All About Turnips

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Can I Plant
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Turnip plants are a cool season vegetable that grow as a root crop. They are biennial plants, meaning they take two years to complete their life cycle. The turnip plant has a thick, edible root and broad, green, edible leaves. The root is typically white with a purple or red top. The leaves are smooth and lobed, and are typically eaten cooked. Turnip plants prefer full sun and moist, well-drained soil. They are easy to grow, and can be harvested in as little as 40 days.

Planning Your Garden With Turnips

As you plan your garden, it's important to think about the spacing, size, light, and nutrient requirements of all of your plant and how they'll grow together.

Some plants require more water than others, while other plants require dry soil. At the same time, some plants prefer full sun, and other plants need the shade to survive.

By studying what each plant requires and planning ahead where all of your plants will grow best, you can optimize your garden space.

Life Cycle Turnips are an annual plant.
USDA Zone Turnips are hardy in USDA Zones 3-10.
Cold Tolerance Turnips can tolerate temperatures as low as 20. They will suffer damage when temperatures drop below this.
Days to harvest The minimum number of days to harvest turnips is 4 days.
Average size The average size of a full grown turnip plant is about 12 inches tall and 6 inches wide.
Spacing requirements Turnips require a spacing of 3-4 inches between plants and 12-18 inches between rows.
Sun tolerance Turnips are tolerant of full sun but prefer partial shade, especially during the hottest part of the day.
Shade tolerance Turnips are considered to be a shade-tolerant crop. They can tolerate up to about 50% shade, but they will produce the best yields in full sun.
Water requirements Turnips need about 1 inch of water per week. They prefer moist, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 6.5. During hot weather, they may need more water. Mulching can help conserve soil moisture.
Fertilizer The amount of fertilizer you should use when growing turnips depends on the type of fertilizer you are using and the soil conditions. Generally, a balanced fertilizer with an N-P-K ratio of 10-10-10 is recommended. Apply 1 to 2 pounds of fertilizer per 100 square feet of soil.
Soil pH The optimum pH for growing turnips is 6.0 to 6.8.

Why Turnips are Popular

People like to grow turnips because they are easy to grow, require minimal maintenance and care, and are a very versatile vegetable. They can be eaten raw, boiled, mashed, roasted, or used in soups and stews. They are also a great source of vitamins and minerals, and are relatively low in calories.

Companion Plants For Turnips

Companion planting is a great way to maximize your garden space and get the most out of your plants. By planting certain plants together, you can help each other thrive. In some cases, you can even help each other repel pests.

Popular companion plants for turnips include:

Common Pests For Turnips

Plant pests are a common problem for gardeners. By understanding what pests are common for your plants, you can take steps to prevent them from damaging your plants.

When you grow turnips, keep an eye out for these common pests:

  • cabbage root maggots
  • flea beetles
  • slugs
  • aphids
  • beetles
  • cutworms

USDA Zones

USDA zones are a popular way of determining which plants can grow in your area. Zones tell you when your average first and last frost date are, as well as how cold you can expect it to get in the winter.

Our site works best if you choose your zone from the list below. If you do not know your USDA zone, then you can use our zone map.

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