Easy tips for growing turnips when home vegetable gardening.
Learn how to plant, care for, and when to harvest turnips in your backyard vegetable garden.
Although many people are familiar with these tasty vegetables, few gardeners grow them.
In part perhaps due to the vegetable having developed a reputation as a poor man's crop.
This is a shame because planting turnips is extremely easy and the crops provide the spring garden with one of its first signs of green.
Organic controls include placing paper collars around the base of transplants to prevent female flies from laying eggs around stems.
In addition, cover seedbeds with floating row covers soon after seeds are sown for root maggot infestation prevention.
Applying beneficial nematodes in seed rows or as a top dressing around growing turnips can be effective in controlling the larvae.
Another option is to introduce the rove beetle into your vegetable garden to feed on the root maggots.
Additionally, diatomaceous soil can be added to your beds.
The soil additive is a natural sedimentary rock that dehydrates the insect larva, causing it to die.
It is not unusual for the March planting of the humble turnip to be the most spectacular crop in the May garden.
Early in May, drench the soil in the turnip row with insecticide.
When you thin the plants mid-month, the insecticide will have had two weeks to dissipate, and the pulled seedlings will be edible.
The seedlings double in size every week, making the thinning process even more critical than usual.
Mid-May, pull every other plant in the row, using the pulled seedlings for turnip greens.
Leave a final spacing of 4 to 6 inches between the plants.
Immediately after thinning, give the remaining plants a final application of insecticide.
Two varieties most often recommended by avid gardeners who are experienced at planting turnips are Tokyo Cross Hybrid and Purple Globe.
Tokyo Cross does best as a fall crop and matures in a quick 35 days.
Des Vertus Marteau roots do well for short-term storage since they resist sprouting.
Seven Top is slow to bolt and a good choice for extra-early or late planting.
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