How to Grow Turnips

Growing Turnips

The Turnip is a member of the cabbage family and therefore in the 'Crop Rotation' scheme should be linked with the brassicas section. They are a splendid winter vegetable but to make sure that the roots mature quickly and therefore tender and tasty, they must be grown in soil that is rich in organic matter.

Soil Preparation

The soil must be fertile, loamy and retain moisture; it is pointless attempting to grow them on sandy soils. During the previous autumn, dig in plenty of well-rotted compost and manure at the rate of a bucketful to the sq. yd. In addition to this, apply fish manure with 6 per cent potash content at 3 to 4 oz. (90 - 120gm) to the sq. yd. give a surface dressing of lime unless the soil is limy or chalky, this should be at the rate of 7 oz. (210gm) to the sq. yd.


Sow the first early turnips in drills, which are 9 in. (228mm) apart and ½ in. (12mm) deep in early March. When the seedlings are through, thin out to 4 in. (101mm) apart in the rows. The second sowing may be made early in April, in drills ½ in. (12mm) deep and in rows that are 1 ft. (30cm) apart. These should be thinned later to 6 in. (15cm) apart in the rows. Sow winter turnips in the middle of July, ½ in. (12mm) deep in drills that are 1 ½ ft. (45cm) apart. Later thin out the seedlings so that they are 1 ft (30cm) apart.

General Care

Turnips need plenty of water and in dry weather the plants will require watering to enable them to make good growth.


Lift the earlies when the roots are young and fresh. Winter turnips may be left in the ground until they are needed, alternatively they may be lifted in November and when the tops have been cut off, they can be stored in the same way as potatoes.

Terry Blackburn. Internet Marketing Consultant, living in South Shields in the North-East of England. Author and Producer of blog Author of "Your Perfect Lawn," a 90 Page eBook devoted to Lawn Preparation, Lawn Care and Maintenance. Find it at []

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