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13 Companion Plants For Turnips: Best and Worst! [2023]

Looking for some companion plants for turnips to protect your yield, but no idea what plants are suitable?

Or, have you decided to start gardening smarter, not harder? You realize that some plants you are growing around your turnips are not thriving and you do not have the time to replant them.

So, it is time to rethink some of those green plants you keep around in your yard. You want them to look great, and on top of that, to remain fresh enough for cooking!

Here is a quick and easy guide on all the suitable companion plants for turnips, so you don’t have to worry about building your dream garden.

Besides, insects and pests are a big no-no to achieving a bountiful garden and growing companion plants for turnips is also a good way to shoosh them away.

Look no more! Here are the best 13 companion plants for turnips that you will want to add to your garden after reading this guide:

At a glance: 13 Best Companion Plants For Turnips

1. Radish

2. Thyme

3. Mint

4. Garlic

5. Lettuce

6. Swiss Chord

7. Peas

8. Hairy Vetch

9. Pole beans and bush beans

10. Tomatoes

11. Nasturtiums 

12. Broccoli

13. Marigold

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13 Best Companion Plants for Turnips

What can you plant with turnips? Don’t know? It is okay! When I first started my planting journey, I was so lost too! 

Just continue reading and you will find out what to plant with turnips! 

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Jo Lanta / Unsplash

1. Radishes

Radish… you may or may not enjoy this vegetable but your turnips love them! But can you plant turnips and radishes together?

Having radishes as your companion plant will help to repel pests such as squash bugs, aphids, cucumber beetles, and squash vine borers. 

Just plant a few radishes around the edges of the turnips bed to scare those pesky aphids away.

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Anna Junghans / Unsplash

2. Thyme

Thyme helps to repel the cabbage whitefly which is a garden pest that loves turnips! 

Did you know? Your thyme can help to attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs or hoverflies to your vegetable garden.

What a win-win situation here!

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Shaun Meintjes / Unsplash

3. Mint

Mint is a type of fragrant herb and it is one of the best companion herbs for turnips! The fragrance will repel flea beetles and aphids that will snack on turnips. 

In addition, mint surprisingly attracts earthworms that are excellent for soil health and predatory wasps – good to control pest populations.

However, mint can be invasive so the perfect option is to grow them in the containers near your turnips patch. 

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Team Voyas / Unsplash

4. Garlic

Don’t you just get so mad when insects such as hungry beetles, aphids, and onion flies start attacking your turnips every time? I do too! 

One of the best ways to avoid this is to plant garlic beside your turnips. 

In fact, garlic flourishes when you interplant with turnips! The turnip roots can help to deter borers from targeting garlic. What a dynamic duo here! 

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Petr Magera / Unsplash

5. Lettuce

In general, lettuce is great as a companion for most garden vegetables such as strawberries, celery, spinach, and squash.

Lettuce favors underground plants such as turnips. It shades it from sunlight which allows them to grow well. 

In addition, lettuce attracts beneficial insects such as hoverflies just like other companion crops.

6. Swiss Chard

Many may not know what Swiss chard is, but it is just a leafy green that can be used for cooking. You can identify them from their striking red stems. .

This vegetable provides a dense shade to their companion plants, something like lettuce. 

However, without these shades, your turnips will be at risk of being burnt by the scorching sun. 

Just like humans! I am sure you wouldn’t want to get sunburnt either.

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Rachael Gorjestani / Unsplash

7. Peas

Peas, in particular, are a fantastic garden buddy for turnips! 

Peas are nitrogen-fixing plants. Therefore, if you plant your turnips next to peas, you can get natural fertilizer and a growth booster. 

Nitrogen-fixing plants are important because if there is not enough nitrogen, then the plants are unable to produce enough amino acids to make the proteins that is necessary for the plant cells to grow. 

And…. The great bonus point for peas is that they only occupy a little growing space because they tend to grow upwards, while your turnips grow down below the surface.

8. Hairy Vetch

Hairy…. What?? Yes, hairy vetch! 

It is a legume primarily used for soil improvement that comes with many other benefits for the garden.

It will extract the nitrogen from the air and add it to your soil as a nitrogen-fixing plant. 

