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Botanical name: Brassica rapa Rapifera Group

Plant type: Vegetable

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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.

Recommended Varieties

  • '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.


how deep do you plant the

By enlal frazier

how deep do you plant the turnip seed? and how many days to harvest.

Read above: Do not cover the

By Almanac Staff

Read above: Do not cover the seeds with more than 1/2 an inch of soil.
Turnips have a maturity date of 40 to 60 days, depending on the variety.

i planted my swedish turnips

By galeb2

i planted my swedish turnips in late april. some of them have started flowering now. have i left them in to late? i read o another site someone sayinf when they flower, you have left them in the ground to long so i have been tryin to find out but i cant seem to find any info online to help me :(

Turnips can grow in spring

By Almanac Staff

Turnips can grow in spring but you have to get them in really early to keep them from flowering. We'd set them in the ground 2 to 4 weeks before the last spring frost. It's even easier to grow turnips in the fall when the days and nights get cooler and longer.

when is the best time to

By fred bottom

when is the best time to plant turnips in the fall

Turnips can be planted any

By Almanac Staff

Turnips can be planted any time during the summer until about 70 days before a killing frost so that they have time to grow.

soft turnips

By Linda Pippin

what causes turnips to get soft only after aday. I am experimenting for a fall harvest to place in root cellar. they are great tasting, sweet, but in a day after I place a few on my outdoor table they got soft. I did not cut off greens could that be the problem?

Yes, you should remove the

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you should remove the turnips greens. Turnips should not be left out at room temperature as this will cause them to wilt and become limp. Like any root vegetable, they require a cool, dark, dry environment for storage.
Good luck!

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