what are turnips and why grow them?
Turnips are a root vegetable that belong to the Brassica family, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts. The most common type of turnip is the white turnip, but there are also yellow and purple varieties. Turnips can be eaten raw or cooked, and their leaves can also be eaten as greens.
Turnips are a cool season crop, so they should be planted in early spring or late summer. In warm climates, they can be planted in the winter. Turnips need full sun and well-drained soil to grow well. They should be fertilized with compost before planting.
Turnips are ready to harvest when they are about 3-4 inches in diameter. To harvest, loosen the soil around the turnip with a spade or fork and then lift it out of the ground.
Planting: when and how to plant turnips
Turnips are a cool-weather crop that can be planted as early as 2 weeks before the average last frost date in spring. Sow turnip seeds ½ inch deep in rich, well-drained soil. Rows should be 12 to 18 inches apart, with 3 to 4 inches between seeds. When seedlings are 4 to 6 inches tall, thin them so they’re 8 to 10 inches apart. Keep the soil moist but not soggy; too much water will make turnips tough and woody.
Harvest turnips when they’re ¾ to 1½ inches in diameter, usually 50 to 60 days after planting. Baby turnips can be harvested earlier and eaten whole; larger ones should be peeled before eating. Pull up the entire plant when harvesting, as turnips left in the ground will continue to grow larger and tougher.
Caring for turnips: watering, fertilizing, and thinning
Turnips are a root vegetable that can be harvested throughout the fall and winter. They are a hardy vegetable that can withstand frost and cold temperatures. When planting turnips, it is important to water them regularly, fertilize them every few weeks, and thin them out once they have germinated.
To ensure a bountiful crop of turnips, water your plants regularly. Turnips need at least 1 inch of water per week. If you live in an area with little rainfall, supplement with irrigation. Be sure to fertilize your turnips every few weeks with a balanced fertilizer. Once your turnips have germinated, thin them out so that each plant has enough room to grow.
Harvesting: when and how to harvest turnips
When and how to harvest turnips is a question that many gardeners have. The best time to harvest turnips is in the fall after the first frost. The turnips should be harvested before the ground freezes. To harvest turnips, use a sharp knife to cut the roots from the plant. Be sure to leave about an inch of stem on the root. Cut the leaves off of the plant about two inches from the base of the plant. Once you have harvested your turnips, store them in a cool, dry place.
Using turnips: ideas for cooking and eating turnips
Turnips are a versatile root vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. Here are some ideas for cooking and eating turnips: