Although turnips are most often used in European kitchens, North Americans have also come to embrace turnips for their nutritional green tops as well as for their pickling uses. Today we’ll show you how to grow turnips from seeds!
Turnips can open up a world of new culinary ideas, and if you’ve never cooked with turnips before, now is the time to start! People have been growing turnips as far back as 3,000 years ago and for good reason too! The entire turnip vegetable can be consumed (root and greens), and the root is often used instead of potatoes. Also a lot less starchy, turnips are a very healthy and nutritious alternative to potatoes.
How to Grow Turnips
- Choose an area in your yard that gets full sun.
- Loosen the soil to a depth of 12-15 inches and make sure that it is well draining.
- Mix in a 2-4 inch layer of compost and stir well.
- As soon as the ground is workable, you can start sowing the seeds.
- Scatter your turnip seeds and do not cover with more than 1/2 inch of soil.
- Once seedlings reach about 4 inches in height, thin early types 2-4 inches apart.
- If only growing for greens, do not thin.
Caring for Turnips:
- Remove any weeds as soon as you see them.
- Mulch heavily to retain moisture.
- To keep the roots from becoming tough and bitter, water at least 1 inch per week.
- Depending on the variety of turnips you’ve planted, you can harvest them as early as 5 weeks after planting.
- Other varieties may need 6-10 weeks until harvest.
- You can choose when to harvest depending on what type of turnips you want: the small, young turnips are nice and tender.
- Store for up to 4 months in a cool, outdoor, straw covered area.