Guide to Growing Turnips and How to Grow Swede

Guide to Growing Turnips

Turnip. Brassica rapa

The wild form can sometimes be found in waste places, but named varieties are the result of plant breeding and selection. Turnips have some food value, since they contain vitamin C, calcium and iron, while turnip tops have a high vitamin B content.

Fairly sandy soil is suitable, especially since this is likely to warm up early giving a good start to the first sowings. Early and thorough preparation is advisable preferably on a site which was well fed for a previous crop. Freshly manured ground encourages the development of fanged roots. Break down the soil well before sowing time  and make sowings at fortnightly intervals. The winter types being sown the latest.

guide to growing turnips Make the rows 30cm apart, although if mechanical cultivation is to be employed, they may have to be from 30 to 45cm according to the type of cultivator used. This will naturally affect the quantity of seed required.

After sowing the soil should be made firm. Subsequently it will be necessary to hoe between rows. Once germination occurs and there is the possibility of flea beetle attacks, dust with derris or Pyrethrum powder.

Little thinning out is necessary since roots are pulled when small. Later crops can be thinned to 15cm apart. Turnips must not lack moisture and it is essential to keep down weeds, for if left, they compete for the moisture and food available.

While the earliest of the main crops will be ready in early autumn, roots from clamps will be available until spring. Most varieties will not stand severe frosts so the roots should be clamped in the same way as carrots or beetroot. The exception to this is Golden Ball a small-topped yellow globe, which is one of the finest varieties for autumn sowing.

Turnip top production is often worthwhile. When supplies of greens have been spoiled by bad weather the tops are most useful. For this purpose, make sowings in summer. It may be possible to pull a few bulbs but the roots of the majority will not thicken. Turnips for tops can follow early peas or early potatoes, the seed being sown fairly thickly. Green Top Stone is a suitable variety.

Varieties include: for frames and cloches – Early White Frame, Early Milan and Sprinter.

Early outdoor sorts – Snowball, Tokyo Cross, an F1 hybrid; Manchester Market, Jersey Navet and Veitches’ Red Globe. For tops: Green Top Stone.


How to Grow Swede

Swede or Swede Turnip (USA) Brassicca napobrassica

Giant Turnips, which are known as swedes, originated in Sweden more than 180 years ago. They are hybrids between a turnip and other members of the cabbage family. Hardier than turnips, swedes are sweeter but slower growing. They rarely become woody.  Sowing time is in spring according to soil and weather conditions.

Swedes prefer well drained soil, rich in organic matter and early preparation is advisable, working in farmyard manure or compost. Sow in 25 mm deep drills, 45cm apart, and subsequently thin the seedlings so that there is 30cm between them.

Varieties: Purple Top, Lord Derby, Tipperary and Great Scot. The latter has bronzy-green foliage.


04. December 2010 by admin
Categories: Gardening Ideas, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: , | Comments Off on Guide to Growing Turnips and How to Grow Swede


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