When and How to Plant Turnips

Easy as it is to grow turnips, still, they shouldn’t be treated like grass where they are left to grow on their own.  To yield excellent harvest, it is still important to know when and how turnips should be planted.

A cool weather root vegetable, turnips should be planted and cultivated to mature in the spring up to the fall season.  Spring turnips are ideally planted mid up to late March and fall turnips must be planted in late July to early August.

Depending on the variety, turnips take about 45 days to mature and produce edible-size swollen stems or what we know as “roots.”

Turnips have very small seeds and they do not transplant very well so it’s best that you directly seed them.

If you plant to grow them on the ground, you should plant the turnip seeds thinly in rows.  The turnips should be about 10 inches apart because the leafy stems can grow to about one to two feet tall and the actual turnip up to a foot in diameter.

The turnip seeds must be planted ¼ inch deep into the ground.  If you are growing a fall turnip variety, plant the seeds a little deeper – about ½ inch.  Make sure that you cover the seeds with fertile soil or garden compost after dropping them in.  Then, water the soil.

If you are planning to grow turnips in a bed, you can scatter the seeds to grow turnips every two to four inches apart in each direction.  If you want to grow turnips in containers, you can put a space of about an inch up to two inches in between each plant.

Regular watering is needed during the early stages of planting.  But make sure the soil doesn’t become soggy and compact.  This would ensure the rapid development of its roots.  Allowing the soil to dry out would also make the roots taste stronger and more “turnip.”  Weeds must be carefully removed as they can compete with the turnip.

Turnips grow pretty quickly.  When the seed germinates and appears after two weeks, you may start thinning the plants to one plant every four inches to avoid overcrowding.  If you are growing turnips for greens or its leafy tops, thin them from two to three inches apart.

On the first month, thin the turnip plants again from about ten to fifteen centimeters apart.  You can start harvesting young turnips on the second month and more mature bulbs on the third month.

Make sure to take care of your turnip as its taste, flavor and form can easily be affected by the soil where it was grown and its surrounding climate.