How to regrow turnips from scraps

Turnips are taproots like carrots and beets. The technique for regrowing them is similar to other taproots, and the outcome is the same. When you regrow them, you’ll get tasty turnip tops but not another taproot.

Both the turnip and its leaves and its leafy greens are tasty and nutritious. Turnips are high in fibre and low in calories, they help maintain blood sugar levels stable and prevent constipation. Turnips provide plenty of nutrients, they are an excellent source of calcium, vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, folate, potassium, copper and manganese.

Young and small turnips have a sweet, mild flavour. As they continue to grow, they become spicier, and their texture will become rough and woody.

Steps to regrow turnip

  1. Find a good location
  2. Prepare your turnip
  3. Plant the turnip
  4. Harvesting and use

Find a good spot for the turnip

Turnips are cool-weather vegetables. You’re most likely to find locally grown turnips for eating and regrowing between autumn and early spring.

Prepare turnip for regrowing

As mentioned above, you won’t be able to regrow the taproot but you’ll enjoy the regrown turnip tops. Make sure the turnips you buy have their tops intact or else you won’t be able to regrow them.

To prepare the turnip tops, use a sharp knife to make a clear cut through the turnip, leaving only 3cm, plus the top. If the turnip has leaves on it, snip them off, being careful to leave the top intact. Keeping the leaves discourages new growth. The leaves can be enjoyed cooked or raw.

Plant the turnip

Prepare a 15cm diameter plant pot and fill it with a soilless mix, a sterile potting mix that is less likely to contain fungus or bacteria in it that could cause the turnip pieces to rot. Leave about 3cm between the top of the soil and the edge of the pot so that when you water the soil, it does not float up and over the edge to the top. Water the mix so it stays evenly moist.

Place the turnip tops into the soilless mix making sure the top ends are facing up. Bury them about halfway, leaving the tops sticking out of the soil.

Place the pot in a bright and sunny location and watch your turnip tops begin to sprout and grow.

Harvesting and use

Keep growing turnip tops for as long as they keep producing new leaves. When the turnips stop growing, place them in the compost pile.

To harvest the greens, wait until the leaves are 10-15cm long. Cut them off from the plant when they reach the desired size, leaving 2-3cm of leaves above the crown of the plant. This way, your turnips will grow new leaves after you harvest them.

Rinse the greens under cool water to get rid of dirt and pat them dry with a paper towel so they’re less likely to get mouldy. You can store your turnip greens in a plastic bag in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.

Enjoy your regrown turnip greens with your loved ones. You can prepare lots of different dishes with them. Nothing beats the flavour of home-grown food.