If you also want to avoid any soil erosion and reduce runoff, that is when the soil contains more water than the land can absorb. Therefore, this plant is actually the perfect choice for you because the roots of the plant help to anchor the soil.

Companion plants for turnips
Credit: Milda Vigerova / Unsplash

9. Pole Beans And Bush Beans

Other leguminous plants that can be great turnip companion plants are…*drum roll*… pole beans and bush beans!

These two vegetables are great for improving the quality of your soil for the crops!

Apart from that, all types of beans make excellent companions. However, you do need to ensure that the beans are favorable for the crop that you want to plant them next to.

With its natural talent as a nitrogen-fixing plant, your turnip can grow well without having to worry about the nitrogen amount in the soil. 

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Dan Gold / Unsplash

10. Tomatoes

Tomatoes, these little delicate vegetables. 

However, turnips are not going to benefit much from the companion of tomatoes.

Tomatoes gain more from turnips as turnips help to repel aphids that attack them. 

Nonetheless, it is also a good choice to grow them concurrently in your garden and enjoy more vegetables!

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Anthony Rae / Unsplash

11. Nasturtiums

What grows well with turnips? Maybe consider these yellow pretty flowers. A good choice as a companion plant for many other vegetables too!

Aphids, the culprit for destroying your turnips, don’t like these plants. The same goes for cabbage worms and other pests!

At the same time, these beautiful flowers attract hoverflies and ladybugs which will prey on many garden insects or pests.

companion plants for turnips
Credit: Tyrrell Fitness and Nutrition / Unsplash

12. Broccoli

Broccoli belongs to the Brassicas family and is rich in Vitamin C. I know… I thought only citrus fruits have a high content of Vitamin C? Actually, a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli has about 50 milligrams of vitamin C.

However, the relationship is very one-sided. Broccoli is plagued with flies, worms, and worms and the best way to keep it thriving is to grow a pest-repelling crop next to it. 

Here come the turnips! Turnip will become a trap crop and attract these insects and take good care of these pests.

companion plants for turnips
Credit: J K/ Unsplash

13. Marigold

Similar to nasturtiums, the vibrant color of these flowers helps to attract helpful insects such as parasitic wasps and ladybugs to your turnip patch. 

Another bug that marigold helps to shush away from your turnips is the flea beetles.

After the blooming marigold season, it would be best to turn them into soil, instead of pulling them up and throwing them away. This will help to reduce any soil pests such as root-knot nematodes. 

Mexican marigolds or French marigolds are the ones that I would recommend if you want your marigold as a pest control shield! 

What Not To Plant Next To Turnips?

1. Potatoes

Potatoes may not be a wise choice to plant beside your turnips. 

Both potatoes and turnips contain their starch in the underground organs, roots, and tubers. That means they will compete for space!

Thus, we suggest it is best to avoid planting these two root crops close to each other to avoid any stunted growth of both plants.

Let them shine on their own!

2. Onions

Onions, the only plant that makes you cry, is actually the best buddy for many plants such as rhubarb, but not for turnips.

Just like potatoes, onions contain excess starches in their organs, and they will compete for nutrients with your turnips. Not just that, they will fight for space to grow too!

While may not be a wise choice to plant onion beside the turnips, it can be safely planted a couple of feet away.

3. Beets

Companion planting turnips and beets? Is it a good choice? 

Definitely not! Tomatoes may seem cute, soft, and harmless, but they can compete for the essential minerals and nutrients from your turnips.

4. Horseradish

Both horseradish and turnips cannot be best friends. 

Do you have, maybe a younger sibling that will steal your space and food? This is just like horseradish!

This vegetable will occupy the root space and fight for soil nutrients with your turnips if you plant them next to each other. This is a No-No. 

Neither of these vegetables provides protection from the other. 

However, do remember that you can plant radishes next to your turnips, just not the HORSE-radish.

5. Hedge Mustard

Other mustard plants such as hedge mustard are not recommended to be grown alongside your turnips due to the intense competition between them. 

Mustard plants, in general, will push each other for space in the soil. 

Apart from this disadvantage, it also attracts pests to your turnips. 

If you do want to plant them, consider planting them far away from your turnips.

6. Knotweed

A particularly competitive and aggressive grower. It will choke root space and outshine your turnips. 

