How to Plant & Grow Turnips


The turnip is a root vegetable, a vegetable with an edible root that is a great source of vitamins and minerals in any diet. The bulbous root is a combination of white and red or purple in color. Turnips are relatively easy to plant and harvest. The best time to start planting turnips is in early spring. If you want fresh turnips all throughout the summer and fall, plant a new batch every three weeks.

Step 1

Choose a spot to plant the turnips. They do best in full sun, but partial sun will work as well. Avoid a spot that previously had plantings of brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage or lettuce.

Step 2

Spread a thin layer of manure and compost over the soil. Like any other root vegetable, turnips need well-fertilized soil.

Step 3

Mix the manure and compost into the soil with a hoe. Go at least four inches deep when mixing the soil. The loose soil will let the roots grow more easily.

Step 4

Dig a one-foot-long trench 1/4 inch deep for the seeds. Place 10 to 12 seeds evenly spaced in the trench. If you want to plant more turnips than this, you can dig a longer trench. As a rule, you should plant one seed for every inch of length. When digging multiple trenches, space them 10 inches apart.

Step 5

Cover the seeds with compost and add water. Keep the soil moist at all times while the turnips grow.

Step 6

Thin the plants once they start growing to prevent overcrowding. It is best to have each plant spaced four inches apart.

Step 7

Harvest the plants about 10 weeks after planting them. To harvest them, simply pull them straight out of the ground.

Things You'll Need

  • Hoe
  • Manure
  • Compost
  • Shovel
  • Water


  • Garden Advice: Turnips
Keywords: plant turnips, grow turnips, start turnips from seeds

About this Author

Kenneth Coppens is a part-time freelance writer and has been for one year. He currently writes for Demand Studios, eHow, Associated Content and is the Indianapolis Craft Beer Expert for Examiner.