When To Harvest Turnips

Harvesting turnips is a pretty simple and straightforward process, but you do have to know when to do it.

In this post, I’m going to tell you what that date is, how long after harvesting your turnips can stay in the ground, and even how to harvest them!

When To Harvest Turnips

If you want to grow turnips for eating fresh, it’s best to harvest them when they’re young and tender. Harvest turnips when the leaves are about 6 inches high. At this stage of growth, the roots will be firm and smooth but not woody. The leaves should also be bright green and not wilted or yellowed by disease.

When Is The Best Month To Harvest Turnips?

Turnips are a cool-weather crop and are planted in spring, with most varieties maturing in late summer or early fall. The harvest season will vary depending on your region and the variety you choose.

If you live in the northern half of the United States, turnips can be harvested from October through February. In the South, they can be harvested from September through December. If you live in a mild climate, you might find them available at your local farmers’ market throughout the growing season.

How Long Can Turnips Stay In The Ground?

If you want to know how long turnips can stay in the ground, it depends on the variety. In general, turnip varieties that are grown for their greens are harvested more quickly than those that are grown for storage. If you’re planting a storage-type variety, wait until the tops begin to yellow before harvesting your turnips.

Turnip tops should be trimmed off just as soon as they’ve been cut from the root since this will prevent them from going to seed and creating new plants. However, if you want to use them in soups or casseroles later on down the road then leave them alone until after they have wilted away completely (this usually takes about 48 hours).

Can You Harvest Turnips Too Early?

With so much to consider, it can be hard to know when the time is right for harvesting turnips. But you can rest assured that there’s no need to stress: unlike some vegetables, turnips don’t require a precise timetable for harvest. In fact, they’re at their best when harvested young—you’ll want to pull them before they reach maturity and start getting woody.

In general, if you want your turnips to have a creamy texture and sweet flavor (rather than being pithy or fibrous), then harvest them at least one month after planting. The best way to tell if your crop is ready is by taste: simply take one of the roots out of the ground and peel away its outer layers until you reach the white flesh inside. If it tastes mild and earthy without any bitter notes—that means it’s ready!

If you’ve harvested too early or are worried about pests damaging your plants (a common problem during warm weather), try storing them in moist paper bags for up to two weeks before using—this helps maintain moisture levels while protecting against disease spores and insects.

How to Harvest Turnips

There are several ways to harvest turnips. The most common method is to pull them up with a sharp tug of the hand while they are still small and tender. If you want to keep growing your turnips, you may want to use this method until they are about 1″ in diameter at the crown (the point where they were planted). After that, you will need to use another method to harvest them so that they do not become too large and woody.

Harvesting Turnips by Pulling

Harvesting turnips by pulling is the simplest way to harvest them. Simply pull the entire root system from the ground with your hands or use a garden fork to loosen the soil around the roots before pulling them out by hand. This method works well with small turnips that have not been grown in large quantities or in an area where there are many weeds or other plants competing for nutrients and water.

It may also be used on larger turnips if they are not crowded together or if they have been grown in rows or raised beds where you can see exactly where each plant is growing. If you want to pull turnips using this method, wait until they are fully mature and firm before doing so because immature turnips will not pull easily from their roots and may even break apart when pulled from the ground.

Harvesting Turnips by Cutting

Another way to harvest turnips is by cutting them off at ground level with a sharp knife or spade. This is usually done when the plants have matured enough that their leaves have begun to yellow and die back naturally but are still young enough for good eating quality (about 2-3″ across).

Storing Turnips After Harvesting

There are a few different methods of storing turnips after harvesting.

The first method is to store them in the ground. This is an especially good choice if you live in an area that gets cold or snowy during the winter months. If you choose to store your turnips in the ground, make sure to mulch them with straw or wood chips so they don’t freeze and die over the winter. You can also plant a cover crop of rye or wheat between rows of turnips to help keep them alive until spring arrives.

Another great way to store turnips is by pickling them. Pickled turnips are a delicious addition to any meal and they can be stored at room temperature for several months without spoiling. Pickled turnips also make great gifts for friends and family members during this time of year!

If you don’t want to pickle your own turnips, another option is to freeze them whole or as cubes. When freezing whole turnips, simply wash them thoroughly before placing them in a freezer-safe bag or container. When freezing cubed turnips, simply wash them thoroughly before cutting them into cubes (no more than 1/2 inch thick). Once cut, place each cube into its own plastic freezer bag and place them in the freezer.


The best time to plant turnips is in the spring, but you can get a head start by planting them indoors. When you harvest turnips, make sure not to let them stay too long in the ground or they will become bitter. If you want to store your turnips after harvesting them, blanching before freezing helps keep their color bright and prevents them from going bad too quickly.