How To Properly Collect And Store Beets Until Spring. When To Harvest

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How To Properly Collect And Store Beets Until Spring. When To Harvest
How To Properly Collect And Store Beets Until Spring. When To Harvest

Video: How To Properly Collect And Store Beets Until Spring. When To Harvest

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Video: Harvesting Beets: When, How, and Tips for Storing Beets 2023, February
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As soon as the beet crop is finally harvested, another concern immediately arises - how to preserve the dug root crops for as long as possible, and under fairly well established storage conditions - the entire winter period. In this material, we will try to tell you in as much detail as possible about how to properly collect beet roots, how to prepare them for storage, and talk about the common and most reliable ways to store beets. You should know that the storage of beets will be successful only if all the root crops laid in the storage are intact and removed from the ground in the most appropriate time frame.

How to keep the dug beet roots as long as possible
How to keep the dug beet roots as long as possible

Content:

  • Causes of beet spoilage during storage
  • Rules for harvesting beets before placing them in storage
  • Beet storage methods

Causes of beet spoilage during storage

Sometimes beet roots begin to rot during storage. Why is this happening? The most common causes of beet root rot during storage are the placement of deliberately spoiled root crops for storage, strong temperature fluctuations in storage, humidity exceeding 90%, and generally incorrect storage technology for root crops. To avoid all this, you need to carry out all the stages from digging to laying the beets for storage correctly: in no case damage the roots, do not shake off the soil from them by hitting the roots against each other or on the soil surface, do not throw them, do not allow temperature fluctuations and humidity in the storage, to prevent the formation of condensation, freezing of root crops, and so on. If there is a lack of moisture, you can bring buckets into the storage or arrange the pots and fill them with water,and if there is an excess of moisture, you can decompose the containers with salt or try to ventilate the room.

Rules for harvesting beets before placing them in storage

Timely harvesting of root crops is the first condition for their long-term preservation. Of course, during the harvesting of beets, the weather can make significant adjustments: rains can charge, the soil becomes wet and sticky, then you should not rush and you should wait for optimal conditions - a warm day devoid of precipitation.

Before harvesting the beet, inspect its stems, as soon as they begin to change color towards yellowing and begin to dry out, you can start harvesting the beets.

As for the calendar dates for harvesting beets, they strongly depend on the region of cultivation of the vegetable and on the variety, given that there are varieties of early, middle and late ripening periods. If you live in central Russia and have planted an early variety, then it can be harvested about 50-80 days after germination - usually in the first half of August, mid-season varieties are usually harvested after 80-100 days after germination - late August-early September, and late varieties are harvested 100-135 days after germination, that is, in September-October.

Beets need to be dug from the site until the first minimum frost, since even a temperature of about zero can already damage the root crop, and the beets will be stored worse, and if the root crop freezes, then you will not be able to save the crop at all.

The ideal time for harvesting beets is clear, sunny weather, when the soil is not waterlogged, does not stick, but crumbles and easily crumbles from the surface of the root crop immediately after it is removed from the soil.

Watering should be stopped about 20 days before digging. It is best to dig up beet root crops using a pitchfork, but you can carefully dig them out with a shovel, without causing even the slightest damage to the root crops. After digging, it is necessary to cut off the tops of root crops, leaving a stalk about a centimeter long, no more. The soil from the root crops must be shaken off or gently cleaned with a soft glove, it is impossible to wash off the soil, as many do, this can dramatically reduce the shelf life of beet root crops and lead to rot during storage.

Immediately before storing, beetroots must be sorted out, large ones should be set aside in one direction, small ones - in the other and be sure to inspect them for rot, the latter are unacceptable - such root crops must be put into processing, having previously removed foci of rot or discarded if most of them are affected by rot root vegetable.

Do not forget that large roots are usually stored less than small ones, and small ones can begin to dry out, so beets of different sizes should be stored separately.

