Growing Turnip

brassica rapa var. : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P P P P P       P P P  

(Best months for growing Turnip in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 12°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 12 - 20 cm apart
  • Harvest in 6-9 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Peas, Beans, Chives, Spinach, Carrots, Chicory
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes, Tomatoes
  • Turnips

Round, root vegetable. The flesh is white. Turnips take about 6 to 10 weeks to reach a use-able size.

Sow every three or four weeks for a continuous supply.

Water regularly.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Turnip

Grate young turnips and use raw in salads.
Use older turnips in casseroles and stews.

Your comments and tips

27 Jul 08, Nikki (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I have direct planted turnip and am now wondering what spacings I need to thin them out to?
28 Jul 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Nikki, about 20 cm apart would be good spacing.
28 Jul 08, Nikki (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks Liz, we are new to vegie gardening!
27 Apr 09, Peggy (Australia - temperate climate)
I am having trouble with my Turnip seeds coming up, wice I have planted them and no result.Peggy
23 Dec 09, pete (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
re turnip spacings - i think 10 cms would be plenty - just so long as they are not hard up against each other
08 Jul 10, dave moss (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
hi, being a novice gardener , first year after retirement, i have planted numerous veg with a limited success, but turnips have been a castraphe, can't spell either, turnips have grown to the size of a jaffa orange, upon pulling 2 up one was split and both were brown inside , not right through but it put us off eating them, can you possibly advise what i have done wrong, thank you dave
18 Jul 10, Tania (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi all, It apprears that one of my turnips is growing above ground. Is this what is meant to happen? I thought I'd leave it as all the others only have their folage above ground so I thought this one could be an experiment, but Im not sure this is practical as I dont want to loss the whole crop if they are all meant to appear above ground. Thanks for your help in advance. Tania
24 Nov 10, John Bee (Australia - tropical climate)
Hi Tania, Sorry for the delay in replying. I only just noticed your question about turnips... I’ve been growing turnips very successfully for years in my home garden. In fact I’ve never seen the swollen stem base (it’s technically not a root) growing actually in the ground. All of mine have always been fully exposed… maybe it’s the variety I use.. Actually it’s very handy in harvesting because I plant very closely and then thin out by removing the largest plant when it is of edible size. And I do that by just feeling amongst the thick foliage to find the largest base and then pull it out and let the smaller ones around it grow to be large enough to harvest on or two weeks later. My major problem with growing turnips is when I grow them in the same piece of ground for a few years in a row, they really get root nematodes quite badly so I must really start a crop rotation system. Cheers John Bee.
08 Jan 11, Robin (Australia - arid climate)
Is there any way to freeze turnip by cooking in some way or?
26 May 11, Ian (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Robin, Yes, you can freeze turnips successfully, but, as with all vegetables you are going to freeze, you must blanch first. Plunge them in boiling water for about 1 minute then refresh in cold. Dry them and they are ready to freeze. Equally successful with broccoli, cabbage, beans etc. Remember - NEVER freeze without blanching first. Good luck!
Showing 1 - 10 of 38 comments

Ask a question or post a comment or advice about Turnip

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put GardenGrow in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join 60,000+ gardeners who already use GardenGrow and subscribe to the free GardenGrow planting reminders email newsletter.

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.