What Type of Soil Is Needed For Turnips?

Soil used for growing turnips needs to be rich in minerals and nutrients, but not so dense that it inhibits roots growth. For all practical purposes, a turnip is plant root and the better it is able to expand, the larger and healthier it will be able to grow. If the proper soil mixture has been established, growing healthy turnips is not difficult. Here you will find some suggestions for how to organically adjust different types of soil to make them more acceptable for raising a crop of turnips.

Turnips Require Loamy Soil

Good soil for turnips is a loamy soil, however adding sand to the mix allows better drainage and gives the turnips plenty of room for expansion. Mix 3/4 wheelbarrow of sand with 1/4 wheelbarrow of clay soil and distribute the mixture over an area that is 10 feet by 10 feet. The idea is to loosen the soil without diminishing the nutritional value the soil holds for the turnips.

Turnips and Soil pH

Turnips prefer a pH between 5.8 to 6.5. This is actually quite a bit lower than many plants and may require soil treatment. To decrease the soil acidity, add 1/2 wheelbarrow of gypsum or dolomitic lime for each 100 square foot section. Mix the soil well, water it, and then mix it again. Be careful not add too much water. Wet the surface evenly, and then turn the soil, avoiding drenching any of the area being conditioned.

Organic Soil for Turnips

Clay soil is high in minerals which are good for turnip growth, however, clay is a very dense material and inhibits the growth of tubers. To solve the problem, mix 1 wheelbarrow of sand into a 100 square foot section, and mix it in well. When mixing clay, be sure that the clumps are broken up and mixed with the sand. Clay has a tendency to clump together, but mixing it well with sand will help reduce the density, allowing improved growth for turnips.

Soil Moisture

Turnips need the soil to be moist, but can't live in wet soil. If there is too much moisture present, the turnip will rot, but if there is not enough moisture it will wither. Test the soil by squeezing a handful and watching for water being pressed out of the soil. If you see water being pushed out, add 1 wheelbarrow of sand to you 10 foot by 10 foot area and then test the soil again.

The Best Soil for Turnips

Ideally, turnips should be grown in a loamy soil with a 1 to 10 ratio of sand mixed in well. If you wish, add a little clay into the mixture for added minerals in the soil. The resulting soil is high in plant nutrients, but is not so dense that the roots have a hard time growing. Most people are growing turnips for the tuber, so allowing the roots freedom to grow increases the size of the turnip.