How to Grow Turnips (White)

How to Sow Turnips

How to Thin Out Turnip Seedlings

  • Remember to water in dry weather, keeping moist
  • Turnips are not as hardy as swedes
  • They prefer a sheltered site, in partial shade
  • Soil should be deep & fertile with plenty of farmyard manure
  • Soil ph of between 5.5 and 7.5 is fine
  • Spread well rotted compost or manure on the soil the previous Autumn
  • A week before planting, lightly rake soil adding some growmore or fish, blood and bone
  • Keep the soil weed free, use a garden hoe to clear emerging weeds every two weeks
  • Keep soil moist, as drying out and re-wetting can lead to roots splitting

When to Harvest Turnip Crops

  • White turnips such as 'snowball' is ready for Harvest after 5-6 weeks
  • Harvest roots when they have reached 7-10cm in diameter
  • Harvest before they get too big to maintain good flavour
  • Alternatively, turnips can be harvested for their greens, this can be done once they reach 10cm, cut foliage and allow it to re-sprout
  • Begin lifting roots when they are roughly the same size as a large orange
  • Turnips can tolerate some frost
  • Turnips will actually sweeten when left in frosty ground
  • Recommend to wait till after frost to harvest

Storage of Turnips

  • Turnips will keep for 4-5 months if kept in a cold dark area, away from strong flavours or scents
  • To freeze, simply peel, dice and blanch
  • Remove and dry and place in plastic bags in freezer

Pests & Diseases that Affect Turnips

  • Turnips suffer from the same issues as cabbage
  • Slugs can eat foliage preventing root establishment
  • There are many slug control options from dried egg shells to copper tape
  • The fungus clubroot which is a common disease of brassicas can also infect turnip
  • Signs of clubroot include distorted, wilting leaves and misshapen and swollen roots
  • Pigeons can also eat turnip foliage

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