Turnips are a versatile crop exactly like beets they can, too, grow for the bulb or greens. They grow very quickly; they mature in two months, which makes more than 1 harvest in one season. But, since the bulbs are best in cold weather (approximately 60 F), it is favored that the crops will fall in early spring.

I assume that you are already familiar with the purple and white, size of a tennis ball, turnips that are sold in common. However, there is a wide range of various, ant those small, tender size of a radish turnips.

Turnips belong to the Brassicaceae family; their green tops taste similar to mustard greens. Also, turnips have been cultivated for many centuries.

• Description of a turnip:

1900155_10153813898530613_298773602_nAs it was previously mentioned, turnips possess leaves similar to mustard greens; also, their bulbs are usually white or yellow ones. The part of the bulb that peeps out the ground is usually exposed to sun thus it will change its color to either green or purple.

• Its leaves are light green and bit hairy. They will grow to an elongated oval, with edges that are wavy or toothed.

• The flowers are yellow and small-sized. With turnips it is the same as with other Brassica plants: a cross is formed of 4 petals – because of this they are often referred to as cruciferous vegetables.

When you should harvest turnips:

You can harvest turnip greens whenever you wish after they have reached four inches tall. Be careful not to harm the bulb’s top of since the greens always continue to grow.

Furthermore, the bulbs are best when tender and small, approximately two to three inches in diameter. Turnips that are older can get pithy and/or tough. Also, planted turnips that fall should left in the ground. Afterwards, slightly before winter you should harvest them, because they will no longer grow. Putting them in swallow greenhouses helps preventing it from freezing. Also, cool weather will make its flavor sweeter.

How to cook with turnips:

You can eat fresh and tender turnips raw. Also, there is a possibility of wedging them for crudite or chopping them into salads.

Next, you can bake bigger turnips or use them in a stew. However, like most root vegetables, they are amazing when roasted.

Turnips that are older and woodier can be always used to be mashed or for preparing stews and soups.

If you plan storing your turnips, then first what you should do is removing the leaves, because if not, then the leaves will proceed with drawing the nutrients and energy from the bulbs. Also, you can store the bulbs in the fridge or at any dark and cool place.

• Varieties that I’d Recommend:

1. Purple Top White Globe is the most popular one due to its rapid growing.

2. Tokyo Cross is rather uniform and it grows rapidly.

3. Scarlet Queen is bright red from the outside, and white from the inside.

4. Golden Ball Small has sweet bulbs that are yellow; tastes like a faint almond.