What are the Best Root Crops to Grow?

Plucking plants is the most natural way of nature, reminding us that the summer is already advancing. But leaving those spaces is bad since the bare earth will encourage weeds and be vulnerable to erosion during summer storms. 

We don’t blame you if you’ve never tried growing root vegetables before. You can’t see your progress as easily because they grow underground, which might make the procedure scary. However, after reading our helpful root vegetable guide, you’ll see that they’re not as difficult to grow as you might assume. You’re just a few steps away from perfect parsnips!

Turnips, sweet potatoes, and carrots are all root crops that present a specific problem. We often don’t know whether there’s a problem until we harvest them since the edible component grows underground and out of sight. 

Here are some root crops to get for you to start in the kitchen garden:


  • USDA Growing Zones: Any
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Needs: Loose, well-draining soil

Carrots are a popular vegetable. But the long, thin carrots we see most often need several months to mature — and several pests above and below the soil will devour your carrots before they reach maturity. If you’ve had trouble producing carrots, try one of the shorter types. These carrots mature faster, are as delicious and crisp as longer carrots, and you can consume them if you plant them early in succession throughout the summer. 

Carrot seeds are also tiny and take a long time to germinate. To help you distinguish your rows, sow some radish seed among your carrots. Work some sand into the carrot bed before planting if your soil is thick or compacted. It would be best to thin them to allow the roots to expand.


  • USDA Growing Zones: 4 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: Full direct sunlight
  • Soil Needs: Moist, nitrogen-rich soil

Spinach leaves are smooth and succulent and can be utilized in various ways. Salads, quiches, flans, risottos, and pasta meals all benefit from them. Begin once a month and continue until the first frost. Sows in rows approximately a foot (30cm) apart. It would be best to space seeds an inch (2.5) apart, and seedlings should be about 8 inches (20cm). Plants can bolt quickly in hot weather, causing the leaves to turn bitter. To avoid this, sow in the summer in the soft shade and maintain the soil moist at all times.

Use a knife or garden scissors to remove the leaves. Don’t let the leaves become too huge, and harvest small amounts frequently. Later sowings can be protected from the elements with a row cover or tunnel when the weather cools.

Sweet Potatoes

  • USDA Growing Zones: 8 to 11
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Needs: Rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil

Sweet potatoes can be cultivated in warmer climates as a test. Six weeks before the final frost date, bury it in a pot or deep pan of damp sand. Place the pan in a warm window to keep it warm. Add more sand as the sprouts emerge to assist deeper roots. Remove the roots and transplant the shoots into the garden. Warm the soil with black plastic film. Dig potatoes as soon as the vines are killed by frost, then cure the roots for five days at 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 Celsius) and high relative humidity.

After this treatment, keep potatoes at 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.6 Celsius) and 85% relative humidity. Curing can be done in crates with black plastic film covering them. You can preserve sweet potatoes in damp sawdust in a heated basement. Centennial, Maryland Golden, and Orli’s are recommended varieties.

Rutabagas & Turnips


  • USDA Growing Zones: Any
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
  • Soil Needs: Slightly acidic fertile, well-draining soil


  • USDA Growing Zones: Any
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial
  • Soil Needs: Fertile, slightly acidic, well-draining soil 

Turnips are a type of mustard root crops. They are more frequent in gardens than rutabaga, which is closely related. Although there are white and yellow varieties, most turnips and rutabagas have white flesh. You can plant turnips in the spring or the fall, but rutabagas are always planted in the summer. Turnips are rutabagas that produce large amounts of edible roots that can be used as a potato substitute in your diet.

Cooked alone, with diced or sliced turnips roots, or mixed in equal parts with mustard greens, turnip greens are a popular side dish. You can eat rutabaga tops, but they’re not as popular as turnip greens because of their abrasive texture. Tokyo Cross Hybrid and Purple Top White Globe are two turnip types that are recommended. The rutabaga variety to use is American Purple.


  • USDA Growing Zones: 3 to 9
  • Sun Exposure: Full to partial sun
  • Soil Needs: Loose, rich soil

Horseradish are root crops with a strong flavor and aroma. It’s been used for thousands of years all around the world, mostly as a condiment but also as a medicine. Multiple chemicals in this root may have health benefits, including anticancer and antibacterial properties. Horseradish has a strong flavor, so it’s no wonder that the plant is powerful as well.

This root is best planted in the spring because it is one of the few plants free of pests and diseases. Remember that horseradish quickly spreads that may take over other plants in your garden, so beware of avoiding garden dominance. Remove the top leaves for more flavor; the roots will grow larger and taste hotter. Only two or three plants will usually suffice for most individuals.

Onions & Shallots

  • USDA Growing Zones: Adaptable but best in zones 5 and 6
  • Sun Exposure: Full sun
  • Soil Needs: Firm, acidic soil from sandy loam to heavy clay

Onions are rather simple to grow. It takes much effort to plant them. You have three choices: transplants or sets, and start them from seed, which is small cured onion bulbs. The transplants are the easiest to plant but much more expensive and mature the fastest. Water sparingly when starting from seed, as the little, thin seedlings are prone to damping out. Onions are also divided into three categories based on the time of day. 

There are three types of days, short, long, and middle. The length of the day and the amount of sunlight available will impact the performance of your onion plants, so make sure you choose the right category for your climate and growing season. Shallots can be grown like any other onion, but they’re usually planted in the fall. This mild-tasting, gourmet onion grows like garlic, with each bulb producing offsets that can be harvested the following year.

Final Takeaway

What’s The Best Way of Choosing The Suitable Crops For You? Root crops play an important role in the human diet. Also, several roots within the same geographical location, results in diverse biodiversity. As a result, they bring variety to the diet while also providing a wide range of nutritional and physiological benefits, including antioxidative, hypoglycemic, antibacterial, and helping the immune system properties. A survival garden seed is a must-try product if you love gardening!

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