After the tops have been removed, the beet roots should be dried. In good weather, you can do this right on the garden bed, having previously spread ordinary potato bags under the roots and spreading the roots in one layer so that they do not touch. You can dry the beets for six hours, three hours on one side, then turn over and let the roots lie for another three hours. By the way, you can dry root crops both after trimming the tops and before removing them, there is nothing wrong with that, but usually the tops are cut first, and then the root vegetables are dried so that after drying they can be immediately put into storage.

After drying the root crops of the beet before storing them, it is advisable to conduct a second, more thorough revision, sometimes damage can be skipped on the newly dug root crops, after drying, the soil, as a rule, completely lags behind the root crops, then you can see previously unnoticed damage. Such root crops must be processed or put in a separate place and subsequently revised more often, because damaged roots will start to deteriorate faster.

Beet roots prepared for storage
Beet roots prepared for storage

Beet storage methods

Beets can be stored permanently - for the whole winter - or temporarily - when the required amount of beets is periodically taken. It should be borne in mind that if the temperature in the storage rises above seven degrees Celsius, then the roots may begin to grow. The optimal storage conditions for beets are a temperature of 1-2 degrees above zero and a humidity of about 90%, these conditions are suitable for all methods of storing beets.

The most common way to store beets is in the basement, right on top of potatoes, because they usually store much more of it for the winter than beets. In this case, the beets can be laid in a couple of layers, thus covering the potatoes. Such storage is especially appropriate in basements where there is low humidity, then the beets can lie longer, due to the fact that the potatoes will give some of their moisture to the beets.

An equally popular way to store beets is in river sand or sawdust. To do this, you need boxes with dense walls, with a capacity of up to two tens of kilograms, no more. The boxes should not be placed directly on the basement floor; they should be placed on a small elevation, for example, on bricks laid with a flat side. A layer of river sand or sawdust should be poured into the base of the box, then a layer of root crops should be laid, again covered with a layer of sand or sawdust, and so on to the very top. It is acceptable for the sand or sawdust to be slightly damp.

Quite often, beets are stored in ordinary plastic bags, which can hold ten or more kilograms of root vegetables. After placing the root vegetables in the bag, it must be tied tightly. So that moisture does not accumulate in the bag, which can spoil the beets, make holes in it through which excess condensate will go away.In the future, an audit should be carried out, and if you notice condensation inside the bag, then it should be completely untied to eliminate the accumulated moisture.

For long-term storage, which is usually designed for the whole winter, beets can be stored in piles in the area where they grew. Usually for this they dig a hole about half a meter deep and lay the root crops in a pyramid usually about a meter high. After laying on top, the root crops are wrapped in straw for another meter, and brushwood or spruce branches are placed on top so that the wind does not spread the straw across the territory. As soon as it gets colder, the earth should be poured on top, leveling it so that there are no cracks.

Sometimes, before being stored in piles, beets are sprinkled with chalk; the consumption of chalk is usually about 150-250 g per ten kilograms of root crops.

Beets in a storage box
Beets in a storage box

In the event that you do not have a cellar at your disposal and you are not going to store beets in piles because of its use during the winter, then it is permissible to store it on a cold veranda or balcony, where the temperature does not drop below one degree of heat, even in severe frosts. For safety net and additional insulation, wooden boxes can be overlaid from the inside with thin foam, one centimeter thick. Next, you should put a layer of river sand or sawdust in the base of the box and, shifting the layers of beets with them, lay the root crops.

This preservation option can be used as a last resort - it does not guarantee long-term preservation of beets, because it is difficult to maintain the optimal temperature on the balcony for a long period of time.

For the longest possible storage, we recommend using the following varieties of beets: Pronto, Bravo, Detroit, Larka, Valenta, Rocket, Bona, Bonel, Mulatka and others.

We talked about ways to properly store beets. We hope they will help you preserve the beet harvest until spring and use fresh root crops throughout the winter.

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