How to Grow Root and Stem Vegetables

Try this three-step process for making root and stem vegetables a healthy part of your vegetable garden.

Snowball Turnips Can be Enjoyed Raw or Cooked

Snowball Turnips Can be Enjoyed Raw or Cooked

Snowball turnips are a first class white, globe turnip. Early, juicy and sweet flavored, will yield a good supply from early summer to early winter, and the tops make most nutritious and tasty greens.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Materials Needed

  • root and/or stem seeds
  • watering can or garden hose
  • string
  • small gardening hoe (optional)

Step 1: Plant the Seeds

Sow Turnip Seeds Directly in the Soil

Sow Turnip Seeds Directly in the Soil

Sow turnip seeds 1 to 2 inches apart in single or wide rows. Drop seeds in clusters of 3 seeds. When the seedlings are large enough to handle, thin to 3 or 4 inches apart.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

When sowing directly in the soil, sow seeds in small clusters spaced at the correct planting distance. After germinating, thin each cluster of seedlings, leaving the strongest. Water plants well as they grow.

Step 2: Weed Around the Seedlings

Dig Deep to Remove Entire Dandelion Root

Dig Deep to Remove Entire Dandelion Root

Remove perennial weeds, such as dandelions, by gently pulling out their entire root system. Any root left will just regrow.

©2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2012, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Keep the seedlings weed-free, taking care not to damage the developing roots with the hoe; hand weed if possible. If intercropping, harvest and resow as soon as the catch crops are ready, but avoid disturbing the main crop.

Step 3: Harvest the Root Vegetables

Quick Growing Turnips are Harvested as Baby Roots

Quick Growing Turnips are Harvested as Baby Roots

The turnip variety, Snowball, is a very popular globe variety with solid flesh and a juicy, sweet, mild flavor. It is an heirloom turnip and is best harvested when no larger than a tennis ball.

©2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2011, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Harvest some roots as soon as they reach a usable size, but leave others in the ground to grow longer; avoid disturbing adjacent plants. Remove all plant debris after harvesting to prevent the build up of diseases.

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