A root vegetable categorized as a biennial, the turnip plant is often grown as an annual due to its rapid cultivation. Considered a cool-season crop, turnip seeds are best planted in early spring or early autumn to avoid harvesting during the hot summer months. Turnips don’t require much care, however, the soil should be kept lightly moistened with about 1 inch of water per week to prevent tough and bitter roots. Often used in soups and stews, the roots can also be eaten raw or mashed, while the stems and leaves are great for fresh salads or sautéed and served up as a healthy hot side dish. Packed with essential nutrients, this easy-to-grow vegetable makes a great addition to any vegetable garden.