Turnip: Cultivation And Care In The Open Field, Planting Seedlings

The biennial vegetable crop turnip (Brassica rapa subsp. rapifera), also called fodder turnip, is a member of the cabbage or cruciferous family. This plant is a variety of rutabaga, which does not occur in natural conditions. It is most commonly cultivated in Germany, the United States, Denmark, Canada and Australia. This plant is cultivated on an industrial scale to feed livestock.

Since the Bronze Age, the roots of this plant were used by Scandinavian tribes as a food, which is valued as bread, only after the appearance of potatoes, this variety of turnip began to be used more as a fodder crop. Turnips were already cultivated in the ancient world: in Rome, Egypt and Greece as well as in southern Europe and modern Afghanistan.

Brief description of growing

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

  1. Sowing. For food consumption in summer, turnip is sown in the last days of April and for winter storage in the first decade of July. The seeds are sown in seedlings at the beginning of April, and the plants are transplanted into open soil in the second half of May.

    The site should be well lit.

  2. Ground. A soddy-podzolic peat soil or loam with a pH of 5.0-6.5 would be suitable for growing.

  3. Water. Water abundantly once or twice every 7 days and take 5 to 6 liters of water per square metre.
  4. Fertilizer. When growing on poor soil, the plant is fertilized twice during the season, for this purpose a solution of cow dung (1:10) or poultry manure (1:20) is used. In June or July, the nutrient solution is mixed with superphosphate, it helps to increase the sugar content of root crops.

  5. Propagation. Generative (seed) method.
  6. Pests. Spring cabbage and sprout flies, wavy and cruciferous fleas, cabbage fireflies, aphids, rapeseed bugs and flower bugs.
  7. Diseases.

    Killa, belle, mosaic, blackleg and vascular bacteriosis.

Special features of turnip

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

The first year of growth in turnip develops a root crop and a leaf rosette, with the second year producing flowers and seeds in the bushes. Salad varieties have smooth leaf plates, while forage varieties sometimes have pubescent leaf plates. Roots are spherical, round-long, cylindrical and rounded, and may be colored white, pale yellow and purple, or one root may combine any of these shades. The cyst-shaped inflorescences are composed of yellow flowers, and flowering begins in the second year of growth.

The fruit is an elongated pod with dark red or black seeds inside. This plant is considered a relative of the following crops: turnip, rutabaga, radish, radish, daikon, mustard, horseradish and all kinds of cabbage. Today, there are many varieties of turnip for the table.

Growing turnip from seeds

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

Sowing turnip

Growing turnip on your own plot is quite easy. In spring the seeds are sown in open ground during the last days of April or the first days of May, and in summer during the first ten days of July.

Sowing turnip seeds into seedlings is carried out in early April. Seeds of this plant are very small, so before sowing it is recommended to combine them with coarse sand (1:10). Sowing is carried out in peat-peat pots, then the seeds are covered with a thin layer of sand, the thickness of which should be 10 to 15 mm. The seeds are moistened with a fine sprayer, and the containers are covered with foil or glass on top, and then placed in a warm place.

Growing Turnip Sprouts

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

When the seedlings appear, leave the most powerful one in the container, with the extra ones to be plucked.

Pulling them out is not advisable as this can damage the root of the developed plant. The seedlings of this crop should be looked after in the same way as sprouts of turnips, turnips or radishes.


All cruciferous root crops react very negatively to picking, therefore individual pots should be used for sowing turnips so that the transplanting of the plants is avoided.

Potting turnip plants in the open field

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

What time to plant

Potting turnip plants in the open field after the spring frost returns. This time is usually in the second half of May.

In the middle latitudes, seedlings are planted only after warm weather sets in.

Turnips is a moisture loving crop, so it is necessary to choose a well-lit or slightly shaded area in the lowlands for its planting. Good forerunners for this crop are beets, strawberries, winter and spring crops, and annual herbaceous plants. In the area where earlier members of the Cruciferous family were growing, it is possible to grow it not earlier than in four years.

Suitable soil

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

Soils such as sod-podzolic peat or loam are best suited for this crop, with a pH of 5.

0 to 6.5. Prepare the soil in the fall, you must dig it to a depth of 20 to 25 centimeters, and it should be added 1.5 t. Nitrophoska or 1 tbsp.

wood ash and 1/3 of a bucket of decomposed manure per 1 square meter of soil. Do not apply fresh manure to the soil, because this will make the flesh of the rootcrop lose its taste and become dark, with cracked skin.

