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Brassica rapa var. Rapifera

Pronunciation: Bras-i-ka ra-pa
Family: Brassicaceae/cruciferae (cabbage family)
Common Name: Turnip
Plant Type:
  • fruits, vegetables
  • biennial
  • annual
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8
  • 30 to 20ºF ZONE 9
  • 40 to 30ºF ZONE 10
Sun Exposure:
  • full sun
Bloom Description: The turnip is a biennial (typically grows for one season, overwinters, and then flowers in the next season) that is grown as an annual. The leafy stems may get 1-2 ft (0. 3-0. 6 m) tall and the below ground "root", an inch to as much as a foot in diameter. (to be strictly correct botanically, we should note that the turnip's "root" is not a root at all, but rather the swollen stem of the plant. )
Soil Type: Turnips are easy to grow in almost any soil, as long as it isn't too wet or too hard. Acidic soils should be limed to a near neutral ph.
Plant Perks:
  • Easy to Grow/Ideal for Children
Propagation: Turnips are cool weather crops, planted in very early spring - even before the last frost, or in late summer so they will mature during the cool weather of autumn. In much of northern north america, turnips are planted in july or august. In the deep south, turnips are grown in the winter; in zones 8 and 9 turnip seeds are planted in september, october or november. Sow turnip seed rather thickly, covering with about a quarter inch of soil and water well. Germination takes less than a week. If you're growing turnips for the roots, thin the seedlings to about 6 in (15 cm) apart when they are 3-6 in (7-15 cm) tall.
Native to: The turnip is one of the oldest vegetables cultivated by man. Evidence of turnip cultivation dates at least to 4000 years ago. The lowly turnip is not very popular in america, but it's an important food in most of the rest of the non-tropical world, even if some gastronomical snobs consider it a food only for poor people and livestock. Although its ancestor is no longer known, turnips were apparently first developed in central europe from some species of wild brassica. Turnips were introduced to north america in the late 1500's.
Notes for Identification: Source: floridata -turnips are best when grown fast and picked young, especially those planted in spring. As the weather warms, the greens become bitter and the roots become woody and stringy. Fall and winter crops are more dependable and usually produce sweeter turnips. Winter grown turnips will remain in good condition as long as the weather stays cool. It seems that frost improves the flavor of turnips. Turnip greens are ready to harvest in just 5-7 weeks. Take a few leaves from each plant - don't pull up the whole plant, and it will grow new leaves and continue to develop the root. The roots will be at their peak in a few more weeks. Leave turnips in the ground until you need them as long as the weather stays cool and the ground doesn't freeze solid. If you must pick more than you need, the roots keep well for a few weeks in the refrigerator and the greens can be frozen like spinach.
Seed photo: 1
Located in: Annual
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