A guide for Turnip Cultivation:
Introduction to Turnip Cultivation:- It is a green leaved, distinctly hairy biennial herbaceous plant with fleshy underground origins flat or globular in form, generally white in colour and soft-fleshed with a slender taproot beneath it. The turnip or white turnip is a root vegetable commonly grown in temperate climates worldwide for its white, bulbous taproot. Small, tender varieties have been grown for human consumption, while larger varieties are grown as feed for livestock. Turnips are originated from Mediterranean region.
The most frequent sort of turnip is mostly white-skinned besides the upper 1 cm to 6 cm, which protrudes above the ground and is purple or red or greenish at which the sunlight has hit. The root is approximately globular, from 5 cm to 20 cm in diameter, also lacks side origins. The leaves of turnip plant grow directly in the above-ground shoulder of the root, with little or no visible neck or crown.
Turnip roots weigh up to 1 kg, even though they’re typically harvested when they are in small size
Size is partly a function of variety and partly a function of the length of time that the turnip has grown. Most baby turnips could be eaten whole, including their own leaves. Baby turnips are sold in orange, yellow, and red-fleshed varieties, in addition to white-fleshed. Their flavor is mild, so they may be eaten raw in salads like radishes and other vegetables. Commercial turnip cultivation proved to be successful as this wonderful vegetable has excellent demand in domestic and export markets. Turnips can be grown in backyards, pots/containers, terraces, and balconies. Polyhouse or greenhouse cultivation of turnips will give more yield and ensure the supply according to market demand.
Botanical Name / Scientific Name of Turnip:- Brassica rapa.
Family Name of Turnip:- Cruciferae.
Genus of Turnip:- Brassica.
Pollination System:- Cross-pollinated.
Turnip in Indian Languages:- The following are local Turnip names in India.
- Telugu: Erra mullangi dhumpa
- Marathi: Safeed Bhopla.
- Malayalam: മധുരമുള്ളങ്കി.
- Gujarati: સલગમ.
- Punjabi: Shalagam / Gongloo.
- Tamil: சிவப்பு முள்ளங்கி.
Health Benefits of Turnip:- Some of the health benefits of Turnip vegetable are as follows.
- Turnip aids in digestion.
- Turnip may fight Inflammation.
- Turnips improve blood circulation.
- Helps in preventing cancer.
- Helps in boosting metabolism.
- Turnips can improve heart health.
- Turnips help in improving bone strength.
- This vegetable can boost the immune system.
Varieties / Types (Cultivars) of Turnip:- Well, there are many improved/hybrid commercial varieties are grown in many parts of the world.
There are mainly two types of Turnips are grown; Asiatic types and Temperate Types.
- Asiatic types include Pusa Kanchan Pusa Sweti, Early Milan Red Top, and Pusa Chandrima.
- Temperate Types include Pusa Swarnima, Purple Top White Globe, Golden Ball, and Snowball.
Climate Requirement for Turnip Production:- Turnip plants are best adapted to a moderate or cool climate. It is both cold-hardy and drought-tolerant crop. The most vigorous root growth occurs during periods of low temperature. A temperature range between 18°C to 24 °C is considered ideal for obtaining optimum yields. At high temperatures, roots become woody, tough and bitter in flavor. Asiatic varieties requiring warmer climatic conditions have been sown earlier than European forms.
Soil Requirement for Turnip Plantation:- Turnip crop grows best in a well-drained moderately deep loam, fertile and slightly acid soil. For good root development of the plant, turnip needs a loose, well-aerated soil having a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. Turnip does not grow well in soils that have a high clay texture. Commercial growers should go for a soil test and any micro-nutrient or nutrient deficiencies should be incorporated before planting.
Land Preparation for Turnip Sowing:- The land should be completely ploughed so that the clods do not interfere with the origin growth. 25 to 30 tonnes of well-decomposed farmyard manure like cow or cattle dung should be supplemented in the soil at the time of land preparation. Application of new un-decomposed farmyard manure (FYM) ought to be avoided as it leads to the forking of their fleshy roots.
Propagation of Turnips:- Propagation of Turnips is done by seeds.
The best season for planting Turnips:- In the plains, the seeds of Asiatic types are sown from the end of July to September and the European types from September to October to December. in a controlled environment, these vegetables can be grown throughout the year.
To get a normal supply of tender turnip roots, the sowing ought to be reversed and done at 15 or even 20 days interval. The seed rate of 3 to 4 kg/ha is advised. Actually, seeds rate varies from variety to variety. Turnip is a generally developed over the ridge to facilitate decent root growth. Sowing should be done either by hand or from seed drills. The seeds are sometimes mixed with fine ash or sand to facilitate uniform sowing. The seeds of tropical varieties have been sown at a spacing of 30 cm x 10 cm.In hills, sowing is done from March to May.
Note: Turnip planting season varies from region to region.
Irrigation :- Usually turnip seeds are sown in the field when there is sufficient moisture in the soil. A light irrigation should be given right after sowing or transplanting in the field. Depending upon the planting season, climate and the available soil moisture, turnip plants may be irrigated at 9 to 10 days interval during the winter season and 5 to 6 days interval during the summer season. Avoid any water stress during hot dry periods. Keep maintaining the uniform soil moisture levels throughout the plant growth. Don’t irrigate during the rainy season and make sure the soil is well-drained in case of heavy rains or floods.
You may also check the Hydroponic Greenhouse Farming.
