Are turnips some of your favorite veggies to cook with and eat?
If you are an avid user of turnips, you might have tried your luck with them in the garden.
Did you know you don’t have to turn to seeds to start these plants?
There are many garden vegetables you can start from kitchen scraps, saved after creating your latest culinary masterpiece. Count turnips among these veggies.
Learning to grow your turnips from scraps will give you a nearly endless supply of turnips and as a bonus, it will add some greenery to your home in the winter.
Read on as I will dive into everything you need to know about growing turnips from scraps.
Benefits Of Growing Turnips From Scraps
Growing your turnips, and other vegetables, from scraps is a practice with so many benefits.
- Healthy Eating: Turnips are considered a health-promoting vegetable and also are a good source of nutrients including antioxidants which fight free radicals.
- Endless supply of food: Not only will you have regular access to vegetables year-round, but you will also have access when they are not readily available at your local grocery stores.
- Reduce food waste : This is also a great way to reduce the garbage coming from your kitchen.
- Save your money: There is also cost savings with this practice. If you keep up a regular rotation of crops started from your scraps, you will only have to pay for the very first one.
The price of vegetables at your store greatly increases once the regular growing season is over, and growing your own, means you don’t have to pay those increased prices.
- Teach your kids: Have kids in your life? Growing turnips from scraps make a great science project for them.
They will be able to watch the plant grow and flourish from start to finish.
Additionally, this is yet another way to show kids the concepts of recycling and reusing that they can carry with them their whole lives.
At the end of the day, anyone who has grown their own turnips or other vegetables or purchased fresh produce from a farmer’s market knows those homegrown veggies always taste better than what you find in the store.
Growing your own turnips from scraps will give you a better tasting vegetable at no cost, whenever you need it.
For all of these reasons, growing turnips from scraps is definitely something you need to try.
How to grow Turnips From Scraps
Turnips are amongst the oldest known crops in the world, with people feasting on them for nearly 4,000 years. Beyond this, they are extremely nutritious as they are full of fiber, vitamins, calcium, and potassium.
From top to bottom turnips have a lot to offer.
If you are considering adding them to your garden this year, you might be wondering how to grow this nutritious crop. You don’t have to automatically turn to a seed catalog or the seed section at your local lawn and garden store.
This isn’t to say you can’t start turnips from seed, but you might already have everything you need on hand.
Turnips are counted among the vegetables you can grow from scraps left over when you are cooking. Not only is it a good way to use your scraps and give yourself a bounty of turnips, but it is also very easy.
After you have used your turnip root in the kitchen,
To grow turnips from scraps, simply take the tops of the turnip to you just cut, trim any greens from the top down to one inch. and place it in a container filled with water.
The top needs to be sitting in the water, so the plant has access to the water it needs to grow.
After a few days, you will have new greens growing from the top.
After a few weeks, the roots will be developed enough so that you can transplant your turnip into soil.
Cover the roots and leave the top exposed when you transplant your turnip.
Make sure as the days go on, you check the water level.
Regrowing their greens and root system requires a constant water source. You will have to refill this water repeatedly as the plant grows.
After a few days, you will start to notice new greens growing from the top of your turnip scrap. Roots will begin to develop after this.
Once you have a good root system going, you will be able to take the start from the water and transplant it in a container filled with potting soil. As you transplant the turnip, make sure the top is exposed and the roots are covered with your potting soil.
From there your turnip will continue to grow until it is ready to be harvested.
Plant several turnips at intervals in this way to ensure you have turnips ready no matter when you need them.
How Do You Know When A Turnip Is Ready To Be Picked?
Knowing when your turnip is ready to be harvested is so important. This way you will get the best tasting and most nutritious vegetable to eat.
The turnip bulb should be harvested when it reaches a usable size.
But what is a usable size?
Gardeners agree, this usable size measurement is between two and three inches in length.
You will be able to tell when it reaches this size because the top part of the bulb, or “shoulder” as it is commonly called, usually sits slightly above the surface of the soil.
This allows you to check on the size without having to dig up the bulb.
If you leave the turnip root too long and it grows larger than this two to three inches, it will get woody or fibrous.
When you eat these over grown turnips, they will have a bitter and stronger flavor.
Turnips planted in the spring should be harvested before it gets too hot to avoid a woody and fibrous root. Turnips you plant in fall, are best when harvested after a frost. They develop a sweeter flavor after the frost.
When you are harvesting the root of the turnip, take advantage of the greens as well.
Cut these from the root when you harvest. They can be cooked or put in salads.
When I grow turnips from seed , I will also harvest the sprouted seedlings as Microgreens to add to salads.
This is done a few weeks after planting when thinning occurs.
Seeds are usually planted closer together to start. I usually remove some of the plants after they have sprouted to give others more room to grow successfully.
Eating the turnip seedlings are a great way to feel like you aren’t just wasting those plants by tossing them out.
What Other Plants Can I Start From Scraps?
Turnips are just the tip of the iceberg of plants you can grow from scraps.
There are so many vegetables, herbs, and fruits you will be able to try to start from what others might throw away.
Once you figure out which works best in your home, your indoor garden will provide you a supply of fresh produce throughout the winter, when your outdoor garden is not producing.
Some take longer than others, and you might see produce right away, but if you are patient or determined to grow a certain plant, you will eventually see results.
- Celery, lettuce, carrots, radishes and beets can be grown similarly to growing your turnips. A little trimming, some water and in no time you will have all sorts of veggies.
- Citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges can be started by taking the seeds from your fruit and planting them in potting soil and adding some water.
While you will see sprouts in two to four weeks, the mini tree won’t yield any fruit for a few years.
- Avocados can also be started from your scraps, but like the citrus, you won’t see any new avocados for several years.
- Garlic, onions, and ginger are also able to be started from scraps and most herbs are easily started from cuttings you may have purchased at the grocery store.
- Try herbs like basil, mint, thyme, oregano and sage clippings to start your own indoor herb garden and spice up your recipes.
Keep in mind, these plants won’t necessarily produce fruits or veggies that are as large as the commercially grown produce you see in the stores, but they will still be tasty. Besides this, it might just be fun to experiment with different scraps.
Growing turnips from scraps is another way to extend the growing season, giving you fresh, great tasting produce year round. Not only does it save money and brighten your home with plants, but it is so easy.
Properly preparing the scrap by trimming the top and placing it in water, will produce a new turnip plant in no time at all.
Try this process with turnips and you will have a regular supply whenever you need them. Once you get the hang of this, try some of the other vegetables you can start from scraps to add to your indoor garden.