Turnip Over a New Leaf: Growing Tips for Dummies

Team McFly Sep 22, 2023
4 People Read
Table of Contents
  1. How to Grow and Harvest Turnips in Your Garden
    1. Introduction
    2. What month do you plant turnips?
    3. How long does it take to grow a turnip?
    4. How do I know when turnips are ready to harvest?
    5. Do turnips grow back every year?
    6. Are turnips worth growing?
    7. Do deer eat turnips?
    8. How do you store turnips after harvesting?
    9. In Conclusion

How to Grow and Harvest Turnips in Your Garden


Turnips may not be the most popular vegetable in your produce aisle, but they're tasty and easy to grow. Their long and interesting history makes them a perfect addition to any fall garden!

They thrive in well-drained, loose soil. To achieve a pH range of 5.5 to 6.8, add compost or aged organic fertilizer before planting your seeds.

What month do you plant turnips?

Turnips are versatile vegetables that can be planted year-round. Their roots have delicious culinary uses - mashed, baked, or roasted!

They can also be grown for their nutritious leafy greens, which make a nutritious addition to any diet. Unfortunately, they tend to be susceptible to pest infestations.

To prevent turnip problems, plant your seeds in nutrient-rich soil and rotate them regularly. Additionally, keep the plants hydrated.

 The best time to grow and harvest turnips is from late summer through fall, as days get shorter and nights get longer as temperatures become cooler. This is also the time of year when you will most likely grow other vegetables like collards and kale.

 The planting date to grow and harvest turnips depends on which type you want to grow. To protect your turnip crops from aphids and other pests, spray the soil with either liquid horticultural oil or lemon juice before planting. Doing this helps control aphids, a major issue for these delicate vegetables.

When planting turnips in your garden, the ideal time to harvest them is either early spring or late summer. Be sure to pay attention to local frost dates for optimal success!


How long does it take to grow a turnip?

Turnips are an abundant vegetable that can be harvested throughout the year. They make for great additions to community gardens or food relief programs and store well in root cellars for storage purposes. When planting turnips in your garden, it's essential to select soil that is loose and well-drained. It should be rich in organic matter with a moderately alkaline pH between 6.0 and 7.5.

Once your ground has been prepared, you can sow turnip seeds directly into your garden. Dig furrows about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and scatter the seeds 1" apart for small turnips or 2" apart for larger varieties.

Maintain a consistent level of moisture for seedlings until they germinate. Cover with row covers to protect young plants from flea beetles and root maggots.

Once the turnip greens are ready, harvest them to enjoy raw in salads or roast them for added flavor. You can also save any remaining leaves and use them again next year if desired.

How do I know when turnips are ready to harvest?

Turnips are an incredibly simple vegetable, taking only two months from planting to harvest. They make great additions to salads, soups, and stir-fried dishes alike.

When determining when to harvest turnips, consider the variety and time of year. Spring and summer varieties are typically ready for picking about two months after planting; fall and winter varieties should be harvested approximately three months after sowing.

Once your turnip plants are established in the garden, ensure they receive regular watering and fertilization until they reach four inches (10 cm) tall. Then, thin them out to three to four per row.

An organic fertilizer formulated with an optimal balance of manure, guano, dried and powdered blood, ground bone, crushed shells, finely pulverized fish, phosphate rock, and wood is ideal for stimulating growth and avoiding diseases. Steer clear of high-nitrogen fertilizers, which may encourage top growth at the expense of roots.

To safeguard your turnip crop from pests, utilize row cover and diatomaceous earth to keep out cabbage aphids and other sap-sucking insects. These pests can stunt and kill turnip leaves, leading to diseases. Fortunately, these pests have natural predators, such as lady beetles and green lacewings.

harvested turnips

Do turnips grow back every year?

Turnips are an enduring, hardy vegetable that can be harvested yearly. They store well as a brassica family root, making them ideal for winter produce rotation.

These fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamin C, which shields your body against free radical damage and encourages iron absorption. Furthermore, their roots and greens contain numerous essential nutrients like potassium, zinc, iron, calcium, and B complex vitamins.

