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how do you know it's time to harvest beets or carrots??

Sorry for all my "ultra-beginner" questions!

So your beets are growing along, you take some greens here and there.....when to pull it up?

The sources I find say to harvest at 2-3 inches....how do you know???

If you pull it up and it's punny - any point in tucking it back in? I read that they should be direct seeded because disturbing the root results in weird shaped beets.

TYIA!!!
 
Just gently push the soil away at the base of the plant to expose the "shoulders" of the vegetable. This will give you a fair idea of its size. If not up to snuff, gently push the soil back.

If you do want to just pull some up, use them or compost them - don't bother trying to plant them back; they won't take.
 

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"My body is a temple - unfortunately, it's a fixer-upper."

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"And no, I'm NOT being snarky."

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Zone 7a, Culpeper, Virginia

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Just poke your finger in at the top and feel how big the top is. I have had good luck this year with replanting very small carrots and beets when they have pulled up with weeds, but they will not be shaped perfectly (still edible though).

I don't eat beets but I have pulled them small all spring and sold with the greens. People can cook the whole thing in a little oil and garlic.
 

 

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Small market and CSA grower. 1/2 acre. Doing too much by myself but trying. http://www.localharvest.org/member/M33044

Central Minnesota Zone 4

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Mrs T-Bird, a brilliant man (Will Rogers I think) said--We're all ignorant, just on different subjects. We've all asked questions and usually gotten responses so don't be sorry about asking--just ask. As far as beets are concerned I've never had much success with trying to replant any root crops, altho small ones replanted in soft soil would probably survive as Little Minnie says. If you're going to use the beets yourself, it's a matter of personal preference as to size. Usually smaller beets will be a bit sweeter and crisper if cooked or canned and pickled than the large ones, depending on the variety of beets. Some beets are planted for the greens more than the root (like 7 top turnips), but all of the tops are edible and the younger leaves are less pungent than the older leaves. Letting beets bolt or go to seed leaves you with compost fodder unless you're wanting to let the seed develop and plant it next season. If the beets stop growing and cold weather is a factor, they will stay dormant in the soil until/unless a hard freeze hits, and should still be usable up to that point.
 
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