How Do I Develop Turnips? | Planting & Harvesting Information


Turnips are root greens within the cabbage household which might be spicy and crunchy when uncooked, and candy and earthy when cooked. Turnips that mature in cool climate are the sweetest of all, however this crop might be grown for each spring and fall harvest. If you wish to develop turnips in your backyard, right here is every little thing you’ll want to know.

You too can obtain my How Do I Develop Turnips? one-sheet and preserve the free useful resource useful to your reference.

Turnips are of the species Brassica rapa, which additionally contains broccoli rabe, napa cabbage and bok choy. Like all Brassicas, turnips are cold-hardy. Below inexperienced foliage, turnip taproots are white, purple, crimson or bi-color. 

Turnips might be served uncooked in a salad or with dip, and there are such a lot of methods to cook dinner turnip roots. They are often roasted, boiled or pickled. Mashed turnips might be loved alone or blended with mashed potatoes. Steamed younger turnips are tender and candy. Along with cooking the roots, you possibly can saute the turnip greens to get much more out of your harvest. 


white turnips

Turnips belong to the species Brassica rapa, which additionally contains broccoli rabe, napa cabbage and bok choy.


The place, When & The right way to Plant Turnips

Turnips require full solar and fertile soil to achieve their full potential. Choose a spot that receives six to eight hours of direct daylight every day, at a minimal, and amend the soil with loads of compost. Compost will enhance soil fertility whereas additionally serving to sandy soil to carry moisture and clay soil to empty readily. 

Turnips will develop their largest in unfastened soil. Flip the soil to a depth of eight inches and take away any rocks that would hinder the expansion of the turnips. 


turnip seedlings

When direct sowing seeds, label the rows by vegetable kind and selection. You’ll be glad you probably did.


The soil pH ought to be someplace between 6.0 and seven.5, which is barely acidic to barely alkaline. A soil take a look at will let you realize the pH degree and the best way to regulate it, if vital. 

Use pathogen-free seed from a trusted supply. Turnip seed can stay viable for 4 or 5 years if saved in ideally suited circumstances. 

As root greens, turnips don’t take properly to being transplanted. Direct sow seeds within the backyard three weeks earlier than the final frost date to your space for a spring harvest. For a staggered fall harvest, sow seeds each week or two right into a deeply watered backyard mattress over the last two weeks of August and all through the month of September. 

Sow one seed per 2 inches in rows 18 inches aside, to account for the highest development. As soon as seedlings develop to a few inches tall, skinny the vegetation to at least one each 4 to six inches to permit them to develop to their full potential.

Turnips seeds can germinate in soil that’s as cool as 40°F, however the optimum soil temperature for turnip germination is between 60° and 105°. You may test the temperature with a reasonable soil thermometer. Within the optimum vary, the seeds ought to sprout in 4 to seven days.


turnip seedlings

As soon as turnip seedlings develop to a few inches tall, skinny the vegetation to at least one each 4 to six inches to permit them to develop to their full potential.


Turnip Varieties

When deciding what sorts of turnips to develop in your backyard, contemplate that are suited to your native rising circumstances and whether or not your precedence is turnip roots or turnip greens. If you need roots however are rising a range that was bred to supply ample greens, you possibly can be dissatisfied.

Alamo is a range that’s grown for its greens. The infant leaves will regrow for a number of harvests. Alamo tolerates aphids and mosaic virus and has reasonable bolt resistance. Leaves might be harvested in as quickly as 33 days.

Amelie is a bolt-resistant hybrid turnip with candy and crisp white roots that develop 2 to three inches in diameter. The tops may also be harvested. Amelie might be sown for spring or fall harvest. It matures in 50 to 80 days.

Hakurei is a hybrid turnip with white roots that mature in simply 38 days. Each the roots and the tops could also be eaten uncooked.

Simply Proper is a hybrid all-white, semi-globe giant turnip meant for fall or winter harvest. It’s susceptible to bolting so it shouldn’t be sown within the spring. It matures in 70 days.

Nagasaki Akari Kabu is a purple turnip that originated in Japan. The roots are meant for consuming contemporary or pickled. This selection is able to harvest in 50 days. 

Purple High White Globe is a conventional American turnip and well-liked within the Southern United States particularly. The taproots develop white under the soil and purple above. Harvest at 3 to 4 inches in diameter. The leaves are additionally good for cooking. It matures in 50 days.


There are a few different varieties of turnip that grow white below the soil line and purple above it.