Rules for planting in the open ground

Prepare planting holes, with a distance of 20 to 30 centimeters between them, and a distance of 40 to 60 centimeters between rows. The seedlings should be watered generously before planting. Then the plants with a clump of soil are carefully removed from the container and placed in a previously prepared hole for planting.

The hole should be filled with soil, then it is well tamped around the plants and abundantly watered. If peat-peat pots were used to grow seedlings, they are planted directly in the open soil. After the liquid has been completely absorbed into the soil, the surface should be covered with a layer of mulch (peat).

Winter planting

Seeds of turnip seed are sometimes sown in the winter, but seedlings are not planted in autumn.

Care for turnips

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

When growing turnips in open soil, they should be cared for in the same way as rutabaga or turnips.

This plant should be regularly watered, weeded, fertilized and loosened up.

The soil surface should be loosened up to a depth of 80mm, removing all weeds. This procedure is recommended after rain or watering. Before loosening the surface of the bed for the first time, it is recommended to cover it with a layer of mustard or wood ash to repel the cruciferous flea.

If the seeds were sown directly into the open soil, they should be thinned after 2 or 3 true leaflets have developed.


To succeed in growing turnips in open soil, it is necessary to water them in time, since the lack of water makes the taste of the root crops bitter. If you water the bushes too much, then the root crops will become watery. Water such a culture should be abundant, and try to make sure that the water does not wash away the soil from the top of the root crop, because because because of this it begins to turn green, and noticeably reduces its nutritional value. While the plants are young when watering 1 square meter plot takes 5 to 6 liters of water, and when the root crops start to form, the amount of water is reduced to 3-4 liters of water. On average, turnip is watered 1 or 2 times per 7 days, but the number of waterings is strongly influenced by the weather.


Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

When growing on poor soil, this plant should be fertilized 2 times during the season, using organic fertilizer: a solution of slurry (1:10) or chicken manure (1:20). At the same time in June or July in a nutrient solution should be added superphosphate, this will increase the sugar content of root crops. This culture responds well to additional feedings of copper, manganese and boron. The nutrient solution should be applied in moist soil, and when it is absorbed into the ground, its surface should be loosened. If the crop is grown in nutritious soil in which all necessary fertilizers have been applied, there is no need to feed the turnip.

Pests and Diseases of Turnip

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

Like all members of the Cruciferous family, turnip can be affected by the following diseases: kila, bellet, mosaic, blackleg and vascular bacteriosis. The greatest danger to this crop is the spring growth fly and cabbage fly, as well as cruciferous and wavy fleas, cabbage aphids, fireflies and bedbugs, rapeseed bugs and blossom beetles. Signs of disease infestation are exactly the same as on daikon, turnips, rutabagas, and other representatives of the Cruciferous family. Treatment


Fungal diseases can be treated by spraying the bushes with solutions of fungicides: Quadris, Fundazole, Fitosporin or other agents with a similar action. Bushes affected by mosaic cannot be cured, so they must be removed from the soil and destroyed as soon as possible.

To get rid of fleas, bushes should be powdered with wood ash. At the same time, to destroy other insects, insecticidal preparations are used, for example: Actara, Actellic, etc. However, to prevent pests or diseases from infesting the plants, it is necessary to follow the rules of crop rotation and agrotechnics as well as proper care.

Harvesting and storing turnip

The average time a turnip matures from the time it is sown in the seeds is 24 weeks. When the root crop reaches technical maturity, the foliage will turn yellow, wither, and wither away.

If the seeds were sown in the spring, they are harvested from the last days of June as they mature. These root crops do not store for a long time. Roots that can be stored in the winter, depending on the variety, are dug in September or October. Remember not to let them get too cold as they become flabby at minus 6 degrees and they store much worse.

Bunches should be pulled up at harvest time or be dug under first.

Remove any soil residues from the root crops and cut off the haulm, making sure the length of the remaining pieces is about 20 mm. The vegetables should be put under a roof to dry. Only healthy, whole and dry root vegetables should be stored and they should not be injured or infested by pests or diseases.

For storing turnips, choose a fairly cold room (0 to 2 degrees), with a humidity of 85 to 90 percent, the root vegetables should be placed on a deck made of planks. If desired, a trench about 100 cm deep can be made on the plot in a south-to-north direction, into which the harvested root crops are placed, and then covered with peat or dry soil and covered with moisture-proof material.

Turnip types and varieties

All varieties of turnip are divided into white and yellow ones. Root vegetables with white flesh have less solids than yellowcorn varieties which have a better storability. However, varieties with white flesh are more productive.

