Home & Garden Gardening

Organic Gardening - Turnips Grown in the Home Garden

A cool weather crop and a member of the mustard family,also a relative to cabbage and cauliflower.
It is an easy to grow root crop that is nutritious and versatile, eaten raw, with dips or cooked.
This crop when grown fresh in your home garden has a taste that will make you want to go back for more.
Turnips are a fast growing crop that do best in temperatures between 50 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit and with ample moisture.
In hot weather there tops get tough and there roots get bitter.
A sunny location with a nutrient rich healthy soil structure that is well drained, deeply worked and retains moisture well is what turnips like best.
Raised beds are the ideal location for planting this of crop, as any other root crop.
Sow seeds directly outdoors about three weeks before the last expected frost in your area.
The soil needs to be at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit before the seeds will germinate, germination is between 7 and 14 days.
Sow seeds 1/2 inch deep, sprinkling them thinly to one inch apart in the rows and cover with a fine soil.
Separate the rows 1 foot apart or plant in double rows to conserve space in your home garden.
You can also sow seeds in the spring and again in the fall.
Fall crops tend be a more productive and better tasting crop.
Sow seeds midsummer, about two months before the first expected frost for a delicious fall crop.
The maturity time for turnips is between 35 and 45 days.
Keep soil moist at all times is very important.
Once the seedlings emerge thin them to about 3 inches apart.
Once they get to a height of about 4 inches thin them again to about 5 inches apart and apply a layer of organic mulch to retain moisture along with helping to suppress weeds.
The greens of the turnip plant can be harvested once they are large enough to pick, when picking the greens leave a few behind on each plant to keep the root system alive.
Harvesting the roots is a choice of preference, when 1 to 3 inches in diameter is when they are there tenderest.
The roots can be harvested and stored in a dark cool place and will keep for several months.
Don't remove or wash the dirt that clings to the root, it will help protect the roots during storage.

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