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Growing turnips

A turnip growing in a container garden

The humble turnip. What is it good for? We're sure there are more dishes out there other than soup! We once grew swedes (a turnip relative) pan fried with white wine and then mashed with home grown potatoes. Very nice.

Growing conditions

  • Turnips in subtropical Queensland are usually grown in the cooler winter months. This is also the case in all but the coldest climates.

  • They can grow in full or partial sun.

  • Turnips prefer a soil manured the previous season.

  • While turnips are part of the brassica family (cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower) they're grown with your root crops. But to avoid club root disease don't plant them in the same place your brassicas grew last year. If possible give it a couple of years.

Garden care

  • Turnips should be directly sown where they'll grow.

  • They need frequent watering.

  • From experience never grow turnips in besser block holes. We recently did, only to have the turnips physically split the block.

  • These guys generally don't have too many problems if you properly rotate your crops.

Harvest time

  • Ordinary turnips (on average) should be ready for harvesting anywhere from 30-90 days after planting (depending on the variety). Swedes need a bit longer.

  • You should know when your ordinary turnips are ready for harvesting. They'll be at least golf ball size and the white flesh will develop a red tone at the top of the root.

  • Don't leave your turnips in the ground too long. They'll become woody and develop an overbearing taste.


Last Updated 17 November, 2008

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