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When To Harvest Turnips? Now Answered

by Idris Ya'u
This article was fact checked.
Helpful: 100%

So, this season, you decided to establish a turnip bed in your garden. You looked after your plants, thinned them, mulched them, watered them, dealt with bugs, and watched them grow.

So, what’s next? You might be curious when the roots can be harvested. Is it possible to get both greens and roots from the same plant? After you’ve dug the roots out of the earth, what do you do with them?

Turnips are a simple chilly crop to cultivate. They soon repay you by yielding tasty leaves and roots that mature ahead of many other garden veggies. Turnips are yummy, and you can easily grow two harvests per year: one in early spring for a late spring/early summer harvest, and one in late summer for a fall harvest.

When the turnips are big enough to consume, harvest them. After 40 to 50 days, turnip roots are harvestable. Turnips should not be left to flourish too big since they will get woody, stringy, and sour.

When To Harvest Turnips?

Turnips should be harvested when the root tops are 1 to 1½ inches wide, but not more than 2½. Turnips that have grown to be too large have a pungent flavor and are frequently rough and fibrous.

Turnip greens should be harvested when they are still soft. Cut the outer leaves about an inch above the crown and they will immediately regrow. If you remove too many leaves, the root growth will be slowed.

Turnips are a chilly crop that thrives in temperatures ranging from 60 to 65°F (15 to 18°C). If the temperature is continuously above 80°F (26°C) during the day, turnips will not develop normally and their flavor will deteriorate.

Abandon turnips in the ground until you need them, but harvest them before they begin to grow again in the spring where the winters are gentle and even the soil is well-drained.

Turnips can be frost-frosted on the top, but if the soil freezes pull the roots before the soil does. Turnip greens will appear yellow and wither if they are exposed to freezing temperatures.

How To Harvest

To avoid breaking or injuring roots, pull or lift them cautiously from the garden. If the soil surrounding the roots needs to be loosening, use a garden hand fork. When the earth is dry, it’s ideal to pull turnips.

After removing the roots, twist the greens off. Removing the tops before storing them will significantly prolong the life of the storage unit.

How To Store Turnips

Turnips that are in good shape should be stored; turnips that have been destroyed or wounded should be consumed right away. Before storing the roots, gently scrape the soil away. If you do clean the roots before storing them, make sure they are completely dry.

Turnips should be stored at 32°-40°F (0°-4°C) and 95 percent relative humidity in a cool, wet area as close to freezing as possible and avoid freezing.

Turnips should be kept in the refrigerator’s vegetable crisper drawer, covered in a damp cloth or paper towel, and put in a punctured plastic bag. Turnips can be stored for 4 to 5 months in the refrigerator.

Turnip greens should be stored in the same manner as turnip roots. If you don’t have room in the fridge, turnip roots can be wrapped in wet sand, peat moss, or sawdust in a container, a bucket, or a plastic storage box or cooler.

Don’t overcrowd the roots. If the roots come into contact, they may begin to rot. Remember to leave 2 inches (5 cm) of insulating material around the stored roots on both sides, top, and bottom.

Put the pot in a cool place, such as a basement, garage, or shed, with the lid loosely closed to allow for excellent air circulation.

Check roots in the storage regularly for symptoms of degeneration and discard any that show signs of decay.

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