. Of course, I realized that I grew too few this year again and decided to do a large summer sowing to make up for it. I always enjoy to harvest beets, it just feels like my hard work really pays off!

After posting some pictures of my beets on social media, a reader of mine wanted to know more about harvesting beets. How do you know it's time to harvest them?

 

Ett knippe röda och gula betor ligger på träflis.

Beets grow underneath the soil, but you can see parts of it above ground too. Try to get an idea of how large the beet is before you harvest, either by looking at or touching the beet. This is probably my best tip on how to harvest beets!

 

Harvest beets – Feel it

Firstly, I want you to know that you can harvest beets in several stages of development. You can harvest the tiny little beets in early spring, or wait until they grow large and perhaps bake them in the oven or use them for soup. You decide.

The beet greens are generally very large. A fact that can make us believe that a huge beet might just be hiding underneath. This is usually not the case though. If you can't guess the size by looking at the part of the beet slightly visible above the soil, then you should just try to feel the beet instead. Use your thumb and index finger to grab the neck of the beet. This will give you an idea of the size.

If the beets grow in a small cluster and you haven't thinned it yet, then I usually just harvest the largest beet in the cluster. I generally go through the entire row and remove any larger beets though, and then I leave the others to grow a bit longer.

 

More about beets:

Growing beets from seed
Late harvest of beet greens
Winter-sowing beets

 

Pickled beets! Photo: Maria Strömberg Bååth

En vacker skål med rödbetssallad och halloumi.

Beet salad with flax seeds and halloumi. Photo: Maria Strömberg Bååth

 

Vackert lila röra med rödbeta i fina skålar på ett träbord.

A bean and beet dressing. Photo: Maria Strömberg Bååth

Beet recipes:

My homemade pickled beets
Crispy beet patties with feta cheese
Delicious beet salad with halloumi
Traditional Swedish beet salad

 

For us here in zone 3, July is probably the latest time to sow beets. You might just be able to enjoy a few little beets in fall though, depending on where you grow. But no need to worry. You can always eat the beet greens! Just pan-fry the leaves with a little butter. Good luck, I hope you learned something about when it's time to harvest beets!
/Sara Bäckmo

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