Sow seeds13mm (0.5in) deep.
Early turnips: sow 'Atlantic' or 'Milan Purple Top' under cloches in February and other cultivars from March to June, in rows 23cm (9in) apart.
Maincrop turnips: sow from July to mid-August in rows 30cm (12in) apart.
Turnip tops: sow in August or September in rows 7.5cm (3in) apart.
Thin out turnips grown for their roots until they are eventually 15cm (6in) apart for early crops, or 23cm (9in) apart for maincrops.
Water during dry weather or the roots will be small and woody.
Early turnips: pull the turnips from May to September when the size of a golf ball for eating raw or the size of a tennis ball for cooking.
Maincrop turnips: lift the turnips from mid-October onwards when the size of a golf ball.
Turnip tops: harvest in March and April. Leave the plants to re-sprout as several cuts can be obtained.
Summer or Early
'Oasis’ AGM: Has virus resistant white roots and is delicious eaten raw.
‘Purple Top Milan’: Flattish roots with purple markings and white flesh. It's tender when young and early maturing, with an excellent flavour.
‘Tokyo Cross’ AGM: Very fast growing with small, white, tasty roots.
‘Golden Ball’: Small, round yellow variety, with succulent flesh.
‘Green Globe’: White fleshed with round roots – excellent for turnip tops.
See more AGM vegetable varieties
Cabbage root fly: White larvae approximately 5cm (2in) long, feed on the roots just below the soil surface, stunting growth and causing plants to wilt and die.
Remedy: Grow under insect-proof mesh or horticultural fleece. Seedlings are most vulnerable.
Flea beetle: Leaves are covered in small holes and damaged areas turn brown. Seedlings are particularly susceptible.
Remedy: Grow plants under horticultural fleece and keep the soil moist. Water in nitrogen-rich fertilser to help the crop outgrow the pest.
Find out more on flea beetle
Powdery Mildew: Appears as a white powdery deposit over the leaf surface and leaves become stunted and shrivel.
Remedy: Keep the soil moist, grow in cool locations, and spray using plant and fish oils or sulphur-based controls.
Find out more about powdery mildew
Club root: Roots become swollen and distorted, and leaves become pale and yellow and wilt easily. Plants may die.
Remedy: Improve drainage and add lime to make soil more alkaline. Do not grow in affected soil.
More information on club root