The Lazy Gardener – Harvesting Winter Beets

Remember how I had a bajillion beets this summer?  Well, guess who was too lazy to harvest everything before winter?  Yeah, it was me.  BUT I convinced myself that it was okay because I had heard that beets will last in the ground over the winter.  So, technically, I am not lazy. I just have an inquisitive mind.

It has, however, been extremely cold this winter.  Guess who also doesn’t like to go out and play in the dirt in freezing temperatures?  Yeah.  Me again.  And again I, the master of rationalization, have come up with a perfectly reasonable reason to wait until now, when some days are actually above freezing to harvest the “winter beets.”  Obviously, it would have been extremely difficult, if not completely impossible, to dig in ground that was too frozen.  And I am sure that it would damage the soil structure.  Surely.  And I might break my shovel in the frozen ground.  That would really suck.

But a couple of days ago I took the dog outside and noticed that I was stepping in mud.  Not rock solid frozen ground.  I guess I am running out of excuses.  My middle son (affectionately known as He-Man) and I headed out tonight to check on the chickens and looked again at the winter beet bed.  Honestly, with all the greens dead and spread over the tops, they didn’t look appetizing at all.  We pulled aside some of the dead greens and saw some beet tops sticking out of the partially frozen ground.  I kicked at one gently with my toe and knocked it loose.  He-Man scrounged around in the mud/frozen dirt and managed to twist it off in his hand.  You will notice that it still has some frost on the tip…but it does look  like a regular beet.  It was still hard as a rock – not soft or anything.  I had suspected they would be yucky and inedible.  We shall see…soon.  I promise.  I’ll let you know when I get around to it.  But I don’t think we should rush this.  After all, it’s still pretty cold out there… 😉

Winter Beets in January
Harvesting Winter Beets


3 thoughts on “The Lazy Gardener – Harvesting Winter Beets

  1. Beets? Aren’t those used in ancient times for dying clothes? Yuk! Why can’t tomatoes or peas or raspberries behave like this?

  2. You’ll have to let me know how they taste. I’ve never done beets because I think they taste yucky, but I discovered I do like pickled beets so I might try them this year.

    1. I will let you know. I still haven’t tried them though. I like beets best hot with olive oil and lots of lemon juice and salt and a big crust of french bread. However, to your point, John says they taste like dirt. 🙂

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