Growing Turnips

Okay, you’re thinking turnips, and you’re thinking bland. You may be surprised to know that new turnip varieties are packed with flavor and not the same rock-hard tuber that you’re thinking of.



Okay, you’re thinking turnips, and you’re thinking bland. You may be surprised to know that new turnip varieties are packed with flavor and not the same rock-hard tuber that you’re thinking of.

What’s great about turnips is that they’re a dual-purpose vegetable: you can grow them for the root or the greens, both of which are highly nutritious. As a whole, turnips take about two months to mature, but you can start eating greens about a week before the root is done growing.

Turnips may be planted in any time during spring or summer. Plant turnips by seed when soil temperatures range from 40 to 90 degrees. cover the seed with 1 inch of soil and keep the soil evenly moist. When the seedlings are a couple inches high, thin to 3 inches apart. Fertilize with fish emulsion every couple weeks.

You can harvest turnip greens when they are several inches tall. Harvest the root when the turnips are 1-1/2 inch diameter, and take them from the ground carefully–like you would potatoes.

Use turnip greens as you would any salad green, or steam and serve like spinach.  The root is an excellent addition to vegetable stock, and it holds its own in a variety of dishes.

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