when are beets ready to Harvest – Learn When

When are beets ready to harvest! Find the joy in going from questioning beets to wanting them in everything. Know that picking beets at the right time matters a lot. It affects their taste, how they feel when you eat them, what good they do for you, and how long you can store them.

From the soft, pretty much flavorless canned beets to the joy of biting into fresh, juicy ones, the difference is clear. Whether you prefer the bright ‘Golden’ ones or the amazing ‘Chioggia’, picking them when they are at their best is key. When you do this, you get the top quality from your own beet garden.

Key Takeaways

  • When are beets ready to harvest! beets are dual-purpose crops, offering both edible roots and nutritious leaves.
  • Beet leaves are ideal for fresh eating when they are two to three inches long.
  • The size of beet roots, ranging from ping-pong ball to the size of a man’s fist, is the best maturity indicator.
  • Baby beets harvested at golf ball size are perfect for cooking whole without peeling.
  • Fully matured beets can be left in the ground for up to four months without losing quality.
  • For long-term storage, mature beets with tough skins are the ideal choice.
  • Different beet varieties like ‘Chioggia’ and ‘Golden’ offer unique flavors and visual appeal.

Understanding Beet Growth Stages

Understanding beet growth stages is key from the seedling to harvest transition. It includes watching seedlings turn into strong roots, ensuring a good yield. By taking good care, gardeners can guide beets through these stages for the best harvest time.

Seedling Stage

The beet lifecycle starts with seedlings. They sprout in 5 to 8 days if the soil is at least 50°F. It’s important to keep the soil’s pH right, between 6.0 and 7.0. Also, make sure they get at least 6 hours of sun every day. Healthy seedlings are vital for strong growth, starting the beet’s journey well.

Vegetative Growth Stage

After the seedling phase, beets start their big growth spurt. They grow lots of leaves and stems which helps their roots grow. Beets love cool weather and can even handle frost, great for fall harvest. Planting more beets every 2 to 3 weeks up to mid-summer gives you beets all season long.

Root Development Stage

The last key phase is when the beet’s root grows. Beets are usually ready between 55 and 70 days, when the roots are as big as a golf ball. You must watch for pests and diseases. Knowing when to harvest your beets helps get the best yield. This is true for types like ‘Bull’s Blood’ and ‘Golden Globe’, known for their great flavor in roots and greens.

When Are Beets Ready To Harvest The Optimal Beet Harvest Period

best time to pick beets

Finding the best time to pick beets is key for great taste and texture. It’s important to know when to harvest them for the best results. The leaves and roots of beets show when they are ready.

Beets are special because we can eat both their leaves and roots. We can start picking the greens when they are two to three inches long. This size is perfect for eating fresh. You can cook them at any stage but go for smaller roots.

If you want to roast beets, choose ones the size of a baseball. This size makes sure they taste just right and feel good when you eat them. Bigger beets, larger than a ping-pong ball, are great for pickling or canning. For winter storage, pick beets with tough skins and firm roots, about the size of a man’s fist.

Beets are usually ready to harvest in about 50 to 70 days after planting. The time can vary and they don’t spoil if you leave them too long. Be careful not to use too much nitrogen fertilizer. This can make the leaves grow more than the roots.

When picking beets from your garden, remember they can stay fresh for up to four months. But, they might get tough if you wait too long. Beets like to grow in soil that is loose, full of nutrients, and gets enough water. This way, they will be big and tasty.

Knowing when to harvest beets is important for the best results. Whether for your garden at home or in the kitchen, these tips will help.

When are Beets Ready to Harvest

It’s crucial to pick the right time to harvest your beets. This ensures they taste great and are packed with nutrition. Use these tips to spot when your beets are ready.

