Growing Turnips

Latest Update 25th July 2018.

  • Turnips are best harvested young (50mm to 75mm in diameter), when the roots are at their most tender and the foliage can be used as a leafy green vegetable.
  • I like to steam or roast the young turnip roots, but I leave some to mature for use in soups and casseroles.
  • Organically grown turnips are full of flavour and very nutritious.
  • I grow succession crops during the year a few clusters at a time.
  • They are harvested progressively as they grow and only when required in the kitchen.  I don't store them for later use.
  • In my garden, turnips are rarely affected by pests or diseases. 
  • Variety:                                                    Purple Top White Globe.
  • Trinomial name:                                        Brassica rapa var. rapa
  • Family group:                                           Brassiaceae.
  • Crop rotation group:                                  Heavy feeders.
  • Garden bed type:                                      Garden Ecobed.
  • Minimum sun per day:                               6 hours.
  • Plant spacings (centres x rows):                150 x 150 mm.
  • Weeks to harvest:                                     6 - 9 weeks.
  • Good companions:                                    Peas, nasturtiums.
  • Climate:                                                   Warm temperate.
  • Geography:                                              Southern hemisphere.
  • This food is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. 
  • It is a good source of vitamin B6, folate, calcium, potassium and copper, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C and manganese.
  • More from nutrition
Maintaining Ecobed Productivity.
  • Check out my blogpage which explains how to maintain productivity in Ecobeds.  It describes how soil is prepared prior to planting, the importance of rainwater in Ecobeds, how to regulate the sun's intensity and how to feed plants through their leaves.
Propagating Seedlings.
  • Check out my blogpage which explains how to propagate seeds.
Propagation Plan.
  • Check out my blogpage which tells you when to sow seeds.
Growing Instructions.
  • Multi-sow 4 turnip seeds in finely sieved compost in each of 4 seed tray cells.  Water them in and leave them to germinate in the moist warm conditions of an EcoPropagator.
  • Transplant them into a prepared Ecobed when they reach the 4th leaf stage of their growth.  Take care the plug of compost stays intact during this process.  Use a large dibber to make 4 planting holes about 150mm apart and water them in carefully.
  • Apply straw mulch on any exposed soil as soon as the turnips are established.
Harvesting and Storage.
  • Turnips can be harvested from May till August, and their leaves can be harvested at the same time as their roots.
Organic Pest Control.
  • Turnips, like most vegetables, are vulnerable to attack from certain pests in my garden.  My blog "Controlling Garden Pests" explains a little about these pests and what to do to protect plants from them.  For details click on the appropriate link below.