The sweet side of growing beets

Fit for Life

This photo shows beets growing in a garden in New Paltz, New York. No need to rush beet harvest, especially this time of year; just pull, as needed, from the ground. (AP Photo/Lee Reich) This photo shows beets growing in a garden in New Paltz, New York. No need to rush beet harvest, especially this time of year; just pull, as needed, from the ground. (AP Photo/Lee Reich)

By Lee Reich, The Associated Press

Red orbs are rising out of the soil in my garden, demanding to be pulled. I will pull them, but not all at once.

Beets can remain in place for weeks — even months — to come if leaves or straw are thrown over them to insulate them against frigid temperatures.

That’s one nice thing about growing beets: You can eat them fresh for much of the year. A spring planting is ready to start harvesting by early summer, and a summer planting is ready from September on.

Some people say those early plantings must be harvested as soon as the roots are fully swollen or they’ll turn old and…

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