Turnip PlantsTurnip companion plants are a good way to protect your crop yield. By growing two or more other crops with your turnips, you can keep insects and pests away as well as achieve a bountiful yield. Continue reading to find out what you can grow with turnips.

What to Plant With Turnips

Much as turnips are easy-to-grow plants, having companions increases its yield substantially. You can plant any of the below companions for turnips for good benefits to their health and production.

– Catnip Plant

The catnip plant is one of the best companions for the turnip plant. A herbaceous plant, it is perennial. The plant can be short-lived though.

Catnip is also commonly labeled as catswort. This plant is a species of the family Lamiaceae, which is native to Central Asia, the Middle East and some parts of Europe and China.

This plant can grow up to a height of 100 cm. Flowers bloom in late spring and throughout autumn.

– Garlic

Garlic plants, or the Allium sativum, grow from a bulb. It belongs to the onion family and is a perennial plant. The plant is native to Central Asia, but it is used as a common herb and seasoning all around the world today.

– Garlic Chives

Garlic Chives, or the Allium tuberosum, belong to the Liliaceae family. They have an onion-looking root, but they are not edible like onions. Garlic chives have beautiful flowers. The plants are hardy and can grow up to a height of 15 inches.

– Thyme

Thyme plants, otherwise referred to as Thymus Vulgaris, are more ornamental plants. They also have extensive uses in culinary and medicinal fields. This plant can be propagated using either seeds or cuttings. Thyme plants are perennial and drought resistant.

The best time to propagate them is during the spring. You will need well-drained soil with bright sunlight to grow them.

– Onion

Onion plants, or the Allium Cepa, is a commonly used vegetable in cuisines all around the world. The plant is biennial and can grow to a height of 18 inches.

– Peas

This annual plant is planted between the months of winter and early summer. The plant requires a cool environment with a soil temperature of 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

– Broccoli

Broccoli belongs to the cabbage family. A common vegetable that is rich in Vitamin C, it is commonly planted with turnips. These plants have short growths and a large flowering head. The stalk comes with small leaves that are edible as well.

– Cabbage

This leafy green vegetable can serve as an excellent companion to turnips. The usual white and green variety as well as the red variety are both biennial plants. They are often grown as an annual crop.

– Vetch (Vicia sativa)

Vetch, otherwise labeled as the Vicia sativa, is a nitrogen-fixing plant from the Fabaceae family. This hardy plant is often used as green manure or livestock fodder. Vetch is among the best companion plants for turnips.



There are several reasons why turnip companion plants are beneficial to growing turnips, such as helping develop a bountiful harvest. Turnips come with a lot of nutritional benefits as well as great taste. 

However, their fleshy foliage can easily attract insects and pests. An increase in temperature can even bring in more activity of these bugs, resulting in a poor yield. Aphids can suck the juice off the tender foliage and flea beetles botch tiny holes in turnip leaves.

One solution to prevent this from happening is to do companion planting. With companion planting, you can:

  • Get a bountiful harvest
  • Fight off pests and insects
  • Protect the tender juicy foliage of the turnips
  • Prevent usage of chemical pesticides
  • Grow beneficial plants as companions for double bounty

Other Benefits

Apart from the basic advantages listed above, companion planting can also help turnips in other ways.

– More Flavorful Turnips

It is a common observation that turnip greens tend to get more flavorful when planted alongside pea plants.

– Minimizes Risk

Companion planting for turnips supports the plant. It benefits the soil and the ecosystem. The diversity that companion planting provides decreases pest infestations, thereby minimizing the risk of fewer yields.

– Saves Space

When you plant companions along with turnip plants, you can easily maintain a vegetable garden in a small space. Maximize space by planting other vegetable plants such as garlic or onion beside your turnips. Pack them in close, and with proper planning and spacing, you can have a bountiful vegetable yield.

With companion planting, you don’t have to have large patches or long rows of vegetables. Accumulate and cluster them together in one area.

– Protects Your Crops

When you plant a combination of herbs, vegetables or plants together, pests will find it difficult to destroy your whole crop. The different scents, colors and textures of the plants can confuse bugs and insects.

In addition, many herbs as companion plants for turnips can attract the insects to themselves, thereby saving the turnip plant.

Planting: How To

– Choose a Site

Choose a specific area in your garden where turnips can thrive. The plant needs well-drained soil that is fertile. With this in mind, sprinkle some manure when preparing the soil to plant the turnips. Keep the soil slightly acidic at 7 pH.

– Determine the Right Time to Plant

The right time to plant turnips is between midsummer until fall. The harvest time for turnips is during the winter and spring season. Before planting, make sure that the soil temperature is at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plant companion plants at the same time you plant your turnips.

