Actually growing turnips in containers offers a lot of advantages, most especially for urban gardeners without enough sunny garden space. Turnips are really versatile, nutritious, cool-season vegetables that is grown for its tender roots or its leafy greens. Actually most vegetables in containers are easy to care for, they only require little digging, bending and stooping. You can plant your turnip seeds in early spring for use in early summer or in late summer or autumn for use during the winter.
Growing Turnips in Containers
The following are the steps on how to grow turnips in containers;
Step 1: Fill your container with a lightweight commercial potting soil that contains ingredients such as vermiculite, compost and peat moss. Make sure you use a container with a soil capacity of at least two gallons and a depth of at least twelve inches. Also make sure the container has a drainage hole in the bottom.
Step 2: You have to mix a balanced, slow-release fertilizer into the potting mixture at planting time. You can also use a dry fertilizer such as 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 at a rate of ½ -tablespoon of fertilizer for every one gallon of potting mixture.
Step 3: Plant the turnip seeds four to six inches apart if you intend to use the turnips roots. If it’s the greens you want to use, sprinkle the turnips seeds lightly on the soil at a rate of approximately fifteen to twenty seeds in a container with a 12-inch diameter. You have to cover the turnip seeds with ½ -inch of potting mixture.
Step 4: You need to place the container in a sunny location.
Step 5: Make sure you check the container daily, as most vegetables that are grown in containers require water more frequently than those grown in the ground. You need to water the turnips whenever the top of the soil feels dry when you poke your finger into the top ½ to 1 inch. Make sure you water deeply until the water begins to trickle through the drainage hole.
Step 6: You can easily thin the plants when the turnips seedlings are about four inches tall, allowing about two to four inches of space between each plant. You can use the tender greens in salads or other dishes.
Step 7: You can fertilize the turnip plants the second time about 1 month after planting, by using a balanced, water-soluble vegetable fertilizer with a ratio such as 20-20-20.
Step 8: Harvest the turnip greens as needed, beginning when the plants are about four to six inches tall. You can cut the greens and then leave the root intact so that the plant can continue to produce.
Step: Harvest the turnips when the roots are about two to three inches in diameter. The Larger and the more mature turnips can become tough and woody.