Best yellow-meat varieties

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

  1. Long Bortfeld. The haulm of this variety is very poorly developed.

    The raised leaf plates are colored in a deep green color. The yellow root crop has an elongated shape, it is immersed in the soil only by ½ part. It is quite difficult to pull it out, as it has branched roots. The yellow, medium juicy flesh is highly palatable.

  2. Finck-Bortfeld.

    The haulm is colored a deep green, with the petiolate leaf plates being raised. The dark rootstock is ½ submerged in the ground and is difficult to pull out of the ground as it has a large number of roots. The juicy and yellow flesh is highly palatable.

  3. Graystone. The bushes have an average amount of haulm.

    Yellow or green raised leaf plates have yellow-colored petioles. The root crop is rounded and flattened at the top, it is ¼ of the way down into the ground. The part above the soil is pale green and scaly, while the lower part is yellow. The root crop has few roots, which makes it very easy to pull out of the ground. The variety is a typical forage turnip, its yellow flesh is malodorous and sparse.

  4. Purple-headed Yellow. The haulm of the bushes is underdeveloped. The coloration of the raised leaf plates is deep green and their petioles are purple. The shape of the root crop is round-flattened, the upper part of it is dark purple and the lower part is yellow. It is extracted from the ground very easily.

    The faint yellow flesh is very tasty.

  5. Ellow Tankard. The shrubs have strongly developed foliage; the semi-raised leaf plates are green, as are their petioles. The upper part of the elongated root crop is green and the lower part is yellow, with many roots on its surface. The root crop is buried ½ of the way into the ground, making it difficult to pull out.

    The dark and juicy flesh is quite tasty.

Popular varieties of turnip with white flesh

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

  1. Osterzundom (Esterzundom). The shrubs have poorly developed foliage; the semi-raised leaf plates are colored green and their petioles are purple. The top of the elongated rootstock is purple and the bottom is white. It is buried in the ground by ½ of its length, and there are many roots on its surface, making it quite difficult to pull it out of the soil.

    The taste of the white flesh is medium with a slight bitterness.

  2. Six-weekly. Shrubs have poorly developed foliage, rich green raised leaf plates with greenish petioles. The slightly flattened, rounded root crop has a white bottom and pale green top. It is ¼ of the way down in the soil and has few roots, making it very easy to pull out of the soil.

    The juicy white flesh is highly palatable.

  3. Norfolk white round. The shrubs have strongly developed haunches, the semi-raised leaf plates of green color have purple petioles. The rounded root crop is flattened at once top and bottom, it is purple, with the lower part more intense in color. The root crop is only 1/5th deep in the ground, so it is very easy to pull out of the ground.

    The juicy and white flesh is quite tasty.

  4. Circular red-headed. The shrubs have well-developed, raised leaf plates with purple petioles. The shape of the rootstock is rounded and flattened, with the top being dark purple and the bottom being white. It is 1/3 of the way buried in the ground, and can easily be pulled out of the ground.

    The tasty flesh has medium juiciness.

  5. White Ball. This variety is a recent emergence, the shape of the roots is round, they are buried in the soil by ½ part. The top of the root crop is purple and the bottom is white. The juicy flesh has a white color.

The properties of turnip: harm and benefits

Turnip: cultivation and care in the open field, planting seedlings

Beneficial properties of turnip

The most important substances contained in the root vegetable of turnip that have a positive effect on the human body are organic acids, essential oils and flavonoids. Such a vegetable is a dietary food, it helps to cleanse the intestines of toxins, eliminate constipation, normalize metabolism, improve appetite and strengthen the immune system. This vegetable has an antibacterial effect that is beneficial for the intestinal microflora, the body gets rid of parasites, and digestive processes are improved.

Turnip also has an anti-inflammatory effect, it is used in the treatment of upper respiratory tract, diseases of the mouth and throat, for example, thanks to the expectorant effect there is a faster clearance of lung mucus in bronchitis. Essential oils contained in the vegetable help improve the work of the circulatory system and cleanse the blood from cholesterol, while the iron and copper contained in it saturate the blood with hemoglobin, preventing the development of anemia.

And also, the root vegetable helps to reduce blood sugar levels, which is a prevention of loss of elasticity and deterioration of the blood vessels, and thanks to it goes overweight. And potassium compounds in turnip cleanse the body of excess fluid and sodium salts, and this has a beneficial effect on the bones, genitourinary system and heart. The root vegetable also contains phytocomponents that are cancer-preventive, they activate the body's antioxidant defense mechanism.

Live Healthy! Turnips. A relative of the turnip.



This vegetable should not be included in the diet of people with exacerbations of diseases of the GI tract, as it contains rough fiber, which can cause severe irritation of inflamed mucous membranes of internal organs.


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