Hamilton College Community Farm

Plant: Turnips

Family: Brassica

Seed Varieties:

There are a few different types of turnips: red, white, and the traditional purple top white globe variety, which is what has been planted in the past with great success.

Indoor Start Date and Cell size:

Spring Planting- 4/7 in open 200s

Summer Planting- 6/7 in open 200s

Fall Planting- 8/7 in open 200s

Greenhouse Transplant Date and Cell Size:

Turnips do not need to be transplanted in the greenhouse.

Outdoor Transplant Date and Bed Specifications:

Spring Planting-4/21

Summer Planting-6/21

Fall Planting-8/21
Plant the seedlings three inches apart with three rows per bed. Be sure to plant the seedlings the whole way up to their first true leaves to promote the healthy development of the turnip.

Plant Needs:

Highly fertile, well-drained, loose soil is best for turnips. They grow best in cool weather, and a heat tolerant variety should be planted for the summer. Even with a heat tolerant variety, ample irrigation is important during hot, dry periods.

Cultivation Techniques:

As with all plants, it is important to control weeds while turnips are growing. Carefully cultivate by hand close to the developing root, and additional cultivation with a hoe is ideal.

Harvest Techniques:

Turnips are ready to harvest when the purple tops poking out of the soil are about three inches in diameter. Firmly grasp the greens with both hands and carefully pull the turnip out of the soil.


After washing and cutting off the roots, keep turnips refrigerated in a perforated plastic bag. Turnips store pretty well. If storing for more than overnight, remove the greens from the top, as this will keep the turnips from becoming mushy.


For retail, sell at $2.50 for a bunch of three to five turnips. For wholesale, sell at $0.85 per pound.