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Beet Growing

How to Grow and Harvest Beet

Beets are extremely nutritious and easy to grow, as long as you understand that they are cool season crops.

Beetroot comes in different colors with slightly different characteristics.  Being close family of Chard, remember that the leaves of beetroot can be cooked like spinach and taste the same as Chard.


Soil Preparation and feeding for Beet

Beets grow very fast and require well composted loose soil for optimum results. Like most root crops there is no need for added nitrogen to the soil.


Planting times for beet in South Africa

Feb to June and Aug to early October.

Many gardeners plant their late spring plantings in spots that get some shade, especially during the middle of day.


Please note:  Planting times supplied are in a general South African sense and are based on typical South African Highveld conditions. Your particular area of South Africa might vary.


Sun exposure:

Full sun, however for late spring plantings some shade will be of benefit to the plants when the heat of summer kicks in.


Seed Planting and Germination

Soak seeds overnight to aide germination (optional)

Sow beet seeds direct.

Space seeds 7 to 10 cm apart.

Many ‘seeds’ are in fact clusters of 2 and more seeds, so thin out to one single plant when seedlings are 3 to 5 centimeters high.

Germination takes approximately 7 to 10 days.



Days to harvest

65 to 85days ad 20 to 30 days if your growing season overlaps with the month of Jul when most plants are dormant.        


  • Days to harvest is based on typical good growing conditions and can sometimes vary depending on climate, state of soil, and in some instances length of day and climate for the area in South Africa where you reside.
  • The specific plant might have characteristic/s that fall outside of the typical type norm.
  • Days to harvest are counted from germination or seedling transplant date whichever is the latest.



Merely lift your beets and wash off excess soil when ready. You can start to harvest baby beets before full maturity, but do not leave mature beets in the soil for too long, else they become stringy.

Beet plants that was overwintered (in the soil during Jul), will bolt in spring. If your plants looks like they start to bolt pull them even if you haven’t achieved maximum size of bulbs. Bolting beet becomes very hard and stringy and even bitter.


Click to view which Beet Seeds are available to you now