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The beetroot, which is related to chard and also known as beetroot, owes its name to the intensively purple tubers. These power bulbs are now available in different colors and fruit shapes. Typical of beetroot is the earthy and slightly sweet taste, which is more or less pronounced depending on the time of harvest. With regard to the quality of the harvested fruit, the right timing plays a crucial role.

Best harvest time

By adhering to the crop rotation, you can already influence the quality of the later harvest or the yield when sowing. Because it can protect against the colonization of harmful soil fungi. In addition, well-chosen mixed cultures can have a positive effect on taste and aroma.

For example, mixed cultures with cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, beans, peas, fennel, lamb's lettuce, strawberries, dill or savory have proven their worth many times over. On the other hand, planting in the immediate vicinity of other tuberous vegetables, potatoes, chard, spinach, leeks, tomatoes and sweetcorn should be avoided.

  • correct harvest time depends on the respective variety and the time of sowing
  • The main harvest time for beetroot is between July and October
  • from sowing to harvest takes about 120-150 days
  • Vegetables can be eaten at almost any stage, regardless of the regular harvest time
  • Tubers are never really immature at all
  • if sowed early, around April, the red tubers are already ripe in summer
  • Fruits from later sowings, around June, can remain in the ground until the first frost
  • Tubers that are fully ripe and fully grown, about the size of a tennis ball
  • Beetroot harvested young as 'Baby Beets', particularly tender and aromatic

Yields from early sowings, before June, are not suitable for storage, as they would become too large too early. The larger and older the tubers become, the more water they store and the more aroma is lost. The harvest time is over at the latest with the very first frost and the beetroot has to be taken out of the ground. These small tubers tolerate temperatures of a maximum of minus 3 degrees.

Tip: Not only the tubers but also the young leaves can be harvested and eaten, they contain about six times as much vitamin C as the tubers. However, they should not be larger than 10 cm, because only then are they still tender and contain only little oxalic acid. It goes without saying that not all leaves may be cut off, because this is the only way for the tubers to continue to grow and become ripe. At least the heart leaves should remain on the tuber.


How is it harvested?

You should choose a sunny day to harvest this vegetable. Even if you don't have to worry about eating these fruits unripe, frequent consumption can lead to increased nitrate pollution. In order to keep this as low as possible, the time of day at which the harvest takes place is crucial. If the harvest takes place in the late afternoon, the nitrate content in the tubers is at its lowest. It usually only becomes problematic if beetroot is eaten regularly and frequently.

  • not only the right timing but also a careful approach when harvesting is important
  • Tubers must not be injured
  • the smallest damage could quickly lead to the formation of rot
  • It is best to use a digging fork to harvest
  • so that the tubers can be lifted slightly in the morning but not pulled out yet
  • only pick them up in the late afternoon or early evening

Tip: The dye contained in the beetroot has an intense coloring power. You should therefore wear appropriate clothing when handling these fruits. The red color also usually sticks to the hands for a few days.


Storable beets are usually harvested in October. Baby tubers harvested in summer cannot be stored, they should be eaten quickly. The freshly picked beetroot should never be washed before storage. In addition, storage that is too warm and damp should be avoided, as this could lead to increased nitrate or nitrite pollution.

A cool and dark cellar with comparatively high humidity is best suited for storage. If there is no basement, a so-called rent will do, which you can relatively easily make yourself.

basement room

This vegetable will keep for several weeks in a cool, dark cellar. Before storing it, turn off the herb. In no case should it be cut off, then the tubers would bleed out. Then carefully wipe off the loose soil with your hands. Don't tap the soil, that would damage the fruit.

Now you take a standard wooden box and line it with foil. Then fill it about halfway with wet sand. Spread the beets on the sand and cover them again with a layer of sand. If necessary, the tubers can be stored in several layers on top of each other. However, they should not touch. The higher the humidity in the cellar, the less water the tubers will lose, provided it is cool.


A so-called windrow, which is often used to store potatoes, carrots or other root vegetables, is also ideal for storing beetroot. For a corresponding rent you first choose a small spot in the garden, if possible not so far away from the house. Then you dig a pit about 60 x 60 cm wide and deep.

To protect them from voles and other rodents, they are then lined with a close-meshed grid or wire mesh, both the bottom of the pit and the walls. Alternatively, solid materials such as shuttering boards can also be used for the walls. Now put a layer of sand about 10 cm thick on the bottom of the soil heap, on which the beets are then distributed. Again, the tubers should not touch.

Depending on how many you want to store, they can be stacked accordingly. There must always be a sufficiently thick layer of sand between each layer of nodules. A layer of straw forms the conclusion and the excavated earth is spread over it. If necessary, the whole thing can also be covered with boards. If the weather is frost-free, the windrow should be opened and ventilated occasionally. Smaller quantities of these purple-colored tubers can also be preserved very well by freezing or pickling them in vinegar.

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