Intercultural Operations :- Timely Intercultural operations in any crop is must for better plant growth, high yields and quality produce.
- Thinning in Turnip Cultivation: It is an important operation in turnip cultivation as it promotes good root growth. When the crops are well established, they are thinned out keeping a distance of 10 cm to15 cm from plant to plant.
- Weed Control in Turnip Cultivation: Two weddings during the growing period of turnip have been required to maintain the growth of weeds beneath check. Weeding and hoeing are Needed to check the weed growth and provide soil aeration for Greater growth and yield. Mulching can be done to restrict the growth of weeds around the plant base.
- Earthing Up in Turnip Cultivation: In turnip cultivation, the growing roots have a tendency to push out of the soil surface. Thus, earthing up is done to cover the exposed surface of the roots. The first earthing-up should be done when the plants are about 15 cm to 25 cm high. The next earthing up is frequently done 24 to 30 days after sowing to pay up the tubers properly.
Manures and Fertilizers for Turnip Crop:- Turnip crop responds very well to manures and fertilizers. The fertilizer dose depends on the fertility of soil and quantity of organic manure applied to the harvest.
For a good yield, 25 to 30 tonnes of well-decomposed farmyard manure (FYM) should be incorporated into the soil at the time of land preparation. Generally, Application of 60 to 70 kg of N, 40 to 50 kg of P2O5 and 40 to 50 kg of K2O is recommended for optimum yield. Half dose of N and a complete dose of P and K ought to be given at the time of planting. The remaining half dose of N ought to be given in the time of root formation with the next second or third irrigation.
Pests and Diseases of Turnip Plants- Timely control of pests and diseases is very important in turnip cultivation.
Aphids: The pest strikes both the seedlings in addition to the mature crop. The nymphs and adults suck the cell sap and devitalize plants. Affected parts become discolored and malformed. High humidity provides rapid multiplication of this insect. The aphids are largely observed on the lower surface of these leaves.
- Control Measures: Spraying of Monocrotophos (0.05 percent) in 10 to 5 days interval controls aphid population effectively. To avoid recurrence of the insect granular insecticides like Phorate @ 1.0 kg a.i./ha should be applied to soil.
Mustard Sawfly: The insect attack is seen in the vegetative and flowering stage of the crop. The adult female lays eggs inside the leaf tissue. The grubs after hatching from the eggs feed on the leaves by making little holes.
- Control Measures: When effected area is small, you can hand pick larvae to control it or you can spray alathion 50 EC (1 ml/litre of water) twice at an interval of 9 to 10 days.
Alternaria Leaf Spot: The pathogen affects leaves, pods, stem, and seeds. Symptoms of the disease first appear on the leaves of seed stem in the form of small, yellowish, slightly raised lesions. Lesions appear in line with the stalks and seed pods. The infection spreads rapidly during rainy weather, and the entire pod may be so infected that the styler end becomes black and shrivelled. The fungus penetrates in pod tissues, ultimately infecting the seeds. The infected seed fails to germinate.
- Control Measures: Though hot water treatment of seed kills the fungus, disease free seeds are recommended. Regular spraying with Dithane M 45 (0.2 percent) controls the disease effectively.
Turnip Phyllody: The disease is transmitted by jassid Orosius albicinctus. The diseased plant reflects a dull grey to light violet colouration. The symptoms of the disease observed at the time of flowering when all the floral components act as green violet and leafy. The sepals and petals become green thick knob-headed leaves. Normally, the entire plants show symptoms of the disease. If the infection occurs at an early period of growth in the nursery then the whole plant is changed.
- Control Measures: 1 or 2 sprays of Monocrotophos (0.05 percent) should be applied to control this diseases.
Turnip Crinkle Virus: The disease is characterized by crinkling of leaves. The infected leaves reveal rocky, look, develop yellowish stains and are brittle. The yellowish patches coalesce and eventually become necrotic with all the plants. Later on, the affected leaves begin to die and wither away. Severely affected plants reveal that a stunted growth with a rosette appearance.
- Control Measures: To effectively prevent this diseases, disease resistant turnip varieties should be selected apart from adopting sanitary measures such as weed control.
Note: Your local department of horticulture is a good source of finding information about pests and diseases in Turnip Cultivation. Don’t experiment on your own without knowing the symptoms and causes.
Harvesting of Turnips:- The edible roots become ready for harvesting in approximately 45 to 70 days after planting, depending upon the variety. In the time of harvest, the roots shouldn’t be pithy or solid. The turnip roots must be chosen after they attain a marketable size of 5 cm to 10 cm in diameter. A light irrigation might be given a day prior to harvesting to facilitate lifting of roots. The crop is harvested manually by uprooting the individual turnip plant.
Post-Harvesting of Turnip Crop:
- Grading: This should be done by cleaning the roots and cutting the tops. The turnip roots should be graded according to size and tenderness.
- Packing: Turnip roots may be packed in baskets or gunny bags before transporting to local vegetable market.
- Storage: Turnip roots doesn’t store well. It could be stored for 2 to 3 days under room conditions. In cold storage, topped turnips should be stored at 0°C with 90 to 95% relative humidity for several weeks. Turnips are generally stored in slatted crates that allow good air circulation.
The Yield of Turnips:- Yield of Turnip crop depends on many factors such as variety (cultivar), climate, soil type, irrigation and other crop management practices. However, one can obtain the average yield of turnip is about 20 to 30 tonnes/ha.
Marketing of Turnips:- Freshly harvested turnips should be transported to local vegetable markets.