- A Description of Turnips
History: Turnips, members of the brassica family, have been grown for thousands of years; Dioskorides listed it in his codex c. 500 AD and it was already well-established by then. As one of the few foods that could be stored and eaten over the winter, turnips were considered an indispensable vegetable. Early settlers brought them to North America as early as 1609 and until the early 1900's, they were grown in every garden. Cultivation: Easy to grow. Turnips are cool-weather crops. Direct sow outside as soon as the soil can be worked or in late summer for fall crop. Sow 1/4-1/2" deep, 1" apart. Thin to 4-6" apart. Companions: onions, chives, leeks and peas.
- Golden Globe Turnip
Believed to be the same as "Golden Ball", listed in 1863. This turnip was highly valued for its taste, considered by Peter Henderson (well-known market grower & breeder in the late 19th C.) to have "no superior for table use, being of excellent flavor (sic), globe-shaped, and of a beautiful yellow color (sic)". Roots are 3-4" across when mature. (approx. 10,000 seeds/oz)
- Purple Top White Globe Turnip
Pre-1880.(45-65 days) This turnip is a longtime favourite of both home and market growers. Roots are purplish red above ground and white below (as the name indicates), and are fine-grained and mild-flavoured. Best harvested at 3-4" in diameter, stays sweet even if larger. Stores well. (approx. 10,000 seeds/oz)
- Seven Top Turnip
Grown since at least 1845 and listed in an 1896 market gardening book as one of the best varieties of turnip to grow, this turnip is grown specifically for its tops-- to be harvested as greens for salads. Apparently, it was a particular favourite in the southern U.S. It produces several harvests of tender, green leaves that liven up any salad or mesclun mix. Leaves are best harvested when young. The roots are inedible. (approx. 10,000 seeds/oz)
- White Egg Turnip
NEW FOR 2013! (48 days) This is a fast-growing turnip that forms white globe-shaped roots with a sweet, mild taste. Introduced around 1881, it quickly became very popular for home gardeners and market growers. Peter Henderson had this to say about it in 1896, "This in shape, is nearly oval or egg, its flesh is firm and fine-grained, skin thin and smooth. The flavor (sic) is mild and sweet, rendering it very desirable for table use, while its attractive appearance makes it a most saleable(sic) variety for market purposes." We concur: this turnip is sweet and mild and its greens are tasty - enough of a nip to wake up your taste buds but not too hot. Highly recommended and great for short season areas.
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