How to Grow, Plant and Harvesting Turnips. Turnips are a type of cool-season vegetable that can be cultivated both in the spring and the fall. They mature swiftly, and the roots as well as the vibrant greens can be savoured. Discover more about the cultivation and harvesting of this traditional root vegetable.
How to Grow Turnips
Turnips can grow in spring or fall but dislike the heat of the summer. (Take note that compared to a spring crop, an autumn crop sown in the late summer is typically sweeter and more tender, and pests are less of an issue.)
Turnips do not transplant well; they are seeded straight into the garden. Additionally, they germinate quickly. Their greens can be harvested after a month, and the enlarged roots can be harvested after a second month. You can eat turnips raw, baked, boiled, roasted, mashed, or roasted. Carrots and turnips can be prepared similarly. You may also try them in place of potatoes; we like turnip gratin.
Temperatures between 40° to 75°F are ideal for turnip growth when they are in full light. Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches as soon as the garden can be worked. Add 2 to 4 inches of compost or aged manure. To improve drainage in heavy, clay soil, add more.
Turnip Planting Season:
- Turnip seeds should be sown two to three weeks prior to the typical last spring frost date for a late spring crop.
- Sow turnips in late summer following summer harvests of onions, squash, beans, or sweet corn for an autumn harvest.
- Plant seeds early in the season for a later harvest in the autumn.
Turnip Planting Techniques
- Mix a great low organic fertiliser (such as 5-5-5) into the soil around 12 inches before planting. A large root will be sacrificed in favour of lush greens if you overfertilize with nitrogen.
- Directly sow seeds in rows that are 12 to 18 inches apart, 14 to 12 inches deep, and spaced 1 inch apart.
- Turnip seeds can also be dispersed, and then thinned afterwards.
- No more than 12 inches of soil should be used to cover seeds.
- regularly and thoroughly water.
- During planting, use row coverings to protect spring crops from pests.
Thin seedlings to 4 to 6 inches apart after they are 4 inches tall. Small or crooked roots may develop from overcrowding. They won’t grow if you grow them any closer than 4 inches. Keep the beds free of weeds, but take care not to disrupt the young turnips’ roots.
Mulch extensively to keep moisture in and keep weeds down. Turnips require little maintenance, but continuous soil moisture is crucial. One inch of water every week should maintain the soil pleasantly moist and prevent roots from growing hard and bitter.
Ways to Avoid Bolting
Although we regard turnips as annuals, they are tough biennials. In the second year, they naturally blossom and set seed. They occasionally bolt (bloom and set seed early) in the first year as a result of stress brought on by high temperatures (cold or hot), a lack of nutrients, or water. Such strains may also cause a root to sprout above ground, with little to no underground growth, or with only greens.
Turnips should be harvested before the temperature reaches the 80s (F) to prevent bolting.
The turnip greens, which can be cooked or eaten raw in salads, are the primary reason that turnips are farmed, as opposed to the root itself. Turnip greens that are younger won’t be as bitter as mature ones. Almost any turnip type will work if you are growing turnips primarily for their greens. How to Grow Turnips.
Try these for roots.
- ‘Gold Ball’: harvest at 3 inches in diameter for optimal sweetness; yellow skin and delicate, yellow flesh (will grow to 4 to 5 inches)
- “Just Right” is a variety with pure white roots and tasty greens. It is also very cold-tolerant, and stores well, but is not advised for a spring harvest due to its propensity to bolt early.
- ‘Purple Top White Globe’ has delicious leaves, is wonderful for producing greens for a long time, and has roots with purple shoulders.
- “Golden Globe” roots have amber-coloured skin and firm, crisp, delicious meat in addition to delectable tips.
- Turnips taste best when the leaves are fresh and sensitive, so harvest greens while they are little. Leaves can regrow if you trim them 2 inches above the base. If you are also cultivating roots, only harvest a couple at a time.
- Roots can be harvested at any time, although young, little turnips are more sensitive. Early varieties are frequently harvested after 5 weeks. main crop kinds six to ten weeks later.
- For a sweeter flavour, consider picking fall turnips after one or two light frosts (but before a hard freeze).
- Mulch to guard against a hard freeze and to facilitate harvesting later in the season.
Tips for Storing Turnips
- Store for up to 3 or 4 months in a dark, cool (32° to 38°F) location, such as a root cellar, or for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- Turnips should be stored in a perforated plastic bag if kept in the refrigerator. It’s crucial that the turnips don’t dry out, but they also shouldn’t get too wet and start to mould.
- Peel, wash, and cut into cubes measuring 1/2 inch in size. Blanch for 3 minutes, then immediately cool in cold water and drain. Label each container after packing, then freeze.