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How to Grow and Care for Turnips: A Complete Guide for Home Gardeners

Published: 09.04.2023

Turnips are a great addition to any home garden. This article will provide a comprehensive guide for growing turnips, including planting, care, and harvesting tips. Learn how to maximize yield and avoid common pests and diseases.

How to Plant Turnips in a Home Garden

Watering and Fertilizing

Watering is an essential aspect of turnip growth. Turnips require constant moisture for optimal growth, especially during the germination stage. Young turnips need at least 1 inch of water every week, while mature plants require 2 inches of water per week. However, avoid over-watering as this can lead to root rot and fungal diseases. Water your turnips in the morning to prevent the leaves from remaining wet overnight, which can also lead to fungal infections.

Fertilizing is also crucial for turnip growth. Turnips are heavy feeders and require rich soil with sufficient nutrients. Before planting, add a slow-release fertilizer to the soil to provide adequate nutrients throughout the growing season. Additionally, you can use a balanced fertilizer during the growing season to promote healthy growth. However, avoid using too much nitrogen fertilizer as this can result in excessive leaf growth at the expense of root development.

When to Harvest Turnips for Maximum Yield

Turnips are typically ready for harvest 30-60 days after planting, depending on the variety and growing conditions. The best time to harvest turnips is when they reach maturity but are still small and tender. Overgrown turnips become tough and woody, making them unpalatable.

Turnips Begin: A Step-by-Step Guide to Planting Your Own Turnips Garden

To determine if your turnips are ready for harvest, gently pull one from the ground and inspect its size and texture. If it is around 2-3 inches in diameter and has a smooth texture, it is ready for harvest. You can also check the color of the leaves; if they start to wilt or yellow, it is an indication that it's time for harvesting.

Tips for Success with Turnips

Thin Your Seedlings

One of the most important things you can do for your turnip plants is to thin them out. This means removing some of the seedlings so that the remaining ones have enough space to grow and thrive. If you don't thin your turnips, they will be crowded and won't develop properly. When the seedlings are about 2 inches tall, remove every other plant so that the remaining turnips are spaced about 4 inches apart. This will give them enough room to grow full-sized roots.

Water Regularly

Turnips need plenty of water to grow properly. They should be watered deeply once a week, especially during dry spells. Make sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged, as too much water can cause the roots to rot. If you're not sure whether your turnips need water, stick your finger into the soil about an inch deep. If it feels dry, it's time to water.

Fertilize Sparingly

Turnips don't need a lot of fertilizer, but they do benefit from a little boost. Before planting your turnip seeds, work some compost or well-rotted manure into the soil. This will provide the nutrients your turnips need to grow strong and healthy. Once your turnips have sprouted, you can give them a light application of balanced fertilizer (such as a 10-10-10 blend) every 4 weeks.

Harvest at the Right Time

Turnips are ready to harvest when their roots are about 2-3 inches in diameter. Don't let them get too big, or they'll become woody and tough. To harvest your turnips, gently loosen the soil around the roots with a garden fork or trowel, and pull them up by the leaves. Cut off the leaves and store your turnips in a cool, dry place.

Never Let Your Turnips Go Bad Again

More structured data

Plant attribute table

Attribute Description
Scientific name Brassica rapa
Common name Turnip
Plant type Root vegetable
Life cycle Biennial
Sun exposure Full sun to partial shade
Soil type Well-draining, fertile soil
Soil pH 6.0 to 7.5
Watering Regular, consistent watering to keep soil moist
Planting time Spring or fall
Planting depth 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch
Spacing 4 to 6 inches
Germination time 5 to 10 days
Maturity time 50 to 60 days for roots to mature
Height 12 to 24 inches
Spread 8 to 12 inches
Frost tolerance Frost tolerant, can withstand light frost
Pests Flea beetles, aphids, root maggots, cutworms, and clubroot
Diseases Clubroot, powdery mildew, black rot, and damping-off
Harvesting Roots can be harvested when they are 2 to 3 inches in diameter
Yield 3 to 7 pounds per 10-foot row

Nutrition data for 100g RAW

Calories 28
Carbohydrates 6.43g
Fat 0.1g
Protein 0.9g
Fiber 1.8g
Sugars 3.8g
Calcium 30mg
Iron 0.3mg
Magnesium 11mg
Phosphorus 36mg
Potassium 233mg
Sodium 39mg
Zinc 0.2mg
Vitamin C 21mg
Thiamin 0.03mg
Riboflavin 0.03mg
Niacin 0.4mg
Vitamin B6 0.09mg
Folate 15mcg
Vitamin A 0IU
Vitamin E 0.13mg
Vitamin K 0.1mcg

Author: Michael Chen
Bio: I'm gardening specialist with a mission to empower people to grow their own fruits and vegetables. With my background in Plant Science from the University of California and experience working with farmers and community gardens, I'm dedicated to promoting sustainable agriculture practices and helping individuals achieve bountiful harvests. Let's get growing!