By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
Turnips are a root vegetable that grow quickly and are ready for harvest in as little as two months. When are turnips ready for picking? You can pull them at several stages of growth. When to harvest turnips depends upon whether you prefer the robust, large bulbs or the tender, sweet young roots.
There are different methods for harvesting and storing turnips. Some are pulled and bunched together with the leaves and stems intact. These are best taken when they are 2 inches (5 cm.) in diameter. Those that are topped, which means the greens are removed, are harvested when 3 inches (8 cm.) in diameter.
The actual time for harvesting a turnip root is determined by the variety and your growing conditions. Plants that grow in less than ideal conditions will take longer to mature. If you are harvesting turnip greens, this will also slow the production of the root and they will take longer before harvest.
Maturation from seed varies from 28 to 75 days. The larger varieties take longer to reach full size. You can also take them when they are small for a sweeter, milder flavor. Turnips are seeded in spring or fall, but the fall crops need to be harvested before heavy freezes. However, they do seem to have a sweeter flavor when exposed to mild frost.
Your turnip harvest should all be pulled before heavy freezes or the root may crack and rot in the soil. Turnips keep very well in cold storage, so pull the entire crop by late fall. In temperate zones, the turnip harvest is kept in the ground longer by piling mulch around the plants to protect the roots from freezing.
Turnip greens are nutritious, versatile vegetables. You can harvest them from any variety of turnip but this will impede production of the root. There are varieties of turnip that produce large heads of greens and are sown just for harvesting turnip greens.
Only cut the greens once if you want a turnip harvest of roots. When you cut the leaves, you reduce the plant’s ability to harvest solar energy for food to fuel the growth of the root. Shogoin is an excellent cultivar that you can grow just for the greens and harvest numerous times by the “cut and come again” method.
After harvesting a turnip root, cut the greens off and store in a cool spot. The ideal temperature is 32 to 35 degrees F. (0-2 C.), which makes the refrigerator an excellent place to keep the roots.
If you have a large turnip harvest, put them in a box lined with straw in a cool cellar or garage. Make sure the location is dry or the roots will get moldy spots. They should keep for several months, just like onions and potatoes, if humidity levels are less than 90 percent.
If you were not sure when to harvest turnips and got a crop of woody roots, peel them and stew for more tender vegetables.
This article was last updated on
Turnips are one of those vegetables I’d never tried until I started gardening. Freshly-harvested turnips and greens are sweet, tender, and delicious . Learn how to grow turnips, and add this cool-weather root vegetable (and its greens) to your table.
Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links. See my disclosure policy for more information.
Store the best turnips damaged or bruised roots will not store well and should be eaten soon after harvest.
Turnips are cool-weather vegetables that can be grown both in spring and fall, avoiding the hot summer months. They mature very rapidly and you can enjoy both the greens and the roots. Try this ancient root vegetable that’s been grown for over 3,000 years! We’ll show you how to plant, grow, and harvest turnips this season.
An autumn crop, seeded in late summer, is usually sweeter and more tender than a spring crop—and pests are less of a problem. What’s wonderful about turnips is that they germinate in only a few days. Within a month, you can enjoy their bright greens, and within a second month (60 to 90 days), you can eat the swollen roots.
Turnips can be eaten raw, baked, boiled, roasted, or mashed. Prepare turnips as you would carrots. Or, try them as an alternative to potatoes we enjoy a turnip gratin.
Turnips are hardy biennials, even though we treat them as annuals. They naturally flower and go to seed (bolt) in the second year. Bolting in the first year could be due to stress, such as caused by extreme temperatures (cold or hot) or lack of nutrients or water. Such stresses can also result in little or no root growth, a root that grows above ground, or greens only.
Be sure to pick turnips before temperatures get into the 80s to avoid bolting.
Click on links for more information about the relevant pest:
Many turnips are grown not for the root itself but for the turnip greens, which can be cooked or used raw in salads. Younger turnip greens will not be as bitter as mature leaves. If you are growing turnips primarily for their greens, most any turnip variety will do.
Turnips are a cool weather crop and can be grown in fall (autumn) or in spring 2 weeks before the last frost. Plant turnips 1/2 in deep and 4 in apart. Row spacing should be 12 inches apart. Turnips take 2 weeks to germinate and 2 months to harvest. Enjoy delicious home grown turnips! Turnips that you grow yourself taste way more flavorful than any store bought turnips!
