Overripe turnips can taste woody and bitter, but with the right knowledge you can easily grow turnips that taste sweet and nutty. Many people enjoy turnips steamed, roasted or on a salad.
Fact: Baby turnips are just smaller versions of fully grown turnips that were crowded while growing.
Turnips are available in a variety of shapes and range in colors from black to purple to white.
How to plant:
You should plant your turnips in moist soils that are high in nitrogen. Begin planting in the spring to early summer to avoid hot and dry weather which can prevent the seeds from germinating. Seeds should be planted 3/4 inches deep and spread thinly, about 9-12 inches apart. When the seedlings appear above ground, begin watering, making sure to keep the soil moist for a successful growing season.
Turnips are rarely attacked by diseases; however they are still susceptible to the same diseases as other vegetables in the cabbage family. Avoid growing turnips in your garden where any vegetable of the cabbage family has been previously planted.
Your turnips can be harvested about five or six weeks after planting, when they are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. You should be able to pull the turnips from the ground, by their stems without any trouble. After harvesting, you can cook and eat your turnips right away, or you can leave them in the ground for up to ten weeks. However, keep an eye on how large they get, because if the turnips become too large they will begin to taste woody.
- Text Copyright ©Alan Buckingham 2008. DK Edition. Growing Vegetables.