Its nearly turnip time

Gardeners busy preparing their vegetable patches and greenhouses for sowing this years spring crops will know that it is almost the ideal time to begin sowing turnip seeds.

The traditional favourite is a great accompaniment to stew and potatoes and helps make a hearty meal.

It takes around six to 12 weeks from seed to harvest and grows well in a light, humus-rich soil.

Seeds should be sown around a half inch deep with around nine inches between rows for early crops and 12 inches between rows for main crops, according to

Seedlings should be thinned out as they grow, with early crops given about five inches of room and main crops given around nine inches.

Gardeners looking to have a long season of turnip harvesting should repeat the sowing process once a month until early July to ensure a regular supply of fresh turnips.

The crop should be well-watered during dry periods and thinnings can be used in salads or steamed for a tasty side to a main meal.