If you are looking to grow turnips in the backyard, then finding yourself confronted with the query when the best time to plant turnips is considered normal. As an attempt to answer this question, it is imperative for responding to the query of when would you like to harvest the crops. It may be noted that it takes around two months for turnip plants to mature, so accordingly they can be planted.
Turnips are root vegetables, and their botanical reference is (Brassica Campestris L.) The crops are biennial in nature and grow on an annual basis. The temperatures should be within the range of 40°F – 75°F for their growth.
For more than 3000 years, turnips are being grown, and all parts of the plant including the bloated roots and the greens are consumable. They serve as a good alternative to potatoes. These delectable vegetables are grown in the backyard or garden and are grown for their greens, roots or both.
The following details can also be helpful, for answering the question when is the best time to plant turnips.
- If looking for the turnips to be harvested in late spring, the seeds can be sown 2-3 weeks before the average final frost dates in spring.
- An autumn harvest necessitates the sowing of seeds in late summer. The seeds can be sown during early autumn, for a late autumn harvest.
- Winter harvests would require the seeds to be implanted in the soil, during late autumn. If they are grown in spring, they can be harvested in summer.
Taking into consideration the fact that turnips need sunlight, it is suggested that a site that gets adequate sunlight, be chosen as the bed. It is also essential that the soil is well-draining, and loosened to 12-15 inches deep. The soil should have a PH value of 5.5 to 6.8, and be rich in organic matter. A compost layer about 2-4 inches can also be mixed in the soil. Manure should also accompany the garden compost.
Preparing the bed is the following step for planting the seeds. Raking and hoeing are the norms during the preparation of the bed. After that, the seeds can be sprayed, after ensuring the soil is not extremely damp. Raking in the seeds is the following step. The seeds should be embedded ½ inch deep in the soil. Also, the seeds should be planted at the rate of 3-20 seeds per foot. Water should be sprinkled on the soil after the seeds are planted, the germination process can be speeded up, as a result of doing so.
- Upon finding that the turnip plants are grown to 4 inches, they must be thinned such that the developing turnips are within 4 inches apart. By doing so, the plants have ample space to form healthy roots.
- It is also recommended to plant the turnips at 10-day intervals so that they can be harvested every few weeks during the season.
- Caution must also be exercised to ensure that the beds are kept weed-free. The weeds can be pulled out if they are seen in the turnip patch.
- It is also imperative to mulch the turnips with straw to extend protection to the tube tops from sun damage.
- Watering the plant at 1 inch on a weekly basis must be Otherwise, the roots tend to become sturdy and pungent. Keeping the soil damp can ensure there are no splits and cracks in the greens or roots.
- Liquid fertilizers such as liquid kelp and fish emulsion can be squirted on the beds.
After having received a reply to the query about when is the time to plant turnips, you may find yourself seeking answers concerning have a station of the turnip crops. Scroll down further for help on the same.
After 45-50 days following the plantation of the seeds, a single turnip can be pulled-out to assess whether they are ready to be harvested. When mature turnips are found, consider it a sign that the turnips are harvest-ready.
Normally, the greens are ready to be harvested within five weeks, and the main crop or roots can be plucked after 6-10 weeks following their plantation.
The turnip roots can be picked when they are 2-3 inches in diameter, with the help of a garden fork. When the leaves reach 12 inches in length, they can be chopped, while ensuring that the outside leaves are cut first, and a sharp knife is utilized. When leaves which are 2 inches above the root-tops are chopped, then it takes around 2-3 weeks for a new set of leaves to bloom.
After plucking the turnip greens, they must be washed thoroughly with water, to keep it soil-free. They can be put in a large bowl or bucket which is filled with water and swirled around in such a manner that the soil settles to the bottom. The procedure can be repeated until the leaves are cleaned. It may also be advised to chop the greens only when they are required for cooking. However, they can also be placed in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
The roots can be stored in the refrigerator for two months. Alternatively, they can be kept in a cold corner for 4-5 months.
It may also be noted that summer turnips, which are planted in the spring, are tender as compared to the fall crops. The fall varieties, which are sown in late summer, are harder. Also, spring crops face less of a pest problem, as compared to the late summer varieties.
On a concluding note, it may be useful to remember that both the roots and turnips rate high in nutritional value. However, turnips are grown more popularly for their greens, as compared to its roots. Also, it may be noted that the roots must be peeled, and followed by their slicing before they are cooked.
Containers are also be used for growing turnip greens. The wide-sized containers that are 8-inch deep are a good choice for small-sized turnip roots. Having a garden for growing the turnips is beneficial for enjoying the vegetable crop during winter. Turnips store well with other vegetables such as beets, carrots, and rutabagas.
We hope that you find the details mentioned above helpful during your quest of growing turnips.