- Beetroot is a cool-season crop, grown during the cooler season in warm areas
- Optimum growing temperature: 15- 20°C, maximum growing temperature: 35°C
- Soil temperatures for germination: > 7°C
- Although tolerant to cold, they grow extremely slowly in winter.
- Common varieties: Lorate, Red ace, Globe dark red
- Sandy to deep, well-drained sandy loam or silt loam, high in organic matter, is recommended for beetroot.
- Uniform soil moisture is essential for good quality.
- If the soil is compacted or the clay content is very high, roots are likely to be deformed and to develop a tough texture that reduces quality.
- Beetroot thrives in deep, rich sandy loam, with a pH of between 6 and 6,5.
Time for planting
Area Best time Possible time
Highveld Feb.March,Aprl.Aug.Sept Jan,May,June,July,Nov.Dec
Middleveld March,April,May,Aug All year round
Lowveld March,April,Aug.Oct May,June,July,Sept
- Loosen the soil deeply and take out all clods
- Add 15 to 25 tons/ha of manure and 300kg of 2:3:2 (37) kg/ha fertilizer or
- Use one handful of 2:3:2 to every 1m2 or four handfuls compost, preferably
- As seed is sown directly, fields need to be prepared correctly and thoroughly. The soil must be well tilled, free of old plant material and have a good crumb structure. Good soil preparation can be achieved by ploughing, harrowing and levelling prior to sowing.
- Use quality seed with a good germination percentage.
- Watering before planting is recommended to keep soil moist
- After one month, add LAN topdressing and work it in lightly.
- If you plant seed directly in the ground, soak it overnight in water before planting
- Irrigate lightly a day before sowing
- When planting in rows leave at least 30cm between the rows and plant the seeds at least 10cm apart and 3cm deep.
- Cover the seeds with fine soil and keep the soil moist until the seeds have germinated and you can see the emerging seedlings.
- Regular light watering required to maintain soil moisture
- Irrigate with 20mm in the first week and switching to 40mm every week thereafter.
- Irrigation is especially important in the early stages of plant development and during root development.
- Apply a dressing of LAN when the beetroot is 4cm to 5cm high to ensure there is enough nitrogen to keep the plants growing well.
- Apply at a rate of 20g/m2 at the three-leaf stage, about three weeks after emergence
Pests and disease control
- Common pests: Aphids, cutworm and nematodes
- Common diseases: mainly cercospora leaf spot
- Use good quality, disease-free seed and practice crop rotation and sanitation to reduce the disease incidence.
- Avoid growing the crop during the months when the disease causes problems.
- When roots become 5 to 8cm in diameter
- Yield average; 18 to 25 tons/ha