– Space Them Right

When planting turnips along with their companions, make sure you equip them with the right space to give you the maximum benefit of companion planting. Ensure you provide a space of 18 to 24 inches between plants to prevent them from competing with each other for nutrients.

– Provide Mulch

Add a layer of mulch to the soil to prevent the growth of weeds. It will also conserve moisture in the soil.

Turnips as Companions To Other Plants

Alternatively, turnips can be good companions to various other plants as well. As they have swollen and deep roots, they break up compacted soils. So if you have a garden bed with heavy soils, using turnips as a companion plant can be a solution.

You can plant turnips as companions for the following plants:

  • Squash
  • Tomato
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli

You can also interplant turnips with the following to get benefits:

  • German chamomile or dill plants with turnips discourage caterpillar pests such as cabbage loopers.
  • Marigolds protect turnips from cabbage root flies. They camouflage turnips with their sweet fragrance.
  • Rush plants with turnips can keep flea beetles away.
  • Aster family plants such as cosmos, sunflowers, daisies and zinnias also keep turnip pests away.

What Not to Plant With Turnips

Companion plants improve the health of the turnip. It attracts beneficial insects and keeps away those that harm the plant. Now that we know the beneficial plants you can safely place beside your turnips, here are a few plants that you need to avoid as companions.

– Horse Radish

This plant is not a suitable companion when growing turnip crops as they can inhibit the turnip’s growth.

– Potatoes

Much as onions work as a perfect companion, potatoes do not. The potato plant competes for root space with the turnip plant. It may even suck up much of the nutrition that the turnip plant will require from the soil.

– Hedge Mustard

Hedge mustard also belongs to the turnip family. This plant can grow tall and easily attracts cabbage whites. The plant will not be a suitable companion plant to turnips as this will inhibit turnip growth.

– Knotweed

Avoid growing knotweeds anywhere near turnips. This plant inhibits turnip growth and can also damage the root and soil around turnips. 

– Root Vegetables

Root vegetables are the worst crops to grow as companions with turnips. They not only compete with the turnips for nutrition but also occupy space underground. They take in most of the moisture from the soil as well.

Tips To Get Healthy 

Apart from companion planting, here are some other helpful tips and tricks to get a healthy yield of turnips.

– Sowing Seeds

Sow turnip seed into well-drained soil. Rake in the soil at least half an inch deep before placing the seeds.

– Right Season

The right season to plant turnips is during the spring when soil temperatures will be around 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Plant them in the sun or in partial shade.

– Temperature Conditions

Turnips grow better in cool weather. Too much heat can make them woody.

– Compost

You can add some compost to the soil where you have turnips as well as the companion plants. This will bring about robust roots and prevent bolting.

– Plant Disease

Turnips are susceptible to fungal and bacterial infections. Rotate the crops regularly to prevent these diseases from spreading. Keep the soil from getting waterlogged to prevent root rot.

– Harvesting Right

Harvest the full turnip crop just before the light frost of fall occurs. The plant can survive in freezing weather, but a hard frost can freeze its roots. This can cause the roots to crack and rot.


Can You Plant Carrots and Turnips Together?

Carrots are root vegetables so they will not be a good companion plant for turnips. They will compete for both space and nutrition. Also, carrots can attract rust flies and destroy the juicy leaves of turnips.

Can You Plant Cucumbers With Turnips?

Cucumbers can go well as companion plants for turnips because they do not spread in the soil. They don’t compete with turnips for nutrition nor do they occupy valuable underground space.

Can You Plant Tomatoes With Turnips?

Turnips do well in the presence of tomato plants and they flourish well together. Tomatoes do not put turnips at risk of being infected by insects or pests. This makes them a perfect companion.


turnips-easy-to-grow plantsYou have now read and understood the significant role companion plants can play in the health of your turnip crops. Let us summarize what we learned from this article.

  • Companion planting provides long term stability to the soil.
  • They offer shade and shelter to turnip plants.
  • They help to keep away insects and pests that destroy crops.
  • Some of the best companion plants for turnips are garlic chives, onion, cabbage, thyme, broccoli and peas.
  • Do not plant root vegetables as companions for turnips as they compete for space and nutrition.
  • Some other plants that are not good companion plants for turnips include potatoes, hedge mustard and knotweed.
  • Turnips can be good companions to various other plants such as tomatoes, squash and celery.

Now that you have these tips and tricks for companion planting, go ahead and make your turnip crop healthy. You can have a thriving crop of turnip greens in no time.

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