How to grow turnips

Turnips are cool season vegetables from the cabbage family (Brassica rapa var. rapa from Brassicaceae Family). The plant is not native to North America. It is not known in the wild and it was probably developed in cooler parts of Europe.

How to plant turnips

Propagate by seed. They will germinate at soil temperatures as low as 40 F. Days to emergence: 4-7 days.

Turnips do not transplant well. Sow seed directly. In a square foot raised bed, you can plant 9 turnip seeds per square foot - spaced 4 inches apart. All root crops are best grown from seeds planted directly into the garden where they will grow rather than from transplants.

From early spring to late summer, sow seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep, 1 inch apart in rows 12 to 18 inches apart. Thin plants to 4- to 6-inch spacings. Plant thickly, and once the plants are 4-6 inches tall, start thinning them by hand. Overcrowding may cause small roots.

Plant every 2 weeks for continuous harvest.

Turnips need plentiful, consistent moisture. Loosen soil deeply or grow in raised beds to encourage good root development.

When to plant turnips

Turnips are a cool-weather crop. Plant them early in the spring as soon as the ground can be worked, and again plant toward the end of summer for a fall crop (as late as September in Illinois).

Time plantings so roots develop in cool weather; 60-65 F is optimal. In cold-winter climates, sow seeds in early spring for a late-spring or early-summer crop, and again in late summer for an autumn crop. Plan the last planting so roots mature about the time of your first frost. Gardeners in mild-winter climates should sow seeds in early spring and again in autumn.

Caution: Some varieties are grown strictly for their greens and produce poor quality roots.

Turnip roots suffer when forced to compete with each other, so early thinning is important. When plants develop their first set of true leaves, thin them to 2-3 inches apart.

Good turnip varieties:

Purple Top White Globe
Tokyo Cross

What to Plant in a Fall Vegetable Garden

Plant CLeaR:

Leafy plants (lettuce, Swiss chard)
Root crops (turnip, radish, carrot, beet)

How to grow turnips in a container

Turnips greens are easily grown in containers. Small turnip roots can be grown in wide containers at least 8-12 inches deep. The depth of your container should be double the depth of your plant room. A 12-inch container should provide a turnip plant with plenty of room to grow. Most turnip plants will be ready for harvest within 35-60 days after planting. Plant 2-3 seeds in the middle of the container about 1 inch apart. After 2 weeks, they should be about 3 inches high. Pull out the smaller seedlings, allowing just one to grow to maturity. If growing for the roots, use a potassium-rich fertilizer. Fertilize at half strength every 2 weeks.

Growing turnips indoors

You can grow turnips indoors, on a windowsill. Select a 2-gallon container to grow the turnips (10-12 inch).

How to Grow Turnips - LearnHowToGarden - YouTube -- "Turnips, which are the small white purple top turnips much loved in french and Italian cookery, are easy to grow Indee, the only special care turnips need is regular water. Keeping the soil lightly moist encourages the growth of luxuriant greens and big roots with no splits and cracks. Whats makes then so versatile is that the tops are as versatile and make great green and there are varieties called Rapini which dont produce a bulb at all the best variety for this is Rapa da foglia senza testa. The only problems you may get are Flea beetle: Leaves are covered in small holes and damaged areas turn brown. Seedlings are particularly susceptible but using fleece with stop this."


Beets and Turnips - Gardening Articles - National Gardening Association
Turnip - Cornell Vegetable Growing Guides
Turnips & Rutabagas  - National Gardening Association
How to Grow Turnips | Backyard Gardening Blog
How to Grow Turnip Plants in Containers |
How to Grow Turnips | Harvest to Table
How to Grow a Turnip on a Windowsill | Home Guides | SF Gate
How to grow Turnip
Vegetables for a Fall Garden in the Midwest
How to Grow Turnips | Veggie Gardener

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