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Growing Turnips For Raw
Or Cooked Greens And Roots

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Young Turnip Greens Good Fresh In Salads

Growing Turnips

Turnips are an easy to grow cool season root crop whose tops can be picked and used as greens as well as harvesting the root. Both the leaves and root can be eaten either cooked or raw.

There are several different varieties some that are breed especially for use as greens and others that will yield a good harvest of both tops and roots. The Purple Top White Globe variety being a classic example of this dual purpose vegetable.

The best turnips, both greens and root are grown by sowing seeds in mid to late summer for harvesting in the cooler fall and early winter months. When growing turnips for winter use these turnip roots also store better.

Photo of picked mature brussel sprouts

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Sowing turnips seeds thickly in the home garden allows you to harvest plenty of fresh greens for both salads and as a cooked vegetable.

Photo of picked mature brussel sprouts

Roll-over image to enlarge

When picking greens for use, combine harvesting and thinning as one operation by removing the whole plant, this gives the turnip roots room to grow.

Photo of picked mature brussel sprouts

Roll-over image to enlarge

Once the turnip roots are about 2 inches (5 cm) across, start pulling every second one, using the young tender turnips for your immediate needs and leaving the others to mature for storage.

Quick Reference Guide

Veggie Garden Dairy
Vegetable Turnips
Also Known As
Botanical Family - Brassicaceae, Genus - Brassica, Species - B. rapa
Plant Type Cool season - biennial - root vegetable
Frost Tolerance Hardy
Planting Position Sunny position - Will do alright in partial shade, but you'll have to wait longer for a full crop. They require a minimum of 4-6 hours of direct sunlight daily
Seed Viability 4 years
Germination 5-8 days at 40-80 F (4-27 C)
Growing Temp 50-70 F (10-21 C)
Seed to Transplant Direct sow
Planting Method Direct sow only
When to Plant Spring and again in mid-summer for fall-winter harvest
Time to Plant As soon as 2 - 4 weeks before the average date of the last 32 F (0 C) freeze in the spring in your area but not before soil temperatures are consistently 40 F (4 C) and above.
Seed Sowing Direct sowing turnip seeds - 1/2 inch (12 mm) deep - 1 inch (25 mm) apart in rows 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart .
Plant Spacing Direct sow turnip seeds only - thin to 3-5 inches (7-12 cm) apart in rows 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart
Soil Conditions Well drained - Low to moderate organic matter - Low to medium fertility
Fertilizer Low fertilizer needs, 2-3 quarts per 100 sq feet (2.2-3.3 liters per 9.3 square meters) preplanting of All-Purpose 5-5-5 Organic Fertilizer icon, same rate for each side dressing.
When to Fertilize 2 weeks before planting
Days to Harvest 40-60 days - depending on conditions and variety

related pages

Home Page - Site Map - Top of Growing Turnips Page - Alphabetical List of Vegetables