|My potato plant before the blooms|
|My potato plant with blooms|
Root vegetables are commonly called because it is the root of the plant that is harvested. The edible goods grow beneath the surface of the ground making it difficult to know when to harvest crops. Another common tribute is there ability to grow and produce very well in sandy soil.
|Freshly harvested White Potatoes|
Beets are not quite as predictable. However beets are quite edible in any stage of growth. The younger the beet the sweeter they are. Typically harvested in the fall months Beets will take 45 to 70 days to mature. Once the stem (or upper leaf) of the plant begin to spread outward and turn the purplish color of the vegetable than you'll want to check on the beets progress. You will also notice the top of the beet nudging above ground. If they are a size you prefer, than enjoy. If not than cover the plant with soil and let rest another week or so. Turnips fall close within the same family and harvest in the same procedure. Don't forget to take advantage of the tasty green leaves of both vegetables for salads and soups.
Carrots and Radishes share a common harvest. They will take approximately 45 to 60 days to harvest depending on the size you prefer. The vegetable will begin to peek above the ground and you can see the top forming. Even though the head of the crop may seem mature the body may not be as fully developed. Gently remove one stem from the ground to determine it's readiness. If it is not mature enough for you preference return to the soil and cover loosely with soil. Check the same plant again in a week. Most importantly you must immediately remove the stalk from the vegetation immediately. The stalk will continue to draw moisture from your crop leaving it drained.
Everyone has at least one root vegetable they enjoy eating. Most gardener's will tell you they are the most challenging crops, but worth every bit of effort. They are some of the most vitamin filled vegetables, stay fresh longer and are more versatile than say a tomato. You get a good harvest and you simply can't go wrong.