Turnips get a bad rap as being bitter, but if you develop them in the right terms and harvest them at the right time, you’ll be amazed at what a fantastic addition they will be for your vegetable repertoire.
They’re surprisingly versatile. You can eat the greens as the roots are growing; in fact, a few varieties are grown only for their own green tops. When the roots mature, you can turn them in a tasty side dish that has only a little hotness, which means they also blend nicely with other root crops, such as potatoes.
The very familiar turnips are small, round white globes, although some varieties are more elongated and the others are red, resembling beets. They frequently have reddish to purple shoulders that may be a result of sunlight exposure. As long as they’re relatively small, about 2 inches wide, and never too old, they’re nice to eat.
Though you can plant turnips in early spring they do best as a fall crop, tasting sweetest once they have experienced a little frost.
More: How to grow cool-season vegetables
The New York Botanical Garden
When to plant: Mid to late summer is the ideal time to plant, as the cool weather plus a little bit of frost response in very yummy vegetables; otherwise, plant in early spring.
Days to maturity: 30 to 70
Sun requirement: Full sun; may take light color
Water necessity: Keep soil well watered after planting until seedlings emerge, then water frequently so soil does not dry out throughout the growing season.
Favorites: Gilfeather, Golden Ball, Hakurai, Just Right, Market Express, Navet des Verts Marteau, Purple Top White Globe, Royal Crown, Royal Globe, Scarlett Queen, Snowball, Tokyo Cross, Tokyo Market, White Knight, White Lady. For greens just, try All Top, Shogoin or Topper.
Planting and care: Amend the dirt nicely and rotate the growing place from season to season. Stay away from planting where you have grown crops from the same family, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and rutabaga.
Sow seeds per half inch deep (slightly shallower in spring). Thin to approximately 4 to 6 inches apart (may be closer if you’re increasing the greens). To get a continuous crop, keep sowing every 10 days to two weeks till you understand they won’t mature before the temperatures operate too high (70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit) or the earth freezes.
If you want, fertilize about a month later sowing. Marijuana attentively, as blossoms are shallow. Pests are few, though a few to watch out to include root maggots (you might have to use row covers if these are a problem), aphids, flea beetles, grubs and wireworms. Clubfoot might be a issue. In case you’ve got a healthy backyard, these issues should be minimal.
Harvest: Do not wait to crop. Turnips get woody if they grow too old, and they will get bitter if the outside temperature is greater than 75 degrees. The roots should be approximately 2 inches wide or slightly larger. Pull or dig up them. To shop, remove the tops and keep what is left at a place that is moist and cool. You can even keep turnips from the floor by covering the crop with a foot of straw or hay, however you will have to harvest until the ground freezes.
Harvesting the greens may begin even sooner. Begin by pinching off a couple of leaves from each plant at the base. You can even cut all the leaves about an inch above the floor; the leaves will grow back. Quit harvesting when the leaves become bitter.