How to Plant Turnips

To plant turnips you have to wait for winters, because you can only grow turnips in cool environment like winter or near to winters. Turnips are a member of the family Brassica that includes cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. Unlike the other vegetables from the same family, turnips are not the glamorous vegetable, but the edible roots and leaves with economical rates boost the vegetable’s fame.

Turnips are commonly found with white colour skin and the top purple part that protrudes from the ground attached to the stem. The small, tender, round-shaped vegetable is often confused with the swede because they belong to the family. Swedes are a lot bigger in size with rough skin, whereas turnips are usually equal to tennis balls with smooth skin texture.

Plant Turnips

Turnips are the winter crops and can grow well in moist and cooler temperatures. However, waterlogging and drought are against the nature of its growth. The preparation of planting beds with garden compost and aged and green manure in advance assures the crop’s successful development. The fertilizer The well-drained soil that holds moisture well and nutrient-enriched soil with full sun or lightly shaded area remains useful for its healthy growth. The ideal pH of soil for growing turnips is around 5.6 – 6.8.

To sow the seed, mark a line of 3cm and dig ½ inch deep, dust the source evenly and cover it with the soil. Water it well to settle the seeds in the ground. Within a row, replant at 12 inches (30 cm) intervals. Mulch is suggested if moisture needs to retain. Transplantation is not a good option for turnips. However, a wide container with a depth of 8 inches can be used to grow the turnips.


The soil that is too acidic encourages the clubroot, and swedes are liable to clubroot. The ideal pH to plant turnips are somewhere between 5.5-6.5. Regular watering and weeding are the two primary sources to nurture the crop successfully. The formation of small roots usually caused by overcrowding. Use a straw to mulch turnip. When turnip begins to grow, the roots become hard and strong-flavoured and prevent it from keeping the soil moist with adequate water.  Protect the produce from the attack of rabbits with netting and fencing.

If you are planting in areas with high rainfall, it is best to grow turnip on ridges. Don’t forget to get rid of all thistles and couch grass before the plantation. The right amount of compound fertilizer ten days before plantation deteriorates the chance of a failed attempt to grow.


The turnip is a crop that usually takes two months to mature. The time between sowing and harvesting is 6-8 weeks, and before temperature exceeds 75°F. The best way to identify when to harvest the turnip is when the leaves reach 4-5 inches in height, and roots are 2-3 inches in diameter. Thinned seedlings can also be picked for greens. Leaves can be plucked when they are 12 inches long if the primary motive of growing turnip is greens.

Use a garden fork to ease it out of the ground gently or pull it with bare hands. Cut the small leaves before storing the vegetable.


Turnips can be stored in the cellar and garage easily for several weeks. Cut off the tips to keep them pulling moisture from the roots. A favourable condition for the preservation of cabbage in a cellar can give it a long life. For use in spring, twist off the leaves. Bulk it by placing the globes between layers of peat or sand in a box and kept in a cold shed. Turnip greens can be refrigerated for seven days. Rinse it with tap water, get rid of excess moisture, and store it in a plastic bag.


  • Add fertilizer a week or ten days before plant turnips seed. 
  • The soil with high clay texture is not suitable for turnip plants. Use loamy and fertile soil to grow turnip.
  • Turnip will develop a more pungent taste if left for a more extended period in the soil.
  • The maintenance of temperature, i.e., 40°F or thereabouts, helps in smooth germination.
  • The ideal pH of the soil is 5.5-6.5 to avoid swollen roots.
  • Avoid growing crops closer to other root crops such as parsnip, carrot.
  • Mulch the crop with straws to retain moisture.
  • This crop does not require feeding if appropriately manure the earth the previous year.

Problem faced

Plant turnips are the most comfortable vegetable to grow and well-suited to the novice gardener, but gardeners face some issues. Turnips are afflicted with the same issues which affect all brassicas, though they are rarely severely impacted. The most common problems can be diseases and pests.


Club roots  

Clubroot is a fungal infection of brassicas sources, such as Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, turnip, leading to puffy and slanted roots and small growth. Clubroot can infect the roots if the soil is moist and warm so that it might trigger from mid-summer until late autumn.


Turnips are prone to scab. Hence, the disease scab does not affect the vegetable’s taste, but it causes the skin to change into dark colour. To prevent the loss, avoid waterlogging, and balance the pH of soil.

Powdery mildews 

Powdery mildews are white fungal infections that attack a wide range of plants, causing a white, dusty coating on leaves, stem, and flowers. The condition can be avoided if the crops are grown in a more relaxed place.



Turnip aphids cause curly or wilted leaves. Using insecticidal spray and blast of water wash prevents the plant from the potato aphids.


Cutworms are the real trouble maker for the crop and notorious agricultural pest. It can cause massive destruction to the crop and sometimes result in stunted growth. The effects can be reduced by preparing planting bed larvae and caterpillar free.

Types of Turnip


The variety of turnip that is rich in flavour and provides high-quality turnip. It produces smooth and large green leaves to eat that are equally flavorful. It reaches to harvest around 50 days. 

Purple Top White Globe

The variety of turnips that grow large with white globe and purple shoulders are famous for its smooth roots and flavorful leaves. It reaches to harvest around 57-60 days.

Market Express

Market Express is the baby turnips that never grow large and are found in pure white colour. It is sweeter than other kinds of turnips and can be eaten raw also. It reaches to harvest around 35-38 days.


Turnip is a well-suited crop to grow, with some challenging conditions, can benefit the farmer. The cost of preservation of the vegetable is comparatively less than another vegetable. Turnip has a delicate, sweet flavour, a great texture, and is very versatile. Turnips are more available in winter and taste better after a good frost. Turnips are enriched with vitamin C, a source of dietary fibre, niacin, thiamin, and vitamin B6, and contain a significant nutritional amount of potassium.


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