Turnips crack: what makes turnips crack or rot?

Turnips are seasonal vegetables that are grown both for their roots and for their nutrient-rich green heads. Medium sized, unspotted turnips are of the best quality, but cracked turnip roots or rotten turnip roots can sometimes be seen. What causes cracks in turnips and how can they be repaired?

What makes the turnips crack?

Turnips prefer full sun exposure in deep, well-drained and fertile soil. Turnips are grown from seed 2 to 3 weeks before the last frost of the season. Soil temperature should be at least 40 F. (4 C). Seeds germinate best at 60-85 F. (4 C). (15-29 C) and take seven to ten days to germinate.

If your soil is clayey, it is best to amend it with plenty of organic matter (2-4 cm) and a dose of multi-purpose fertilizer before planting; 2-4 cups of 16-16-8 or 10-10-10 for every 100 square feet worked in the first 6 cm of soil. Plant the seeds ¼ at ½ with 18 cm depth in the rows. Thin the seedlings to 3-6 cm.

So, what causes the cracked roots in the turnip? Temperatures above 29°C can affect turnips, although they tolerate low temperatures quite well. Regular watering is essential for the growth of the most appetizing turnip. A drip system would be ideal and padding around the plants will also help to conserve moisture. Turnip plants will need 1-2 cm per week depending on the climate, of course.

Insufficient or irregular watering is the most likely reason for turnips to crack. Stress affects growth, decreases quality and gives a bitter taste to the roots. Regular watering is essential, especially during the high summer seasons, to prevent the turnip roots from cracking, as well as the bitter taste and itching sensation. Turnips also tend to crack when heavy rainfall follows a dry period.

Fertility balance is also a factor in turnip root division. Feed the plants ¼ cup per 10 feet of row with a nitrogen-based fertilizer (21-0-0), six weeks after the first seedling emergence. Spread the fertilizer at the base of the plants and water them to promote rapid plant growth.

There you go. Fixing the crack in the turnip couldn’t be easier. Just avoid the stress of water or fertilizer. Mulch to cool the soil, conserve water and control weeds, and you should have crack-free turnip roots about two to three weeks after the first fall frost.

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