Botanical name: Brassica rapa Rapifera Group
Plant type: Vegetable
Sun exposure: Full Sun
Soil type: Loamy
Soil pH: Slightly Acidic to Neutral
Turnips are biennials usually grown as annuals. Although turnips are more of a staple in European kitchens, many southern gardeners like to grow them for their greens. Turnips grow best in a temperate climate but can endure light frost. Different varieties can be used to lengthen the harvesting period.
- Loosen the soil to a 12-15 inch depth and mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost.
- Start sowing as soon as the ground is workable.
- Space early types 9 inches apart, thinning seedlings to 4 inches.
- Space maincrop types 12 inches apart, thinning to 6 inches.
- Do not cover the seeds with more than 1/2 an inch of soil.
- Do not thin if growing for greens only.
- Keep the beds weed free.
- Mulch heavily and water at a rate of 1 inch per week to prevent the roots from becoming tough and bitter.
- Harvest early types after about 5 weeks; maincrop types after 6-10 weeks.
- Pull turnips before they become woody and before the first frost.
- Store for up to 3 or 4 months in a cool outdoor place covered with straw.
- 'Just Right'
- 'Purple Top White Globe'
- Recommended for the Upper Midwest are 'Green Globe' and 'York Globe'.
Wit & Wisdom
Turnips like a dry bed but a wet head.