Beets are ripe for the picking when their ‘shoulders’ are visible just above the surface of the soil, this typically occurs from 40-50 days after planting.
Alternatively, immature beets can be harvested to obtain a more intense, sweet flavor.
Tips for harvesting & storing beets:
1. Water your beets the day before your next morning's harvest to loosen the surrounding soil.
2. Grasp the beet greens just above the beet root and slowly pull from the soil, taking care not to tear the greens from the root. If harvesting from a Seedsheet, you may need to carefully cut a slit next to the root to make room for pulling out your bigger harvests!
3. If your soil is dense and mostly clay, dig around the root with a spade, burrow your hand into the newly softened soil and lift the beet from it’s taproots.
4. Dunk your harvested beets in a container full of water to wash off excess soil.
5. Cut the greens off of the root, and store each component separately. If the greens stay on the root too long, they will draw moisture up from the beetroot and the whole plant wilts.
6. The roots will stay fresh in a plastic bag in your fridge for months, while the greens have a week or two shelf life depending on how they are stored.