Turnips are an edible root vegetable rich in vitamin C. The edible turnip roots are white, sometimes with a pink, red or green patch where the sun has hit the skin. These roots have been eaten by humans for centuries and today they are still grown and eaten throughout much of the world as well as being an important livestock feed. The leaves, also called turnip greens or turnip tops, are also edible and are a good source of vitamins A, K and C as well as folate. It is thought that turnips originated in Europe or the Middle East, but today they are grown throughout much of the world. Let’s find out how this vegetable is grown.
How are turnips grown?
Turnips grow best in the cool weather, which mean that they are most often grown in regions with a temperate climate. They are usually planted in summer, with late June or early July being the most common months for planting. Commercially, turnips are planted from seed in long rows with approximately 20-30 cm (8-12 in) between each seed. Seeds are planted about 1.3 cm (0.5 in) deep in the soil. Before planting the soil is prepared with a little fertilizer and some sand to help the vegetable to grow well. It is also prepared to the proper pH, which is 6.5 for this vegetable. Turnips require full sun to grow and need regular fertilizer to encourage good root growth. Boron is also essential to the healthy growth of the turnips and can be added to the soil about 4-6 weeks after planting.
Did you know?
A similar vegetable, known as rutabaga, is also called a yellow turnip or Swedish turnip (swede) in the United States. Both of these root vegetables are grown in a very similar way.