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 may be grown for each spring and fall harvest. If you wish to develop turnips in your backyard, right here is every little thing it’s good to know.

You may also obtain my How Do I Develop Turnips? one-sheet and preserve the free useful resource helpful in 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. Underneath inexperienced foliage, turnip taproots are white, purple, purple or bi-color. 

Turnips may 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 may be loved alone or blended with mashed potatoes. Steamed younger turnips are tender and candy. Along with cooking the roots, you’ll be able to 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 & How one can Plant Turnips

Turnips require full solar and fertile soil to succeed in their full potential. Decide a spot that receives six to eight hours of direct daylight each 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 free soil. Flip the soil to a depth of eight inches and take away any rocks that might hinder the expansion of the turnips. 


turnip seedlings

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


The soil pH needs 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 already know the pH degree and easy methods to modify it, if essential. 

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

As root greens, turnips don’t take effectively to being transplanted. Direct sow seeds within the backyard three weeks earlier than the final frost date in 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 past 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 progress. As soon as seedlings develop to a few inches tall, skinny the crops 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 possibly can test the temperature with an affordable 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 crops to at least one each 4 to six inches to permit them to develop to their full potential.


Turnip Varieties

When deciding what kinds of turnips to develop in your backyard, think about that are suited to your native rising circumstances and whether or not your precedence is turnip roots or turnip greens. If you would like roots however are rising a range that was bred to offer plentiful greens, you would be dissatisfied.

Alamo is a range that’s grown for its greens. The child leaves will regrow for a number of harvests. Alamo tolerates aphids and mosaic virus and has reasonable bolt resistance. Leaves may 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 will also be harvested. Amelie may 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 liable 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 common 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 kinds 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 gentle 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 purple 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 hanging 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 creating. 

Fertilizing Turnips

You possibly can broadcast fertilizer over the planting mattress earlier than sowing turnips, however if you’re amending with compost, fertilizer needs 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. 

If you’re 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 needs to be equal to or lower than the subsequent two numbers. 

In case you solely intend to reap the greens and never the roots, then you’ll be able to confidently use a nitrogen-rich liquid natural fertilizer resembling fish emulsion, however sparingly. All the time observe the producer’s directions. Extra fertilizer doesn’t equal higher, and an excessive amount of may be detrimental. 


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

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



Turnip Pests & Illnesses

To keep away from many turnip pest points and to stop ailments unfold by these pests, apply floating row cowl over your turnips at planting time. Row cowl is a bodily barrier that can enable mild and water by means of 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 ailments, resembling mosaic virus. Maintain aphids off turnips with row cowl. In case you do discover aphids in your crops, management them with a pointy blast of water. As soon as they’re knocked down this manner, they received’t be capable of get again on the crops. Girl beetles, inexperienced lacewings and syrphid flies are all helpful bugs that prey on aphids. Chorus from utilizing pesticides that can kill these helpful predators.

Cabbage root maggots are fly larvae. Affected crops will wilt and have stunted progress. Put row cowl in place earlier than the flies have the chance to put their eggs. Paper collars may 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 favor over turnips.

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



Slugs may be managed with a bait that comprises iron phosphate, a secure, natural possibility.


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 may kill turnip seedlings and harm crops which might be additional alongside of their improvement. In case you suspect your backyard has a wireworm problem, 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 possibly can’t do something about wireworms as turnips are rising, however within the weeks previous to planting time, you’ll be able to flip the soil a number of occasions to show the wireworms to birds.  

Turnips may be affected by varied plant ailments, together with mosaic virus, black rot, downy mildew, Alternaria black spot, and turnip crinkle virus, to call a couple of. Other than conserving pathogen-transmitting pests off crops, the perfect prevention for turnip ailments is crop rotation. In case 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 possibly can’t do something about wireworms as turnips are rising, however within the weeks previous to planting time, you’ll be able to flip the soil a number of occasions to show the wireworms to birds.


 Harvesting Turnips

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

As a result of the highest of the turnip root pops out of the soil, you’ll be able to simply gauge how large a turnip is. Most varieties can 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 case you go away a turnip within the floor for too lengthy, it might develop bigger however it is going to additionally lose its taste and turn into pithy. It’s higher to reap roots early quite than late. 

To reap a turnip, seize it by the foliage firmly the place the stem is connected 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 encompassing 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 season warmth stimulates bolting. Within the fall, there may be extra flexibility. Turnips which have skilled a couple of touches of frost can be sweeter because the chilly causes the starches within the taproot to show to sugars, so there may be an incentive to go away them within the floor previous their maturity date so long as that selection isn’t liable to changing into pithy.

Turnips needs to be harvested earlier than the bottom freezes, however you’ll be able to delay freezing with an software of two inches of free natural mulch resembling shredded leaves or straw. In case you dwell in an space the place the bottom doesn’t freeze, you should use 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 will also be canned with a stress canner. If consuming the greens, place them in a bowl of cool water and agitate them to get the dust off. Take pleasure in 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 connected 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

Some product hyperlinks on this information are affiliate hyperlinks. See full disclosure under.

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: Finest 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 

joegardener weblog: What to Plant in a Fall Vegetable Backyard

joegardener weblog: How Do I Develop Artichokes?

joegardener weblog: How Do I Develop Beets?

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joegardener weblog: How Do I Develop Swiss Chard?

joegardener weblog: How Do I Develop Tomatoes?

joegardener weblog: How Do I Develop Winter Squash?

How Do I Develop Turnips? one-sheet 

joegardenerTV YouTube: How one can Shield Cool-Season Crops in Sizzling Climate

joegardenerTV YouTube: Simple Edibles for Each Fall Vegetable Backyard

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

joegardener On-line Gardening Academy Starting Gardener Fundamentals: Important rules to know to create a thriving backyard.

joegardener On-line Gardening Academy Good Soil Recipe Grasp Class: Discover ways to create the proper soil setting for thriving crops.

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joegardener Publication

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Disclosure: Some product hyperlinks on this information are affiliate hyperlinks, which implies we might get a fee if you buy. Nonetheless, not one of the costs of those assets have been elevated to compensate us. Not one of the gadgets included on this checklist have any bearing on any compensation being an influencing issue on their inclusion right here. The collection of all gadgets featured on this put up and podcast had been based mostly solely on advantage and on no account influenced by any affiliate or monetary incentive, or contractual relationship. On the time of this writing, Joe Lamp’l has skilled relationships with the next firms who could have merchandise included on this put up and podcast: Rain Hen, Corona Instruments, Milorganite, Soil3, Exmark, Greenhouse Megastore, Excessive Mowing Natural Seeds, Territorial Seed Firm, Wild Alaskan Seafood Field and TerraThrive. These firms are both Model Companions of and/or promote on our web site. Nonetheless, we obtain no further compensation from the gross sales or promotion of their product by means of this information. The inclusion of any merchandise talked about inside this put up is fully impartial and unique of any relationship.


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