UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Vegetables

UC Links

Turnips in ground UC ANR Repository
Pest management: See pest section in Turnip production in California. Vegetables in the same family such as broccoli and cabbage will have similar pests.

The Basics

Turnips are a cool season root vegetable that grow best between 50–65°F. Higher temperatures may produce strong-flavored roots. The leaves are also edible and are referred to as "turnip greens". 

When to plant

  • Transplant: Feb–Apr (maybe May), Sept–Oct (maybe Aug)
  • Direct seed: Mar–Apr (maybe May), Sept–Oct (maybe Aug)

Harvest window

  • Turnips are typically harvested 2–3 months after planting. Some varieties grow faster while others hold well in the ground. Older turnips may bolt (send up a flower stalk), develop a woody core, and have a strong taste.
  • Leaves may be harvested throughout the growing season, a few leaves per plant. Younger leaves will be more tender and milder in flavor.

Care overview

  • Thin seedlings to 4–6" apart when they are 2" tall.
  • For a continuous harvest, plant in succession every 2 weeks.
  • It is typical for turnips to expose their shoulders above ground level. It is not a problem.
  • Turnips are frost hardy but extended temperatures below 30°F may cause damage.

More links

Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*

Golden Globe, De Milan, Scarlet Queen, White Lady

* Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.

Webmaster Email: webmaster-mgsantaclara@ucanr.edu