There are a couple of totally different sorts of turnip that develop white under the soil line and purple above it.(Picture Credit score: Amy Prentice)


Royal Crown is a hybrid turnip with candy and delicate roots that retain their high quality as much as 4 inches in dimension. It may be grown in spring or fall and used for its greens or its roots. It matures in 50 days.

Scarlet Queen is a crimson turnip meant for salad. Harvest when the taproots are 2 to three inches in diameter. It matures in 43 days.

White Girl is a hybrid turnip that’s good for spring or fall crops as a result of it matures in simply 35 days. The white roots are crisp and candy.



Some turnip varieties have placing colours and patterns inside. (Picture Credit score: Amy Prentice)


Watering Turnips

Turnips will germinate greatest in deeply watered soil. When rising, the roots want constant moisture. Apply 1 inch of water every week if Mom Nature hasn’t completed the job for you. In very sandy, fast-draining soil, apply as much as 2 inches of water every week. A drip irrigation system works nice for turnips to make sure the bottom by no means utterly dries whereas the roots are growing. 

Fertilizing Turnips

You may broadcast fertilizer over the planting mattress earlier than sowing turnips, however in case you are amending with compost, fertilizer ought to be pointless at that stage. The time to side-dress with a low-nitrogen or balanced fertilizer is as soon as the turnip seedlings have placed on their first true leaves. 

In case you are rising turnips for the roots, keep away from ever utilizing a high-nitrogen fertilizer. The jolt of nitrogen could cause the highest to develop vigorously on the expense of the taproot. Search for a granular natural vegetable fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 5-10-10 or so.  NPK stands for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, and the N quantity ought to be equal to or lower than the subsequent two numbers. 

In the event you solely intend to reap the greens and never the roots, then you possibly can confidently use a nitrogen-rich liquid natural fertilizer akin to fish emulsion, however sparingly. At all times comply with the producer’s directions. Extra fertilizer doesn’t equal higher, and an excessive amount of might be detrimental. 


If growing turnips for the greens rather than the roots, use nitrogen fertilizer more freely.

If rising turnips for the greens relatively than the roots, you should utilize nitrogen fertilizer extra freely.



Turnip Pests & Illnesses

To keep away from many turnip pest points and to stop illnesses unfold by these pests, apply floating row cowl over your turnips at planting time. Row cowl is a bodily barrier that can permit mild and water by whereas stopping pests from touchdown in your turnips and laying their eggs. 

Armyworms are moth larvae which have a style for turnip greens. Handpick eggs earlier than they’ll hatch and take away the caterpillars, which can be inexperienced or black and grey. Bt is an natural management for moth and butterfly larvae that’s secure round people and pets and won’t hurt different wildlife. 

Cabbage aphids are sap-sucking bugs that assault the turnip foliage. They’re small and grey, however when their inhabitants proliferates, they’ll stunt or kill a turnip plant. Aphids are additionally vectors of turnip illnesses, akin to mosaic virus. Preserve aphids off turnips with row cowl. In the event you do discover aphids in your vegetation, management them with a pointy blast of water. As soon as they’re knocked down this fashion, they gained’t be capable to get again on the vegetation. Girl beetles, inexperienced lacewings and syrphid flies are all useful bugs that prey on aphids. Chorus from utilizing pesticides that can kill these useful predators.

Cabbage root maggots are fly larvae. Affected vegetation will wilt and have stunted development. Put row cowl in place earlier than the flies have the chance to put their eggs. Paper collars may also shield turnips from root maggot harm.

Cabbage worms are moth larvae that can eat turnip greens. They are often handpicked or managed with Bt. Putting in row cowl early can cease cabbage worms from ever changing into an issue. 

Flea beetles are chewing bugs. They’re tiny black or bronze leaping leaf beetles, simply an eighth of an inch lengthy. Floating row cowl can preserve flea beetles at bay. One other technique is to plant a lure crop of radishes, which flea beetles desire over turnips.

Slugs and snails get pleasure from turnip greens. Slugs and snails might be handpicked, although it may be exhausting to identify all of them. For a extreme infestation, a bait like Sluggo, which incorporates iron phosphate, is a secure, natural choice.



Slugs might be managed with a bait that incorporates iron phosphate, a secure, natural choice.


