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Grow your own Turnips

5th November 2008



Grow your own Turnips

Turnips are a versatile root vegetable that can be eaten raw or cooked (depending on their size). The smaller varieties are usually grown for human consumption, while bigger types (weighing up to 1kg each!) are grown as feed for livestock. Contrary to popular belief, turnips are entirely white-skinned. The ‘shoulders’ of the root turn purple, green or red as a result of exposure to the sun.

Planting tips:

  • Sow turnip seeds in a sunny, open area in well-draining soil. Seeds should be sown approximately 2cm deep.
  • Turnips like slightly acidic soil. Prepare the soil beforehand by adding a generous amount of a potassium-rich fertiliser like 3:1:5.
  • Water regularly – too little water will result in small, dry turnip roots.
  • Harvest turnips when they are the size of a golf ball (to be eaten raw) or a tennis ball (to be eaten cooked).

Did you know?

The leaves on top of the turnip – known as turnip greens – are also edible. They are rich in vitamin A, C, K and calcium, and work particularly well in stir-fries.

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