Quick Reference

Harvest Type:  Continuous with successive planting, or single

Transplant/Direct Sow:  Direct sow. Do not transplant.

When to Plant:  2-3 weeks before the average last frost date.  Repeat in late summer, 1-2 weeks before the fall weather cools.

Days to Germinate:  3-10 days

Days to Maturity:  30-60 days, depending on the type planted.

Planting Depth:  ¼ - ½” deep

Germination Temp:  60-70°F

Seed Spacing:  1” apart

Light:  Full sun

Soil pH:  6.0-7.5 pH

Water:  1" of water per week

Soil Temperature:  60-70°F

Fertilizer:  5-10-10 N-P-K ratio or use a compost tea and a watering can.

Rotation:  Root vegetable.  Rotate annually with heavy feeders.


Harvest Type

Turnips produce a single root, making them a single harvest crop.   However, turnip greens are delicious, and turnip greens are a cut-and-come-again crop.  Turnip greens are a continuous spring and fall crop.

Transplant / Direct Sow

Direct sow turnip seed in the garden. Turnips and other root vegetables do not tolerate transplanting.

 TIP: You can transplant turnips by not disturbing the roots. Take a trowel full of dirt that includes the entire root system. It is iffy but doable.

When to Plant:

Turnips are a cool-season crop. You can plant them both in spring and fall.  Plant in spring when the soil temperature is around 60°F. You can plant earlier with a cold frame or row cover. For a fall harvest, plant in late summer a few weeks before the cool weather hits. Make sure they get plenty of water in the summer.

Days to germinate

It takes turnips seeds 3-10 days to germinate.

Days to maturity

It takes about 30-60 days, depending on the variety grown.

Planting Depth

Plant seeds at 1/4" deep.

Germination Temperature Range

Turnips will germinate at temperatures as low as 50°F but do best when the soil is around 60-70°F.

Spacing Between Plants

Plant turnip seeds 1-2" apart.

Growing conditions

Turnips are easy to grow. They grow best in loose soil that holds moisture but does not remain soggy. They like consistent watering and never allow the soil to dry completely. The ideal germination temperature is 60°F, but they do well in soil temperatures of 60-70°F.

Companion Plants

Cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and other brassicas, peas, pole beans, and onions are excellent companion plants for turnips.

TIP: Turnips make an excellent fall/winter crop for mob grazing. Mix turnips with other brassicas and allow the animals to graze the field during the year's cooler months.


Rotate annually. Use a cover crop or amend the soil for the new bed.

Anticipated yields

Plan your garden yield at 5-20 turnip plants per person. Generally, expect about 8-15 pounds of turnips per 10-foot row section. If you have too many turnips, feed the excess greens to the chickens or livestock. Turnips are fantastic in soups, stews, and roasted vegetables. If you enjoy canning soups, consider using a turnip or two.

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