7 Turnip Companion Plants (What Not to Grow With Turnips)

Turnip companion plants

Fast-growing vegetables are one of the best companions to have in your garden. A vegetable that germinates late ought to be planted before the plant you want it to companion with. This method is slow and there are better methods for this.

There are many vegetable plants to pick from the list of companion plants and turnip is one of them. Turnip grows quickly and benefits other plants quickly so you don’t have to wait.

Some of the best companion plants to grow around turnips are garlic, thyme, cabbages, Vetch, pole beans, broccoli. It is not a good idea to grow vegetables like carrots and potatoes near turnips.

It can be planted once a year but harvested twice. It yields fruits during the fall and spring seasons. Turnip vegetables are a perfect match for your pest-infested plants. It can be grown to serve as a border plant for your crops. This method protects your crops from pest infestation.

Growing turnips with aphid plagued plants are the best way to go. Turnips play a similar role as nasturtiums in the garden. It can serve a sacrificial purpose and attract pests to itself. Planting it with brassicas will ward off slugs and give you a better harvest.

It will also serve as bait for brassicas and offer them some protection from slugs.

Turnip is an annual crop characterized by green leaves and a bulb tuber. It is filled with nutrients as its best friends are leguminous crops. Legumes fix nitrogen in the soil and spread nutrients in the soil for turnips to feed on. Turnips can be chopped into salads, roasted, or eaten raw.

Turnips will produce the best yield when you adopt companion planting techniques in your garden. 

7 Best Turnip Companion Plants

Turnips are cool-season-loving crops. They help other plants repel pests which gives them a yield boost. Some garden plants will benefit a lot from having turnips close to them. 

1. Garlic

Garlics

Garlic is one of the best crops to grow with turnips to give it a flavor boost. Plants in the Allium family companion well with other garden crops. They release scents that keep garden pests off. Garlic is a bulb plant like garlic but will not have an adverse effect when grown with turnip. 

2. Thyme

This herbaceous plant is good for deterring pests. However, turnips are a natural pest repellent. Thyme can be used to prepare meals after your turnip bulbs have been harvested. It gives turnips a great taste and goes well in dishes with it. They will thrive well if placed under similar growing conditions. Thyme also invites beneficial insects that help pollinate your turnip plants. 

3. Cabbage

This vegetable plant can’t produce a good yield without a companion. It is susceptible to several garden pests that can be controlled with its proximity to turnips. Turnip acts as a trap crop and distracts cabbage moths from cabbage to themselves. 

4. Catmint

Flea beetles are one of the pests turnips can’t repel. Don’t worry, the best plant to get rid of these pests is catmint. Situating catmint close to turnips gives it maximum protection from flea beetles. Catmint also keeps aphids at bay. 

5. Broccoli

Raw broccoli
Image: Envato Elements

Brassicas are perfect companions for turnips. They receive more than they benefit from it. Broccoli is plagued with cabbage moths, flies, and worms. The best way to get rid of these pests is by growing a pest repelling crop close to it. Turnip is a vegetable plant that will take good care of these pests. 

6. Vetch

Although this plant is invasive, you can carefully plant it some inches away from turnips. Vetch fixes nitrogen in the soil like beans. It also repels aphids just like turnips. When decomposed, it can serve as manure for turnips to yield well. 

7. Pole Beans

Beans are nitrogen-fixing crops. Turnips love fertile grounds. With beans close to Turnip, you won’t need to spray fertilizers on it. Beans also act as living mulch for your turnip plants. It helps conserve moisture for your vegetable plant. 

What Not to Grow Near Turnips

Turnip can be infected if care is not taken. Being a root crop, it can be affected by an incurable disease known as clubroot. It is important to know what plants you should avoid planting with turnips.

1. Hedge mustard

Turnips and hedge mustard are family members. Growing it with a turnip will hinder its growth and prevent it from fruiting well. It attracts pests to your turnip. Your turnip vegetable may also be infected by clubroot when hedge mustard is planted in your garden.

2. Horseradish

This plant is the worst companion plant to grow with turnips. It attracts pests that eat up your turnip leaves and tuber. Then proceed to finish up your horseradish plant. Other plants will do well with radish on the patch but turnips shouldn’t be found close to it.

3. Peas

Turnip is a nitrogen-loving crop and it loves to be grown with nitrogen-fixing plants like beans. This nitrogen fixation is the reason turnip is packed with nutrients. Peas are however considered a bad companion for turnips. Turnip produces a poor yield when it is grown with peas. 