#Turnip #Garden #Gardening #IndoorGardening
Perfect Soil and Growing Medium for Organic Gardening
Cover Plants with Plastic Tote and this Happens
Buy Kitchen Scraps in Your Garden and This Happens
14 Store Bought Vegetables you can Regrow
Growing 3 Types of Fingerling Potatoes
5 Beneficial Insects to Must Have in Garden
PO BOX 312
Fowler, CA 93625
Send products to the above address and send the Tracking ID to info (at) DaisyCreekFarms.com I make educational videos for my viewers and will not be able to center my video on a product. If I like your product, I will include it in one of my videos and mention your product. I will also use it in future videos as needed. If I do not like the product, it won’t make it in the video. Please send a prepaid return address label if you would like the product returned to you in this case.
Love these videos? You can support our effort with a small contribution through Patreon. All contributions will go towards building the future You Pick Your Own Organic Vegetable Farm and helping the ones in need in the community.
Kemf Coconut Coir https://amzn.to/2MocHph
MaJo Coconut Coir https://amzn.to/2ONOo0Y
20″x10″ Growing Trays https://amzn.to/2PFKnNj
Wheat Seeds https://amzn.to/2LvF1B3
MicroGreen Sunflower Seeds https://amzn.to/2oiHUf3
MicroGreen Pea Seeds https://amzn.to/2P8sNR0
MicroGreen Radish Seeds https://amzn.to/2Pf52a3
Mung Bean Sprout Seeds https://amzn.to/2LierN6
Broccoli Sprout Seeds https://amzn.to/2LiHfFi
Cress Seeds https://amzn.to/2QWW5Xp
Pocket Hole Jig https://amzn.to/2OLZl2V
Pruning Shears https://amzn.to/2wkfcPA
Healthy Juicer Cold Press https://amzn.to/2wwAAjX
Neem Oil https://www.amazon.com/Garden-Safe-Extract-Concentrate-HG-83179/dp/B004QAWGIO
BT Spray https://amzn.to/2Ml6QkA
Spinosad Spray https://amzn.to/2Plpgzv
Pure Castile Soap 32 Oz https://amzn.to/2ONyUtX
Pure Castile Soap 1 Gallon https://amzn.to/2OO5fAS
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade 10 Lb https://amzn.to/2Pg6CJo
Powder Duster https://amzn.to/2vWBIO6
Milky Spores https://amzn.to/2EJQUVN
Corn Meal https://amzn.to/2CD8UhM
Sony A6500 https://amzn.to/2BRyQaD
Sony 35mm F/1.8 Prie Lens https://amzn.to/2BRzN2H
Rode Video Mic https://amzn.to/2ONAQmd
DJI Mavic Pro https://amzn.to/2wh6Bx2
iPhone Lens Kit https://amzn.to/2wHGaQF
Micro SD Card for Mavic Pro: http://amzn.to/2mixysT
SDHC Extreme Pro Card: https://amzn.to/2LByTqR
Zhyuin Crane https://amzn.to/2NjMoNw
Rangers Tripod https://amzn.to/2BQjUJU
Altura Camera Bag https://amzn.to/2PlLotw
Voking Camera Flash https://amzn.to/2Pg8q58
Underwater iPhone Case https://amzn.to/2vRMAwY
LED String Lights White https://amzn.to/2Pi9i9k
LED String Lights Yellow https://amzn.to/2MYqzCZ
FUJETEK Selfie Stick: http://amzn.to/2kY66Tp
SD Card Case: http://amzn.to/2mNBMby
NOTE: Yes, some of these links are Amazon affiliate links. That just means I get a small commission if you actually click through these link and buy something. I don’t get much, but every little bit helps. Thank You for your support!
If you're growing turnips specifically for their large roots, it's still possible to harvest greens, but you should pick a few at a time rather than cutting them all away. Removing all the greens down to root level will result in stunted roots. The roots will also be smaller if grown in a cluster because the roots crowd one another, not allowing room for full growth potential. If your turnips are crowded, thin the grouping some by removing some of the roots, and transplanting them slightly farther away.
With these easy tips, you can obtain a fruitful turnip harvest this year, and enjoy a variety of root-vegetable-themed meals throughout those chilly winter months.
Do you have a favorite way to cook and eat these delicious and versatile vegetables? Let us know in the comments below!
For more information about growing veggies for a fall harvest you’ll need these guides::
Photo by Meghan Yager © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Uncredited photos: Shutterstock. Additional writing and editing by Clare Groom and Allison Sidhu.
Heather Buckner hails from amongst the glistening lakes of Minnesota, and now lives with her family on a beautiful homestead in the Vermont Mountains. She holds a bachelor of science degree in environmental science from Tufts University, and has traveled and worked in many roles in conservation and environmental advocacy, including creating and managing programs based around resource conservation, organic gardening, food security, and building leadership skills. Heather is a certified permaculture designer and student herbalist. She is also a fanatical gardener, and enjoys spending as much time covered in dirt as possible!