While there is an abundance of root vegetables, turnip is one that many home gardeners tend to ignore. Being around for more than 3,000 years now, this vegetable grows best in the fall and spring, when the weather is more tolerable for the crop. Even for novices, growing turnip should be easy, especially if you are familiar with the different varieties that are available.
Why should you grow turnips at home? Among others, one that can convince you is the fact that everything in this plant is edible. You can eat the leaves and the roots, which means that nothing will go to waste. It has a mild peppery taste, providing it with a distinct flavor. It has versatile applications in the kitchen, allowing you to incorporate it in your recipes in more ways than one. Sautéing, roasting, and baking are just some of the best ways to cook turnip, aside from the fact that you can also eat it raw. It has a distinct crunch that you will surely love.
If you are thinking of growing turnip in your home garden, read on and we’ll share with you some of the most popular types that are available.
Purple Top White Globe
This is one of the most popular type of turnip, which has a recognizable spicy flavor. This s a timeless heirloom, yet through the years, it still remains to be one of the favorites for many people. It also comes with a tender flesh, which makes it even more delicious. The average size of the root vegetable is four to six inches across, which is smooth and round. It is white at the bottom, and at the top, there is a purple crown. This variety takes 55 days to reach maturity after planting.
Some of the most evident characteristics of this turnip include its globe-shaped flesh, white roots, and green top. When growing this turnip, be sure to pull it out when it is already the same size as a tennis ball. At this point, its flesh will be tender and will have a mild flavor. Its height and spread can reach up to 9.8 inches. It will take six to eight weeks before it will be ready for harvest.
Being around since 1859, this is one of the oldest types of turnips. Golden ball has a physical appearance that stays true to its name – it has a perfect round shape with a smooth skin and golden yellow color. This turnip will have an average diameter of three to four inches. After sowing the seeds, it will take 45 to 65 days before you can pull out the root vegetable.
If you are looking for a small turnip, this is one of the best choices to consider. Tokyo turnip is small, similar to the average size of a radish. A lot of people would think that it is white radish. When raw, it is sweet, crunchy, and juicy. You can also boil or steam this turnip, which will lead to a buttery flavor. They have a globe shape and a slightly flat top. The diameter of the root normally ranges from one to three inches. In Japan, it is also known as Kabura-type turnips. It is a bigger group that includes other types, such as Tokyo Cross and Tokyo White.
This is a Japanese heirloom turnip. The white flesh and skin of this root vegetable is perhaps the reason behind its name. The flesh is sweet, juicy, and mild. However, it will taste bitter if it takes a long time before you harvest it. The top, on the other hand, is tasty and nutritious. This is one of the perfect choices if you are an impatient gardener. On average, it will take only six weeks before you can harvest after sowing the seeds.
The winter hardiness of this turnip is one thing that makes it great. It takes quite a while for it to reach maturity, which is typically 12 to 15 weeks. You will need a bit of patience if you decide to choose this variety. They will produce large bulbs, which will make the wait worth it. Although it is a late maturing variety, the good thing is that it has good yield potential.
This white turnip will make an excellent and striking addition to a plate with bright-colored vegetables. The root vegetable will have a diameter of 2.5 to 3 inches. While the flesh is pure white, the top is bright top, which you can use as edible greens as well. An early crop, it will require only 35 days for the plant to grow after sowing the seeds.
A lot of turnips have white skin and flesh. If you want one that is colorful, Scarlet Queen is one of the types that you might want to consider. Although the flesh is white, the scarlet skin will make it add a hint of color in your salad. It is slightly flat compared to other turnips that are round. The top, on the other hand, is dark green and looks like mustard greens. It can resist downy mildew, a fungal problem that can negatively affect the root and make it unfit for human consumption. For the flavor to stand out, it is best to combine it with honey, lemon, parsley, carrots, bay leaf, an dill, among other ingredients.
This is not as popular as the other types of turnips. It is a cross between a turnip and rutabaga. The Gilfeather turnip is an heirloom variety, which will take approximately 75 days to reach maturity. It was developed in Vermont by John Gilfeather in as early as the 1980s. The roots and the greens are both sweet and tender. The flavor, however, will be largely influenced by the quality of the soil where you will plant the turnip. When you mash the flavor, there is a recognizable flavor that is similar to a potato.
Most of the turnips are popular for their juicy and sweet flesh, which makes them a great addition to salads and other recipes. You can also eat them raw. However, there are some varieties that direct all their energy in the production of the greens and not the roots. Seven Top is exclusively grown for its greens, which are nutritious and delicious. This explains why it is a popular choice for salad greens, even in ancient Greece. You can also eat its roots, but it is not as flavorful.
With the different types of parsley that are available, there is one for every gardener. Whether you want one that quickly grows or you are patient to wait for those that mature late, regardless if you want a traditional white root vegetable or one that has a bold color, you will have plenty of options. At the end of the day, the quality of the crop and yield will not depend on the variety of turnip alone, but also on how you take care of it.