Indicators of Beet Maturity

You can tell beets are ripe by looking at their roots and leaves. Beets are usually ready after 50 to 70 days in the soil. If you want to eat the leaves fresh, pick them when they reach two or three inches. The best size of beet depends on how you plan to use them:

  • Golf ball-sized beets are tender and sweet, perfect for cooking whole.
  • Tennis ball-sized beets are great for roasting.
  • Beets as big as a man’s fist are good for pickling or storing long term.

Comparing Beet Sizes

To know when to pick beets, look at their different sizes as they grow. At the start of the season, you might pick smaller beets for their greens. But as they grow, the best time to pick them changes. It depends on how you plan to use them:

  1. For baby beets, choose ones that are golf ball-sized.
  2. For roasting, aim for beets as big as a tennis ball.
  3. To store, wait for beets the size of a man’s fist with a corky top.
Beet SizeBest Use
Golf BallBaby beets, cooking whole
Tennis BallRoasting
Fist-SizedPickling, long-term storage

Beets don’t have a hard-and-fast rule for when they must be picked. This means you can leave them in the ground longer without worry. You can then choose when to harvest them, depending on your cooking plans and the weather.

Remember to get the beets out before the ground freezes completely. Knowing when beets are ripe helps you plan your harvest. This way, you get the best taste and can store them well for later.

When Are Beets Ready To Harvest The Best Time to Pick Beets for Different Uses

pick beets at infancy

The best time to pick beets varies based on how you’ll use them, such as in fresh salads or for saving for later. Picking beets early for salads, waiting for the ideal time to roast ripe ones, and knowing how to preserve them well is key. This knowledge boosts your enjoyment from garden to plate.

Baby Beets

Harvest baby beets when they’re the size of a golf ball, about 50 days after planting. At this stage, they’re tender, flavorful, and perfect for salads. Picking beets early gives your dishes a vibrant, fresh taste.

Beets for Roasting

For roasting, choose beets about the size of a tennis ball, around 70 days after planting. Roasting these ripe beets brings out their rich flavor and deep, earthy sweetness. Their firm texture means they’ll keep well in the oven.

Beets for Processing and Pickling

Medium-sized beets work best for pickling and processing, when they’ve grown to the size of a man’s fist. Their texture lets them hold up during preservation. This method, like pickling, adds to their shelf life and the dishes you can use them in.

Beets for Long-Term Storage

Choose beets with a corky peel and tough skins for long storage, about the size of a man’s fist. These beets can last up to five months if stored properly in a root cellar. Packing them in damp sand and keeping them from touching avoids rot and ensures they stay fresh.

Techniques to Determine Beet Ripe Stage

beet harvest timing

Knowing the right ripe stage recognition of beets is key to getting the best harvest. You might want to pick them when they’re small for a dish. Or let them grow big for storage. It’s all about finding the right time to pick to get the best taste and quality.

Visible Signs

Looking at beets is a great way to tell if they’re ready to harvest. Pick them when they’re the right size, about a ping-pong ball to a man’s fist. For eating fresh, choose beets the size of a golf ball. For roasting, they should be as big as a baseball and peeled. When looking at when to pick beets for pickling or canning, they can be a bit larger. If you want to store them, wait until they’re as big as a man’s fist.

Using Days to Maturity

The ‘days to maturity’ guidance on seed packets is helpful but not exact. Beets can stay in the ground longer and still be good. It’s important to watch their size and use the right techniques to know when they’re right. To harvest over a longer period, protect the plants with straw. This lets you leave them in the ground longer, until it’s almost winter.

Harvest TypeBeet SizePeeling Required
Baby BeetsGolf BallNo
Roasting BeetsBaseballYes
Pickling BeetsPing-Pong Ball or LargerDepends
Storage BeetsMan’s FistYes

Effects of Weather on Beet Harvest Timing

It’s key to know how the weather can impact beet harvesting. Doing so helps improve your yield and the quality of your beets. The temperature, how much it rains, and possible frosts can change when your beets are ready to harvest. Normally, beets take 50 to 70 days to grow. But, the weather can speed up or slow down their growth.