When cultivating turnips, they should be planted in loose soil with plenty of drainage and rich soil nutrients. You may add aged manure or compost to improve the pH level.

In the spring, plant turnip seeds two to three weeks before the average last frost date. Harvesting them before warm weather causes bolting will guarantee freshness throughout the season.

Young turnips have a sweeter flavor than their older, woodier varieties. They can be eaten raw or mashed and added to soups and stews. Larger older turnips make great frying or baking treats but may have an intense tang and be difficult to peel due to their size.

turnip salad

Are turnips worth growing?

Turnips are an ideal choice for gardeners seeking a low-maintenance crop. Regular watering is necessary to grow them successfully to promote healthy roots and greens.

They can be grown in any garden bed with a sunny spot; they will tolerate part shade. Furthermore, they do well in pots or troughs.

To begin, prepare your soil and then direct sow the seeds in the sun or partial shade, gently raking them in. Make sure the seeds are planted about 1/2 an inch deep.

Once they sprout, space the seedlings to be approximately 4 inches apart. This will give them room to develop strong roots and prevent overcrowding.

Contrary to popular belief, turnips are susceptible to pests and diseases. These include white rust, root-knot nematodes, clubroot, anthracnose, and mosaic virus.

Flea beetles and cabbage maggots can be a nuisance for turnip growers, so it is essential to keep them away. You can do this by planting nasturtiums around your plants or growing mint as a deterrent.

deer grazing

Do deer eat turnips?

Deer survive the winter by feeding on natural foods found in their environment. Unlike other foods like corn, which may be hazardous for deer, turnips provide essential nutrients.

Turnips' leafy tops and roots are rich in nutrition that can help deer grow larger and healthier during the winter months. These delicious veggies contain plenty of minerals and protein - essential for their overall well-being.

Purple top turnips and brassica family members are a popular choice for deer hunting and food plots due to their high nutritional value. This plant typically grows with its globe exposed, making it easy for deer to access its leafy tops and nutritious roots.

On average, turnip plants reach full maturity 70 to 90 days after planting. However, this timeframe may differ depending on your local weather conditions and how well they are cared for.

vegetables in fridge

How do you store turnips after harvesting?

Turnips can be stored in a cool, dark place or fridge for months. While this is the most popular way to store them, you can also freeze them, which will extend their shelf life even further.

You may also wrap them in damp towels and place them in perforated plastic bags. This will keep them moist enough not to rot but dry enough so they don't become shriveled up too much.

Turnip greens can be stored the same way roots are; don't remove their tops or leave them on too long, as this could lead to rot while in storage.

To properly store turnips, they should be stored at 32-40 degrees Fahrenheit (0-4 degrees Celsius). Store them in an area with good ventilation - such as a root cellar or cold basement for best results.

In Conclusion

Turnips are a winter vegetable that thrives in most climates. They belong to the Brassicaceae family, along with mustards, radishes, broccoli, cabbage, and kale. Also, check out our blog post on Best Organic Gardening for Beginners.

They're hardy and can often be left in the ground for winter storage, but if you live somewhere where hard freezes occur frequently, be sure to pick them before the temperature drops too far.

Before planting turnips, mix your soil with some aged manure or compost. Then, loosen the top 12 inches of soil with a garden fork and apply a fertilizer that contains low-nitrogen organics.

Once the seeds germinate, they can be planted 1/4 inch deep in rows 12-18 inches apart. Water gently and cover with mulch for protection from dry weather.

To prevent pests and diseases from taking hold of your turnips, rotate them with other brassica family members like rutabaga, kale, cabbage, and bok choi. Try not to plant any brassica crop in the same spot for more than two years and be sure to sow only certified disease-free seeds.

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Table of Contents
  1. How to Grow and Harvest Turnips in Your Garden
    1. Introduction
    2. What month do you plant turnips?
    3. How long does it take to grow a turnip?
    4. How do I know when turnips are ready to harvest?
    5. Do turnips grow back every year?
    6. Are turnips worth growing?
    7. Do deer eat turnips?
    8. How do you store turnips after harvesting?
    9. In Conclusion