How To Store Turnips Without Much Troubling And Effort

A few nights ago, I was having a lovely evening with my wife, and while we were watching “Blackadder”, Baldrick, one of the characters mentioned “a turnip surprise”. Then, it hit me. I’ll write an article about how to store turnips so that you can avoid any nasty surprises from spoiled food.

Naturally, there are several ways to store these, and I will cover all of those. Just follow the guidelines, and you’ll be fine. Also, turnips will be ready for harvesting in about two months (more or less), and before you know it, you will have a situation to solve. That’s why I think in advance.


What Will I Need?


Perhaps the worst case scenario when this question is on the table is that you will have to buy only a few items in your garden center. However, if you already have something planted, you will do fine. Still, to be sure, here’s the list of needed things.

  • check
    Shovel (or spade)
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    Straw for covering

There are also some less important things which I will mention in each chapter, but these are required for almost all methods.

How To Recognize If Turnip Is Right For Storage?

Recognize If Turnip Is Right For Storage

Contrary to storing cabbage, the best turnips for storage are those which are grown in your garden. Just because you know which variety is it, and because you are in charge of when it will be harvested.

Furthermore, improving your overall skill in gardening is a worthy cause of growing turnips on your own. Storing fruits of your hard work will only enhance overall results.

Therefore, you will recognize well-grown turnips easily. They have a solid shape, without bruises or other damaged areas. These represent entering points for bacteria and other microorganisms, so if you spot any while harvesting, set them aside, to be used first.

Refrigerator Method

Refrigerator Method

The easiest way for storing turnips will include a refrigerator. Saving time is about a few days, so don’t use it for anything longer. It is excellent for having a few extra vegetables here and there, but nothing more.

After taking turnips from the ground and shaking off dirt, just snip off green parts (leaves), wrap what is remaining in plastic bag or wrapping foil, and toss it into the refrigerator. After a few days it will start to dry (that’s what all refrigerators will do), so use it as soon as possible.

Overwintering Method

Overwintering Method

This is not exactly a storing method, but still, worth trying. If harvesting time is in autumn, you can cut off leaves, but leave the turnip in the ground. Try this approach only in the case that winters in your areas are not too harsh; prolonged periods of frost will destroy the root.

Naturally, plants cannot survive on their own. That’s why you need to add a few inches of straw. It will prevent soil from freezing, and during winter turnips will increase the nutrients, so when you dig them our early in the spring, you’ll have great-tasting vegetables.

In case that snow falls, don’t worry. It will act as an isolator, and in fact, will help to preserve the edible root. Strong frosts, chilling winds, and extremely low temperatures are main enemies of overwintering turnips.

Cellar Method

Cellar Method

Quite often, people will have an extra space in their basement. So, why not store turnips there?
Now is the time for those crates I have mentioned before. After harvesting turnips, don’t wash them, just wipe off any dirt which will remain. Greens are removed as well, since those can feed on nutrients from the root, making them unusable and tasteless later.

After placing turnips in crates, you can’t just leave them in the basement. They will dry in time, and assistance is required. Therefore, cover them with a wet towel or fill the crate with moist sawdust. By doing so, you will “imitate” conditions which would happen if they were left in the ground.

Check them out from time to time, and use the ones which look as if will spoil sooner. If stored correctly, they can last for a few months.

Freezing Method

In case that you prefer less bothersome approach, this one will fit your needs perfectly. Of course, it is limited by the available space in the freezer.

Take the number of turnips you wish to store, cut off greens, and wash them thoroughly. Peel the outer layer as you would do with potatoes. Cut them into cubes, and put into boiling water for about a minute.

Drain water, and quickly put cubes of turnips into the bowl with water and ice cubes. This will reduce prolonged “cooking” and taste loss. Now just pack the cubes in ziplock bags and store them in the freezer. Solid few months is the time in which these will be preserved.


So, we made it to the end. Now when you know how to store turnips, I believe that you will include them in your garden and that these methods won’t be too troublesome for you.

If you have some other exciting ways to preserve these vegetables, share them in the comment section below.

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