Turnip Greens

Brassica rapa (Rapifera Group)

Last revised February 10, 2010

VARIETIES(approximately 30 days for greens).

Shogoin (roots edible), Seven Top (root inedible); For trial: Topper, All Top.

Other greens:

Mustard: Florida Broadleaf (most popular), Southern Giant Curled. For trial: Tendergreen II (a hybrid), Tendergreen, Southern Giant Curled.

Collards: Blue Max, Georgia Southern, Heavi-Crop, Top Bunch, Vates. For trial: Morris Heading, Champion, Carolina, and hybrid: Hi Crop.


Use hot-water treated seed and fungicide treat seed to protect against several serious seed-borne diseases. Hot water seed treatments are very specific (122 F exactly, for 25 to 30 minutes; the wet seed then quickly cooled and dried). The seed treatments are best done by the seed company, and can usually be provided upon request.

Spring crop - seed as early as possible in Western Oregon, often in February or March.

Fall crop - seed during September on raised beds.

Space 1-2 feet between rows and 2-4 inches between plants. Use 2-3 lb/acre of seed. Harvest about 50 days after planting.


For the most current advice, see Nutrient Management for Sustainable Vegetable Cropping Systems in Western Oregon, available as a free download from the OSU Extension Catalog

The following are general recommendations only. It is advisable to have a soil test done on each field to be planted.

Nitrogen: 60-100 (N) lb/acre (1/2 at planting, 1/2 25 days later)
Phosphorus: 80-120 (P2O5) lb/acre all at planting.
Potash: 60-120 (K2O) lb/acre all at planting.
Magnesium: 60-120 (MgO) lb/acre all at planting.


Turnip green yields are approximately 150 cwt/acre. Turnip greens are usually harvested by machine for processing. Those used for fresh market should be graded so no diseased or damaged leaves are left on the plants.

STORAGE (Quoted or modified from USDA Ag. Handbook 66 and other sources)

Leafy greens such as collards, kale, rape, Swiss chard, beet greens and turnip greens are handled like spinach. Because of their perishability, they should be held as close to 32 F as possible. At this temperature, they can be held for 10 to 14 days. Relative humidity of at least 95 % is desirable to prevent wilting. Air circulation should be adequate to remove heat of respiration, but rapid air circulation will speed transpiration and wilting. Satisfactory precooling is accomplished by vacuum cooling or hydrocooling.

These leafy greens are commonly shipped with package and top ice to maintain freshness. Research has shown that kale packed in polyethylene-lined crates and protected by crushed ice keeps in excellent condition for 3 weeks at 32 F but only 1 week at 40 F and 3 days at 50 F. Vitamin content and quality are retained better when wilting is prevented.


Turnip greens are commonly packaged in 23 to 24-lb bushel baskets, crates and 24 pack cartons; or 30 to 35-lb (l.4 bu and l.6 bu) wirebound crates.