Moreover, knotweed can also potentially affect your soil and cause soil damage. 

You would want to avoid this at all costs! 

7. Carrots

Are you a fan of carrots? 

The bright reddish-orange vegetable loves to attract flies that are bad for your turnips. These insects will happily come and munch on your hard-grown turnips for free! Ughhh… so irritating. 

Instead of offering any help for your plants, carrots can, instead be, more competitive for shine and flourish… putting your turnips in danger.

Things You Should Know About Turnips

The turnip is a vegetable plant with bold green leaves and a white-skinned tuber. This cool weathered plant is highly nutritious and is gaining popularity with home gardeners, including myself!

It can either be grown as a root vegetable or for the leafy greens that are good for your body! 

A cup of turnip’s leafy greens provides more than a third of the daily intake of vitamin A and more than a third of the daily requirement for vitamin C.

Baby turnips, on the other hand, can develop into brightly colored tops that look like a large, white spring radish. You can also enjoy them in marble sizes, perfect for dinner!

companion plants for turnips
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Companion Planting For Turnips Guide

 1. Choose The Right Site

This is the first and also the most important step when it comes to growing your turnips well! You want to plant smarter, not harder. 

Note that your turnips fancy well-drained fertile soils and slightly acidic soils at around pH 7

Sprinkle some manure when you are preparing to plant the soil. 

2. Time To Plant Turnips

Timing is so important. I suggest you start planting between mid-summer up to fall. 

Before you do so, do a small check of the soil temperature. Make sure you prepare your soil to be at 40 degrees Fahrenheit. You may get your outdoor garden thermometer here.

companion plants for turnips

Don’t Know where to get your turnips seeds? Click here!

3. Give Them Space

Space, space, space! You need air to breathe, and so do your turnips! But you don’t need a lot of land space to grow them. 

Keep in mind that when planting turnips with companion plants, provide them with the right space to get the maximum benefits. 

Give them a distance of 18-24 inches apart so they can grow non-competitively.

4. Caring Tips For Your Turnips

Plants are like human beings. If you give them more love, they will thrive!  

You can also come up with a companion planting chart for your easy reference.

companion plants for turnips
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FAQs On Companion Plants For Turnips

Can I Plant Turnips Next To Cucumbers?

So, can I plant turnips next to cucumbers? Yes, you can plant turnips next to cucumbers. Cucumbers won’t interfere with the growing of root vegetables like carrots, parsnips, radishes, and turnips if you plant them nearby. To grow cucumbers, you don’t need much space under the soil. The root vegetables can grow primarily without competing for space, so, no worries!

What Type Of Soil Is Best For Growing Turnips?

Wondering what type of soil is best for growing turnips? Mildly acidic soil is best for growing turnips. Turnips love mildly acidic soils ranging from pH between 6.0 to 6.5! You must be wondering how to make my soil acidic enough. Simply including some lime into the soil, such as ground agricultural limestone, dolomite or other alternative liming materials can also work.

How Long Does It Take To Grow Turnips?

How long does it take to grow turnips? Turnips are ready six to ten weeks after planting! I love turnips too because turnips are one of the easiest plants to grow. Quick, easy to grow from the seed, and little maintenance is required. Remember to shower them with love in cool, damp soil under a sunny spot in your garden.

How Do You Know When Turnips Are Ready To Harvest?

How do you know when turnips are ready to harves? Turnips are ready to harvest when they reach 4-6 inches in height. However, in general, your precious turnips are ready to harvest 40-55 days after you plant them. 

Can You Freeze Turnips Without Blanching? 

Can you freeze turnips without blanching? Yes you can freeze turnips without blanching. Essentially, once you have prepared your favorite turnips meal such as turnips mash, you can just scoop it into a bag and place it in the freezer.

Woohoo, there you go! Finding the perfect companion plants for turnips is not that  complicated right? Companion planting is definitely a beneficial trick that makes you an excellent farmer, even if you are new to this!

It is not as difficult as it seems when it comes to maximizing the growth potential of turnips. All you have to do is to ensure you have the right plant combination.

I hope you find this list of plants as companion plants for turnips useful and get your fingers excited to do some planting in the garden.

With a little bit of planning, you can just sit back, relax and wait for the turnip harvest season without breaking a sweat.

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