Days to Harvest: Carrots, 54 to 75; parsnips, 110 to 120; beets, 45 to 58; turnips, 38 to 50; radishes, 21 to 30; rutabaga, 90 to 95.
When to Plant: Carrots, beets, parsnips, rutabaga, radishes, and turnips can all be planted in early spring. For those vegetables that mature quickly, you can make several sowings throughout the season for a constant supply, though most radishes won't do well in the heat of summer. Long-maturing varieties should be planted as early as possible, especially in cold climates.
Light: Full sun.
Soil: Average soil is fine. Root vegetables require a deeply dug, loose, well-prepared soil. Any rocks or otherwise impermeable areas in the soil will result in misshapen roots. Root vegetables struggle in clay soils; amend these heavily with compost to improve soil texture.
Watering: Steady, regular watering is necessary for the roots to develop into nutritious, tasty vegetables.
Fertilizing: Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer if soil fertility is low. Do not use a high-nitrogen fertilizer.
Pest Problems: None serious. Rotate crops to minimize potential scab or rot diseases.