Wireworms are click on beetle larvae that may spend between one and 6 years in soil earlier than they emerge as adults. They’re between a half-inch and three inches lengthy and might kill turnip seedlings and harm vegetation which might be additional alongside of their growth. In the event you suspect your backyard has a wireworm subject, put a potato piece 4 inches deep within the soil and mark it. After every week, dig up the potato and examine it for wireworms. You may’t do something about wireworms as turnips are rising, however within the weeks previous to planting time, you possibly can flip the soil a number of instances to show the wireworms to birds.  

Turnips might be affected by varied plant illnesses, together with mosaic virus, black rot, downy mildew, Alternaria black spot, and turnip crinkle virus, to call a couple of. Except for conserving pathogen-transmitting pests off vegetation, the perfect prevention for turnip illnesses is crop rotation. In the event you plant Brassicas in the identical spot for a number of years, Brassica pathogens will construct up within the soil. As a substitute, wait 4 years earlier than planting cabbage household crops in the identical spot once more. 



You may’t do something about wireworms as turnips are rising, however within the weeks previous to planting time, you possibly can flip the soil a number of instances to show the wireworms to birds.


 Harvesting Turnips

In the event you plan to reap turnip greens, start chopping leaves as soon as they’re 6 inches lengthy. The longer they’re left develop, the extra bitter the greens will probably be. Go away an inch behind, and the greens will develop again, giving a number of harvests from the identical plant. As soon as the vegetation have bolted (gone to seed) the leaves will probably be fairly bitter and unappetizing.

As a result of the highest of the turnip root pops out of the soil, you possibly can simply gauge how large a turnip is. Most varieties will probably be prepared to reap when the diameter has reached 2 to 4 inches. Take note of the dimensions at maturity for the particular varieties that you’re rising. In the event you depart a turnip within the floor for too lengthy, it could develop bigger however it should additionally lose its taste and grow to be pithy. It’s higher to reap roots early relatively than late. 

To reap a turnip, seize it by the foliage firmly the place the stem is hooked up to the foundation and pull up whereas twisting. For much less resistance, water the turnip mattress deeply a day previous to harvesting; proper earlier than harvesting, loosen the encircling soil with a trowel.

Within the spring, don’t delay harvesting. You’ll need all of them out of the bottom earlier than the coming summer time warmth stimulates bolting. Within the fall, there’s extra flexibility. Turnips which have skilled a couple of touches of frost will probably be sweeter because the chilly causes the starches within the taproot to show to sugars, so there’s an incentive to go away them within the floor previous their maturity date so long as that selection isn’t susceptible to changing into pithy.

Turnips ought to be harvested earlier than the bottom freezes, however you possibly can delay freezing with an software of two inches of unfastened natural mulch akin to shredded leaves or straw. In the event you stay in an space the place the bottom doesn’t freeze, you should utilize your backyard as your fridge and pull up turnips all winter.

To retailer turnip roots, reduce off all however a half-inch of the foliage on the prime and reduce off the skinny a part of the foundation on the backside. Retailer them within the crisper drawer of your fridge for as much as two weeks. They may also be canned with a strain canner. If consuming the greens, place them in a bowl of cool water and agitate them to get the grime off. Get pleasure from them instantly or shake off the water and retailer them in zip-lock luggage within the fridge.


To harvest a turnip, grab it by the foliage firmly where the stem is attached to the root and pull up while twisting. For less resistance, water the turnip bed deeply a day prior to harvesting; right before harvesting, loosen the surrounding soil with a trowel.

To reap a turnip, seize it by the foliage firmly the place the stem is hooked up to the foundation and pull up whereas twisting.


What are your secrets and techniques to rising turnips efficiently? Tell us within the feedback under.

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Hyperlinks & Sources

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Episode 022: The Yr-round Vegetable Gardener with Niki Jabbour

Episode 99: Understanding Crop Rotation: The Fundamentals and Past, with Jack Algiere

Episode 122: Fall Vegetable Backyard Success: Greatest Vegetation and Suggestions for Cool-Season Rising

Episode 195: Figuring out and Controlling Backyard Pests Organically

Episode 220: Fall Succession Planning and Planting Suggestions, with Meg Cowden

joegardener weblog: Powdery Mildew Prevention & Management 

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How Do I Develop Turnips? one-sheet 

joegardenerTV YouTube: The right way to Defend Cool-Season Crops in Scorching Climate

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joegardener On-line Gardening Academy™: Three well-liked programs on gardening fundamentals; managing pests, illnesses & weeds; and seed beginning!

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joegardener On-line Gardening Academy Excellent Soil Recipe Grasp Class: Learn to create the proper soil atmosphere for thriving vegetation.

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