Planting, Growing And Harvesting Turnips

Tips for growing turnips successfully


Turnips are a great choice to add to your spring garden. What makes these veggies so awesome is they can either be planted in the spring or in the fall and eaten cooked or raw. Turnips are easy to grow so adding these to your garden will be of great benefit. So what are the steps in growing turnips?

Steps for planting, growing, and harvesting turnips

1. Location is so important, turnips require full sunlight although partial shade will do.

2. Using organic soil or compost will help your plants to establish easier thereby helping you to yield a good harvest.

3. Level and smooth the area before sowing seeds.

4. Wet the soil lightly with water.

5. Sprinkle seeds and gently rake 1/2inches into the soil.

6. Next, gently water don’t overwater or soak the soil. The goal is to wet the soil enough for proper seed germination.

7. Turnips should develop a good root system therefore as the plant begins to develop thin plants to about 3-5 inches.

Planting, growing, and harvesting turnips

Care of turnips

  • Keep soil somewhat moist not waterlogged
  • Keep the plant bed weed-free
  • Adding mulches is an added benefit

When to harvest turnips?

Turnips can be harvested anywhere from 5-10 weeks after planting. The leaves taste best when they are tender and young.

For fall harvesting should be done after the frost before it becomes very cold.

Turnip pest control

There is nothing like having uninvited guests that seek to make a meal of your garden plants. The good news is by following these steps will help to eliminate these pest problems.

  • Aphids are pear-shaped insects that have piercing-sucking mouthparts that suck the juice from turnips. Signs include welt or leaf curl. Aphids can be eliminated by spraying your turnips with a strong spray of water knocking them off and killing them or by applying insecticidal soap when the weather is 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Flea beetles can either be tan, black or another color, there are many species of these beetles. Flea beetles are best identified by their ability to hop as they move from plant to plant. Flea beetles eat plant parts making holes in the tender growth of plant leaves. Symptoms include blight and wilt of the plant. Using insecticidal soap or an organic spray will bring these beetles under control.
  • Whiteflies are another insect pest problem. These flies once disturbed will fly quickly from the infected plant but will return just as quickly. Whiteflies have piercing-sucking mouthparts that are injected into the plant extracting plant juice.
  • The secretion of the whiteflies will cause sooty mold to form on your turnips. To control white flys either use horticultural oils or insecticidal soap sprays.
  • Cutworms live in the soil and damage plants by feeding on the lower hanging leaves and stems. Signs of these garden insect pests are seedlings that are cut down to ground level. To eliminate the eggs and larvae plow soil 10 days before planting seeds also applying diatomaceous earth around the base of plants offers help.
  • The seed corn and cabbage maggots are both small legless and white. These larvae live in the soil and feed on turnips roots and younger plants. To control apply diatomaceous earth around the plant base.

Disease of turnips

Powdery mildew-planting-growing-and-harvesting-turnips
Powdery mildew disease

Turnips are also susceptible to disease and therefore identifying and treating these diseases will ensure that you yield a good harvest.

  • Downy mildew is caused by a fungus, it appears on the underside of turnips and is a fuzzy white patch. Applying fungicides early in the season and until the time of harvest may be the best option.
  • Powdery mildew is also caused by fungus. The sign that your plant has this fungus appears as a circular white appearance on the surface of your turnip leaves or it may appear as if your plants were dusted with white flour.
  • This fungus may also spread to the stems and fruits of plants causing the leaves to become distorted or twisted. Treat this disease by applying neem oil, sulfur, or lime.

Turnip nutritional facts

Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folate, Niacin, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Fiber, and Pantothenic acid.

Health benefits of turnips

1. Turnips have been known to help prevent cancer.

2. Aids in weight loss.

3. Helps to lower blood pressure.

4. Promotes good digestion.

5. Are good for diabetic patients.

6. Help with a good bowel movement

The final word

Turnips are great to plant in the spring or late fall. Growing turnips in your home garden can be very rewarding and the benefits they offer are very amazing. So get started on those turnips and yield a harvest.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.

6 thoughts on “Planting, Growing And Harvesting Turnips”

  1. Thank you for motivating me to plant some turnips! I was never a fan of this vegetable until a few years ago, and now I cook with turnips often and they are a winter favorite. Is it possible to get a “natural” fungicide? I am concerned with treating plants with chemicals.

  2. Thank you! I have tried to plant turnips before but our growing season is short so was never too successful. I see now that perhaps I did a few things incorrectly. 🙂 I have a question. If you harvest the turnip after the first frost, could you cut off the leaves much earlier when they are younger without harming the turnip itself?
    Turnips are so awesome in the fall and knowing about the benefits makes it even better!

  3. When I was a child we used to eat wild turnips that have grown in our “kaingin”, farm.

    We even harvest the young pods for viand but I never know that even the leaves can be eaten. It is my first time to hear this, now I know.

    In the Philippines we usually see volumes of these vegetables sold during summer time and we usually eat this raw for snacks it is a good source of water and all the vitamins. Others preserve it also as pickles and others use it for other delicacies.

    Turnips are a good business because as you said it can be harvested from 5 to 10 weeks, this may depend on what variety and it is not too long to wait.

    • Hello Abagatan so good to meet you. Turnips are really amazing and has so may benefits. You seem to know a lot about turnips and that is pretty amazing. Thanks a lot for commenting, all the best to you and have a good day.

  4. Hi,Norman,
    To be honest I have not eaten turnips for quite sometime and now that I have seen a post on turnips I feel like I definitely need to add them to my diet.

    In New Zealand farmers grow white turnips by the fields mainly to feed their stock.
    I do like turnips myself and I cook them with roast meat and roasted turnips but have not had them for a while.

    I do like the beneficial uses of the turnip like aiding in weight loss,bowel movements,improves digestion and the big one helps to prevent cancer!

    Thanks for that,Norman I’m going to get me some turnips tomorrow at the supermarket.

    • Hello Sunny so good to see you and yes turnips are pretty amazing and so beneficial. Thanks a million for commenting. I am so happy that I could help. Have a good day.


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