QUESTION: What should I do with beets after harvesting? How long will beets last in storage? -Kenny S.
ANSWER: Wash your beets after harvesting and allow them to dry completely before storing. Cut the tops off two inches above the root and store in plastic bags in the refrigerator, where they will remain fresh for one or two weeks.
For long term storage, gently rub the dirt off of beets instead of washing and keep beets in damp sand in a cool, humid place, such as a root cellar. First remove the tops, leaving around a half an inch of stem and don’t cut the root end to prevent bleeding. If leaves are not removed, water will travel to them from the roots and the fruit will shrivel as a result.
By snipping off the greens and laying the beets in layers of damp sand, sawdust, or peat moss in a plastic container with a tight lid, such as a garbage can, you can store them for the majority of the winter. The lid should remain closed to keep the moisture in the sand. If layered and stored in a cool place such as an attic or garage, they will store well for two to three months like this.
Though frozen beets are not very pleasant to eat, freezing will preserve your beets for around 8 months. Canned beets will store well for over one year. Beets can also be pickled and stored in the fridge for six to eight months.