The changing temperature has a big effect on beet harvesting weather impacts. Beets can start growing in soil as cold as 40°F. However, they grow best when it’s warmer. If it gets cold quickly or there’s an early frost, your beets might get hurt.

So, it’s really important to keep an eye on the weather. Then, you can change when you plant and harvest to avoid issues.

Rain is also very important for beets. They like moist soil and need about an inch of water every week. But, too much rain can be bad, causing root rot and other problems. Good soil preparation and making sure water drains well can avoid these issues. This way, your beets will be healthy and strong when it’s time to harvest.

Frost is tricky—it can be good or bad for your beets. Light frosts can make your beets sweeter. But, a heavy frost can damage them. Watching for frost and using things like row covers to protect your beets when frost is coming can help a lot.

Gardeners need to keep an eye on the weather. They should change their plans as needed to make sure they get the best beets possible. By being proactive and adjusting to the weather, they can still have a great beet harvest even if the weather is unpredictable.

Beet VarietyDays to MaturityIdeal Harvest SizeWeather Considerations
Avalanche White55 days2-3 inchesNeeds a steady amount of water but don’t overwater
Boldor Golden55 days2-3 inchesKeep an eye out for frost, it might make them sweeter
Chioggia Italian Heirloom65 days2-3 inchesTough in cold soil, but too much rain can be bad
Early Wonder Tall Top45 days2-3 inchesHandles different weather well, soil pH important
Red Ace Hybrid55 days2-3 inchesNeeds plenty of sun, watch the temperature
Ruby Queen65 daysUp to 3.5 inchesHarvest before the big frost, likes well-drained soil

How to Harvest Beet Greens

Beet greens add a unique flavor to many dishes. It’s key to pick them when they’re fresh. You should harvest them when they reach about two to three inches. Cut only the outer leaves so the inside ones keep growing.

Trim back some of the seedlings early. When the plants are 3-4 inches, thin them out. Keep the largest ones to promote better growth. This leads to more and healthier beet greens later on.

For cooking, you can pick mature leaves at any time. They’re good in salads, or cooked in a saute. Beet greens work well with dishes that use spinach, kale, or Swiss chard. This makes them a handy choice for cooking.

In the fall, trim the tops of your beets before pulling them up. This keeps the leaves cleaner. Always cut the greens right before using them. This keeps their flavor and nutrients at their best.

Following these steps helps in many ways. You help the beets keep growing well. Plus, you get a tasty, nourishing ingredient for your cooking.

Maintaining Beet Harvest Quality

Keeping beets fresh after harvest is key to their taste and quality. You must store them right, handle them carefully, and avoid beet bleeding. These steps ensure your beets stay in top shape from when they’re picked until you use or sell them.

Proper Storage Conditions

It’s crucial to know how to store beets properly. You can keep them fresh in the fridge for two weeks. But, if you have a cool root cellar, they’ll last two to three months. The best temperature for storing beets is between 32°F and 40°F with high humidity to stop them from drying out.

Preventing Beet Bleeding

Beet bleeding can make them lose flavor and look less appealing. To prevent this, don’t cut into the beet before you store it. Keep about an inch of the stem and don’t wash the beet until you’re ready to eat or cook it. This keeps moisture inside the beet and helps it keep its shape.

Handling Post-Harvest

Right after picking, make sure to clean off any dirt and remove damaged leaves carefully. Then, place the clean beets in a single layer in a cool, dark place. During the growing season, water them an inch each week and make sure they’re 3 to 4 inches apart. This care boosts how long the beets will stay fresh.

If you need more tips on how to handle beets after picking, check out Bonnie Plants’ growing guide for detailed help.

Storage MethodDurationConditions Required
Refrigerator2 weeks32°F-40°F, High Humidity
Root Cellar2-3 months32°F-40°F, High Humidity

Considerations for Fall Beet Harvesting

As autumn nears, focusing on the autumn beet harvest is key for a good yield. It’s crucial to know the best soil and climate for growing and harvesting beets.

