Turnips Overview

Of the few versatile crops listed, Turnips are one. You can grow them for greens or for the bulb. They grow fairly quickly, maturing in about 2 months, so you can get more than one harvest in a season.

Turnips produce small mild-flavored bulbs that are excellent for eating raw and fresh, just like radishes. Most varieties are grown either for fresh consumption or for greens.
This document focuses on growing Turnips.

Table 1 Planting Guide

Depth to plant

1/4 inches deep

Spacing between seeds

Space plants about 4'' - 6'' apart

Spacing between seedlings

Space rows about 18'' - 24'' apart

Days to germinate (Sprout)

7 - 14 days

Planting season

Spring Winter

Plant height

Appx. 12'' tall

No. of Plants per sq. ft.

9 plants per sq. ft.

Soil requirement

Prefers soil with pH levels of 6.0 - 7.5.

Turnips Prerequisites

  • Plant Type:
  • Light: Full sun
  • Water: When it comes to watering turnips in container gardens, keep the potting soil constantly moist

Turnips Growing Steps

The following steps define the process from seed to harvest.

1. You must sow the heirloom seeds of turnips from My Green Vault in pro trays and then transplant. For more information on sowing seeds and germination tips, refer to ***.

2. Prepare your turnips for transplanting once the plants have reached at least 1/2-foot in height.

3. While you transplant the seedlings, ensure to maintain the specified distance between each plant.

4. Prepare a good growing medium. A good, simple option is a mix of two parts potting soil, one part Coco Peat (CP) and one part Vermi Compost (VC). The soil and VC provides your plant with the nutrients it needs, while the CP mix retains the moisture.

5. Place your pot in a sunny location.

Turnips Plant Maintenance

Turnips require evenly moist soil to ensure the best and fast growth. Do not over water or allow the soil to dry out.

1. To help promote greater plant productivity, add adequate amount of VC or Compost Tea (CT).

Note: For more information on CT preparation and application, refer to ***.

2. Make sure your turnips receive at least 1“-1 1/2” of water a week.

Turnips Companion Plants

• Carrots and radishes.

Turnips Plant Protection

Turnips Pests

Turnips can be attacked by the following:

  • Aphids
  • Mustard sawfly
  • Semi looper
  • Caterpillars and beetles

Turnips Diseases

  • Nematode
  • Leaf spot
  • Club root
  • Black rot
  • Root fly

Turnips Organic Control

Once you have identified the troublemakers, you can control them with an assortment of organic pest-control methods. The following list contains few methods:

a. Semi looper

– Remove the affected terminal shoot showing boreholes

– Remove the affected fruits and destroy

– Spray Neem oil

Note: For more information on neem oil dilution and application, refer to ***.

b. Thrips

– For mild to moderate problems, such as only a small percentage of leaves being affected, just remove the leaves that have the pest problem

– – Blue sticky traps

– – Spray Neem oil every alternate day

c. Mustard sawfly

– Collection and destruction of grubs of saw fly in morning and evening

d. Caterpillars and beetles

– Hand pick off the plants

– Dislodge with jet water spray

e. Nematode

– Treat the seeds with Trichoderma viride or Pseudomonas fluorescens 24 hours before sowing

– Apply Pseudomonas fluorescens as soil application

f. Aphids

– Spray home made garlic and insecticidal soap solution

Note: For more information on preparation and application of garlic and insecticidal soap spray, refer to ***.

g. Leaf spot

– Remove the affected plants in the early stages to control the vector

h. Club root

– Improve drainage and raise the soil pH by liming

– Consider using club root resistant varieties

i. Black rot

– Spray a dilute raw milk and water solution to suppress the rot to acceptable levels

j. Root fly

– Companion planting with very aromatic plants such as, garlic, basil, marigolds, and so on, can reduce the females ability to find the host plant to lay eggs and multiply

– Covering the plants with a fine mesh will prevent the fly adults from reaching the plants

Turnips Harvesting

Your organic turnips are ready for harvest the bulbs are small and tender, around 2 - 3 inches in diameter. Older turnips can get tough. Turnip greens can be harvested anytime after they reach 4 inches tall. If you don't harm the top of the bulb, the greens will continue to regrow.

The time from planting to harvest is 45 to 50 days from transplants. Pull out the plants and eat them raw!