If you're not sure what vegetables to grow in your backyard in the fall, turnips are a great choice. In this article, Savana will let you know how to grow turnips in your backyard and when to plant them.

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About Turnips

Like several other root vegetables, turnips belong to brassica and tastes mild. They are green or purple when not cooked, and can be eaten raw or cooked.

Turnips need sunshine and fertile soil to grow. They are produced under full sunlight or partial shade. Sufficient sunshine means better turnips. Sunshine is a kind of energy, so the more sunshine turnips get, the faster they grow and the better they taste.

When To Plant Turnips

If your goal is to harvest in late spring, plant turnips seeds two to three weeks before the average last frost.

Sow turnips at the end of summer for autumn harvest. Onions, pumpkins, beans or sweet corn are good crops to be sown after harvest in summer.

Early autumn is also a good time to sow and harvest.

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Where To Plant Turnips

Generally speaking, turnips thrive in sufficient sunlight, but they can also provide good shade, especially if you plan to use their greens. Turnips don't need to do much, but they do need moist soil.

How To Sow The Seeds

Sow the seeds directly in well drained soil, rake them half an inch deep, and then plant them in the sun or partially in the shade. The soil temperature for spring planting must reach 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

The key to successful turnips planting is to sow before the temperature is too high, because too much heat will cause the root to become woody and promote early bolting.

If you live in a cool climate with an extended planting season, you can plant turnips continuously to harvest continuously. Or wait until the end of the sowing and harvesting season in late summer.

Some slight frost on turnips roots can make them sweeter. They grow especially well in cool autumn temperatures.

The key to germination is to keep the soil moist after sowing. Once the plants are several inches tall, it is a good idea to space them 4-6 inches apart.

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How To Grow Turnips

If turnips are harvested in summer, they should be planted as early as possible. Plant turnips at the end of summer so that you can harvest them before the first frost so that you can store them throughout the winter.

If you plan to harvest the green parts of plants, you need to plant them in sufficient sunlight. If you plan to make plants as green as possible, turnips can tolerate partial shade. Turnips plants can be grown on raised beds that are easy to prepare. Grow with a rake and hoe as usual.

When finished, spread the seeds on the soil, not too wet. Rake gently into the roots. It is recommended to plant 1/2 inch (1cm) deep turnips at the rate of 20 seeds per foot (31cm) at most; Water the seeds immediately after planting.

Once turnips are grown, they should be spaced about four inches (10 cm) apart so that they can form strong roots. Crowded roots may cause deformity or small roots. If you grow them to less than 4 inches, this will prevent them from reaching full size.

If you want to harvest turnips in the whole season, please plant them every ten days, so that you can harvest them every two weeks.

Keep the raised bed free of weeds, but pay attention to disturbing the roots of young turnips.

In order to inhibit weeds and moisturize, heavy covering is required.

Avoid Bolting

Although we regard turnips as an annual plant, they are cold resistant biennial plants. Bolts may develop in the first year due to pressure, such as extreme temperatures (cold or hot) or lack of nutrients. In the second year, they naturally bloom and blossom (fruit). The roots that grow on the ground will also be affected, and the roots that grow little or no will also be affected.

Avoid picking turnips for bolting before the temperature reaches 80 degree.

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Control Pests

Although turnips are hardy even if not chewed, they are Brassica plants, so they are usually attacked by insects and other pests.

Many kinds of caterpillars infest turnips. Caterpillars include the standard white and green cabbage curved needle, cabbage root maggot, carrot fly, spruce bud worm and bean beetle. You may find their small black faeces on the leaves of turnips.

Turnips leaves that suffer from these problems may have holes in them. To control them, make sure to spray turnips leaves with insecticide regularly.

The cutworm is the larva of the noctuid moth. They are brown, slender and 1 inch long. These larvae are nocturnal predators, hiding under rocks or other debris during the day, and are difficult to find. When cutworm damage the leaves of turnips, it may be because they are digging the roots and feeding on them.

To prevent this, use potato or oyster shells to block their passage, as their tunnels will be slightly above the ground. Sunflowers can also be planted around turnips beds to protect them from the harm of cutworms.

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Control Disease

Turnips will be infected with various diseases that affect its growth and production. Among them are white rust, downy mildew, radish mosaic virus, fusarium wilt and black leg disease. Let's discuss some diseases that can inhibit the growth of turnips.

This Puccinia Recondita is natural and is considered to be the most common disease affecting turnips. Infection will lead to white patches on turnips leaves, resulting in unsightly appearance of vegetables. Affected leaves turn yellow and fall off, causing damage to plants. White rust is not usually fatal to turnips, but it can prevent their growth and production.

The downy mildew is initially characterized by the development of large spots on leaves and small pale spots in yellowish green areas. This causes discoloration of the leaves caused by white, fluffy patches. The affected leaves turn yellow and eventually fall off, causing damage to the turnips.

Harvesting Turnips 

Harvesting turnips is partly up to you. Whether you like bigger, richer bulbs or sweeter carrots depends largely on whether you mainly harvest vegetables. Variety and growth conditions are also factors affecting harvest time.

When the diameter of plants is about 2 inches, their leaves and roots can be harvested together.

In addition to topping the leaves when they are about a foot long, you can also harvest roots about 3 to 5 inches in diameter, depending on the variety and your preference.

Cut the vegetables only once to ensure that they can store the solar energy needed to promote root growth after cutting the leaves. Or, you can just remove the outer leaves of each plant and let the inner leaves continue to stimulate root growth. Increasing the harvest frequency can make it possible to harvest the leaves of the same plant multiple times.





December 28, 2022

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