4.Potatoes

Farmers holding potatoes in hands on farm at sunset.

It is a bad idea to grow two root or tuber crops close to each other. Both need space to spread their roots and tubers. If you need a nightshade crop to plant with turnip, opt for tomatoes instead. 

5. Knotweed

The proximity of knotweed to turnip will hinder its growth. It is invasive and will affect the soil you cultivate with turnip. 

6. Beets

Beet is a root crop and it competes with turnips. Avoid planting root crops with turnips If you want it to produce nutritious tubers. The result of planting root crops with turnips is stunted growth.

7. Carrots

Never take the risk of growing carrots with turnips. Carrot will not only hinder the growth of turnip by competing with it. It will also attract pests as carrot rust flies to your turnips. These pests will cause your turnip greens to rot.

Turnip Companion Planting Guide

Here’s a quick guide to help you navigate pair planting turnips with other plants in your home garden.

Choosing a site

  • Clear the soil and remove stumps and rocks from the soil
  • Turnips grow well in well-drained soil
  • Turnip loves fertile soil. Spread some manure with the soil you plan to plant with. Don’t make use of fresh manure as it will affect the roots
  • Turnips prefer slightly acidic soil of 5-7pH. Use a kit to test for the pH then regulate it if need be.

Time to plant Turnips

  • Turnips should be ready for harvest during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. Plant it during mid-summer to harvest it in the fall
  • Plant it in November if you want to harvest it during winter
  • Make sure the last frost has passed before growing turnips
  • The soil temperature should be at least 40-75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Spacing

  • Turnip should be given a space of 18-24 inches to avoid competition.

Caring For Turnips

  • Grow turnip in a location where it will receive full sun
  • Water the soil often to keep it moist
  • To conserve moisture for the germinating seed, cover it with soil with a measurement of half an inch
  • Thin turnips when they have developed into seeding
  • Provide it with a mulch to prevent weeds and conserve its moisture.

Turnip Companion Planting FAQs

We’ve tried our best to answer all of your questions, got more? Let us know in the comment section.

What can’t I plant with Turnips?

Root vegetables are the worst crops you can have with your turnips. They compete with it for soil nutrients, space underground, moisture, and sunlight. Carrots, beets, Potatoes are examples of bad companions and root crops for turnips. Plant thyme, catnip, vetch, cabbage with your turnips instead to produce a good yield.

Can I plant carrots and turnips together?

Carrot and turnips are root crops therefore they won’t go well together in the garden. Both plants will compete for space. Carrot could also attract rust flies to destroy your turnip greens.

Can I plant turnips next to cucumbers?

Cucumbers are nutrient-loving plants and sap so many nutrients from the soil. Though cucumber will not compete with it for space. It doesn’t make use of underground space even though it is a root vegetable and this keeps it on the list of compatible crops for turnips. 

Can you plant turnips near tomatoes?

Are you looking for a nightshade plant to grow with turnips?. Try tomatoes because turnips will flourish when planted with Tomatoes. Tomato is a nightshade plant that flourishes well with turnips and doesn’t put it at the risk of getting infested with pests. 

How do you keep worms out of turnips?

Covering your turnip with silver-colored plastic will keep worms off your turnip plant. You can also provide it with a mulch to prevent worms from getting into your turnip greens.

What time of year do you plant turnips?

Turnips are best planted during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. It yields better results when planted during those seasons. 

What is the best fertilizer for turnips?

Compost tea which contains a reasonable amount of phosphorus and potassium is the best fertilizer to spray on your turnips. In as much as turnips appreciate nitrogen. It doesn’t like it in excess, thus avoiding using fertilizers with a high amount of nitrogen. 

Where should turnips be planted?

Turnips should be planted in a location exposed to full sun, fertile and well-drained soil is the best soil to grow your vegetable crop. 

How do you keep bugs off the turnip?

Intercropping turnips with other companion plants will help you keep bugs and pests at bay. The best companions to plant with turnips include; garlic onions, chives. e.t.c 

What do you spray on turnips?

Turnips can be crowded by weeds. The best herbicide to use is a paraquat-contained herbicide. Firestorm is made up of some paraquat and is the best herbicide to spray on your turnip plants. 

Conclusion

Turnips grow well in cool seasons. Companion planting helps it produce a better yield of root tubers. It is a natural pest control plant.

It is recommended for plants with excessive pest infestation like Tomatoes and cabbage.

Turnips grow well with root crops that don’t make use of underground space like cucumbers. To get the best of turnips, follow the guidelines given above.

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