Beets should be planted before the first frost, around six weeks. This gives you more time to harvest them. They grow fast when the soil is warm, but since autumn days are shorter, they might take longer to grow fully.

It’s important to leave 2-3 inches between beet plants for them to grow well. Beets are ready for harvest about 55 days after planting. But in the fall, they might need a bit more time because the sun isn’t as strong.

Autumn beets are tough against frost, lasting until it gets in the mid-20s Fahrenheit. ‘Detroit Dark Red’ and ‘Chioggia’ are top picks for their taste and how well they store.

Using mulch helps protect beets from early frost and big temperature changes. If you store freshly harvested beets in a cool place with very high humidity, they can last until spring. These steps help you prepare your beets for winter and look after your garden in the cold.

GerminationQuick in warm soil, typically within a week
Planting TimeUp until six weeks before first frost
Spacing2-3 inches between plants
Harvest TimeApprox. 55 days, may be longer in fall
Temperature ToleranceHardy to mid-20s Fahrenheit
Storage Conditions32°F, 90-95% humidity


When are beets ready to harvest! Wrapping up our guide, we see how important timing and know-how are. It starts with planting and goes through each step until you pick your beets. To get the best beets, it’s crucial to know when to harvest. This ensures you get either the little, sweet ones or the big, bold ones.

Beets need about 50 to 70 days to grow. But, this can change, based on what kind of beet it is and the conditions it grows in. You’ll know they’re ready by their size, firmness, and deep color. Baby beets are sweet and tiny, while bigger beets are full of flavor. If you’re growing them in a pot, the same rules apply.

Early morning is the best time to pick beets. This is when their leaves are full of water. You might have to choose between getting good beet greens and giving the roots more time to grow. If you want the greens, watch for leaves that are over 4 inches tall.

After you pick them, be sure to keep them fresh. You can refrigerate them for a few weeks or store them in a cool, dark place for even longer. By taking your time and watching closely, you’ll get a lot of great-tasting beets. Enjoy your delicious meals made with homegrown beets.


When are beets ready to harvest?

When are beets are ready harvest when their roots grow to 1 to 3 inches. Harvest times depend on the kind of beet and its use. Normally, beets are best picked 50 to 70 days after planting.

What are the indicators of beet maturity?

Check beet roots for firmness and size to know if they’re ready. They should be solid and have no cracks. Their size will vary; some can be small like a ping-pong ball, others as large as a person’s fist.

What are the growth stages of beets?

Beets grow through three stages. First is the seedling stage, then the leaves grow, and finally, the root forms. Each stage is important for the beet’s quality.

How do you determine the best time to pick beets for different culinary uses?

Harvest beets based on how you’ll use them. For baby beets, pick when they’re about 1 inch across. Beets for roasting need to be 2 to 3 inches. For pickling or storing, they can be bigger.

What are the techniques to determine if a beet is ripe?

To check if a beet is ripe, look at its size and color. Use the ‘days to maturity’ on the seed packet too. Keep an eye on the beets as they grow to pick them at the right time.

How does weather affect beet harvest timing?

The weather can change when you should harvest your beets. Cooling temperatures can make beets sweeter. But, too much heat or frost is bad. Watch the weather to time your harvest right for the best beets.

How should you harvest beet greens?

Harvest the greens when they’re young for salads, or when they’re bigger for cooking. Always keep an inch of the greens above the root. This helps the beet keep growing.

What are the best practices for maintaining beet quality after harvest?

After you pick them, store beets in a cool, dark, and humid place. Don’t wash beets before storing. This stops them from rotting or losing their color.

What special considerations are there for fall beet harvesting?

In fall, prepare the soil well and guard against early frost for beet harvesting. Using mulch and cold frames can protect beets, letting you harvest them into late fall.
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