Turnip Purple Top Milan

Very quick and easy to grow, turnips are a traditional favourite and a ‘must have’ for the vegetable patch. The mild tasting roots have a delicious fine texture and are very versatile. Young roots are delicious grated raw into salads, mature roots can be used a wide range of dishes such as stews, casseroles, mash and even stir-fries.

Growing Advice

Grow your own Turnip seeds

Sow Indoors

Turnips should be sown outdoors, directly where they are to grow.

Sow Outdoors

Sow outdoors March to July. Sow thinly 1.5cm deep directly where they are to grow, in rows spaced 30cm apart. Keep the soil moist and weed free at all times. Seedlings should start to appear after approximately 14-21 days. When they are large enough to handle, thin the seedlings to 10cm apart, giving the remaining plants room to grow on. It is good practice to water well after thinning out, to wash any dislodged soil back around the roots of the remaining plants. Keep well watered and weed free. Sow a new row every 2-3 weeks to extend your harvest period.

Top Tips About Seeds

Once the seed packet has been opened, the seeds can be stored in an airtight container until required for further sowings. Turnip seeds will maintain their vigour for a good number of years.

Growing in Containers

Turnips can quite easily be grown in large patio tubs or containers. Especially if grown for young and tender baby roots

Common Problems

Caterpillars are most common pest and can be prevented by growing plants under a fine insect netting. A fine mesh netting will also help to exclude other possible pests like cabage root flies and flea beetles which can damage the young leaves.


Harvest from June to October. Begin harvesting alternate roots from the row when they are about the size of a golf ball. For the best flavour and texture they are best harvested before they reach the size of a tennis ball.

Ideas on how to use your Turnip

Keep the soil moist as the seeds are germinating, if it dries out completely it can set them back. Water thoroughly once a week during particularly hot and dry spells as this will help the roots swell.