Several natural methods are available for treating turnips for insects. Some of these include using diatomaceous earth, which is not toxic to humans, animals, or plants. You can also use essential oils, which are sprayed on the plants before sunrise and in the evening. This will deter pests from attacking your plants.
Keeping your turnips well-watered is a good idea, particularly during hot summer days. This will help keep the roots from getting bitter. It is also important to remove old growth on the plants. Doing this will encourage new growth. However, you should not try to bury the dead leaves, as this can cause re-infestation.
The aphid is the most common pest on turnips. Its numbers are highest during the winter and early spring. Using essential oils can help get rid of the aphids on your turnips. It can also help repel other insects. You can also spray your turnips with a mixture of neem oil. This can be done in your garden sprayer. You can also make your own horticultural oil from dish washing soap and soybean oil.
In addition to natural remedies, you can also purchase commercial products. You can get nitrogenous fertilizer from a local farm supply store or seed store. This is a good source of nitrogen, which is necessary for plant growth. You can also obtain information about nitrogenous fertilizer from your county agricultural agent or state agricultural experiment station.
Using a boron spray is also a good option. This is a chemical compound that is applied four to six weeks after sowing your seeds. It can be used on turnips and greens. It can be purchased from garden centers or online.
The flea beetle is also a big problem, especially on cruciferous vegetables like turnips. This pest is a dark-colored, 1.5-3 mm insect that looks like a black caterpillar. When disturbed, the insect jumps. It can be a problem on turnips as well as on cole crops. This pest is also known to chew holes in the leaves. It also thrives in cool and humid weather.
You can also use a floating row cover to help prevent insects from affecting your plants. This will also reduce water pressure and will cool the soil.
A physical barrier will also help prevent pests from getting into your garden. You can plant flowers and herbs to deter pests from coming to your turnips. You can also use mulch to prevent weeds and cool the soil.
Another option is to use baits, such as beer traps. These traps will work to control slugs. If you have a lot of slugs, consider using beneficial nematodes. You can also purchase these beneficial insects online. They can help reduce the population of harmful insects, and they are also predators.
The ant is another common pest of turnips. They are generally found around aphids, and they eat the waste that the aphids produce. They can also form colonies that can cause bigger infestations. If you want to control ants, you can use a spray with a chemical called pymetrozine.