Turnip greens are extremely easy to grow, especially in fall. As nights get longer and cooler, turnip greens become crisper and sweeter. Best of all, a new flush of tender leaves will grow after each picking, with plants remaining productive at least until the first hard freeze, and sometimes beyond.
Lifecycle: annual, Biennial grown as an annual.
Shape: cushion, mound or clump
Fast-growing spring turnip crops are best harvested while the weather is still cool. The flavour of fall crops is improved by light frost. Don’t forget the greens which are delightful raw or cooked.
Common name: Swedish turnip, yellow turnip
Height: 5 to 8 inches
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
For best results, sow spring crops as soon as the soil can be worked. Broadcast turnip seed over a well-tilled bed. Rake to cover seeds with 1/2 inch of soil or use a tiller set on shallow to bury the seeds.
Sunlight: full sun, part shade
Soil: Requires well-drained soil, Prefers well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter, pH 6.0 to 7.5. Can tolerate slightly alkaline soil. Needs plentiful, consistent moisture. Loosen soil deeply or grow in raised beds to encourage good root development. Will tolerate less-than-ideal conditions, but poor soil will slow growth and hurt quality and flavour.
Water: Water at a rate of 1 inch per week to prevent the roots from becoming tough and bitter.
Temprature: Germination temperature: 45 F to 85 F - Will germinate at soil temperatures as low as 40 F.
Fertilizer: Ideally, you should enrich the ground with compost and fertilizer before setting out plants, but unless the soil is extremely poor, turnip greens probably won’t disappoint you.
Harvesting: Harvest early types after about 5 weeks; maincrop types after 6-10 weeks. Pull turnips before they become woody and before the first frost. Store for up to 3 or 4 months in a cool outdoor place covered with straw.
- Keep the beds weed free.
- Mulch heavily and water at a rate of 1 inch per week to prevent the roots from becoming tough and bitter.
- Health benefits of turnips
Turnips are very low calorie root vegetables; contains only 28 calories per 100 g.
- However, they are very good source of anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins and dietary fibre.
Fresh roots are indeed one of the vegetables rich in vitamin C; provide about 21 mg or 35% of DRA of vitamin C per 100 g.
- Vitamin-C is a powerful water-soluble anti-oxidant required by the body for synthesis of collagen.
- It also helps the body scavenge harmful free radicals, prevents from cancers, inflammation, and helps boost immunity.
Turnip greens indeed are the storehouse of many vital nutrients; contain certain minerals and vitamins several fold more than that in the roots.
- The greens are very rich in antioxidants like vitamin A, vitamin C, carotenoid, xanthin, and lutein.
- In addition, the leafy-tops are an excellent source of vitamin K.
In addition, its top greens are also a very good source of B-complex group of vitamins such as folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid and thiamin.
Furher, the fresh greens are also excellent sources of important minerals like calcium, copper, iron and manganese.
- Chopped turnip- Place the peeled and washed turnip on a chopping board and chop it into small pieces.
- Can be finely chopped or roughly chopped or chopped into big chunks as per recipe requirement.
Peeled Turnip- Wash the turnip and peel it with a peeler or a sharp knife.
- The peeled turnip can be cut or grated as per recipe.
Turnip cubes- Turn the turnip on its side and make a series of slices.
- Lay the slices on top of each other and make a series of lengthwise slices, (½ inch slices for smaller cubes, 1 inch slices for larger cubes.
- Make a series of ½ inch or 1 inch crosswise cuts through the turnip and it will fall away into cubes.
Turnip strips- Cut the turnip into thin or thick strips as per recipe requirement.
Grated turnip - this requires grating the turnip in a hand held grater.
- This grated turnip is fine in texture and is used as garnish.
Sliced turnip - You may place the turnip in a slicer or slice them in thin or thick slices with a sharp knife, as per the recipe requirement.
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