Taiji
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Turnip question

I have some really healthy looking turnip plants with big greens. I've looked underneath and do see some small bulblets of actual turnip forming. But, the greens are so prolific, I was wondering if I cut them back to about half their length if it might force the plant to put more energy into the turnip bulbs? Or, maybe the plant will just respond by growing even more and bigger greens?

I like the turnip greens cooked and will harvest some anyway, but just wondered if I go overboard and cut them back severely what the result will be? :)

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Turnip question

So, if you want lush greens, you plant them close and continuously harvest greens. When you continually chop the top off them, the roots get stunted.

If you want a nice root, ( I don't know why anyone would!) you need to give them a little space. It's good to pick some greens from the outsides of the greens, but not severely. Picking promotes new top growth.

If you have them crowded now, you can thin them by picking the little wee ones in between the ones you want to bulb up! If you have them spaced alright now, then pick the greens from the outside of lots of plants instead of cutting the whole bunch off of a few plants!
Lindsay
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pepperhead212
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Re: Turnip question

In the future, if you really like the greens, you can plant some Seven Top turnips - a variety that is specifically for the roots, and most of the energy goes to growing the greens.
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imafan26
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Re: Turnip question

If you want any root crop, you need to make sure they have enough space for the bulb to grow. Usually about 4 inches minimum. If you have an acidic soil that is high in nitrogen you will get more tops than roots.

Add compost to your soil and you want your pH closer to neutral. Use a low nitrogen fertilizer and about three weeks after the plants have been transplanted, give the plants another boost with fertilyzer. Bone meal and sustane worked well as an organic fertilizer. 2 parts sustane and 1 part bone meal. Root crops that have a lot of moisture need adquate moisture and a soil that is soft and free draining.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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jal_ut
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Re: Turnip question

Eat turnip greens? Not me! Plant turnips for the root. Around these parts the lil insect critters punch so many holes in the turnip leaves they look like they have been shot with a shotgun. If you want greens, plant some spinach and chard.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Turnip question

Plant turnips for the root.
Gag!!!! (I swear I don't know where she gets it from!)

Turnip roots are to me what okra is you! But those greens!!!!! I'm not a huge fan of spinach or chard, but turnip greens and collards and mustard greens? OM NOM NOM NOM!
Lindsay
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USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

imafan26
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Re: Turnip question

Oh, you must really like bitter. Asians do that too. They like a little bitterness in their food apparently it counters fishiness nicely.
Happy gardening in Hawaii. Gardens are where people grow.

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Lindsaylew82
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Re: Turnip question

I do enjoy some bitterness! Black coffee, grapefruit, bitter green salads, collards are my favorite green!

I don't do fishy though....At all.
Lindsay
Upstate, SC
USDA Zone 7b/ Sunset Zone 31

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jal_ut
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Re: Turnip question

" but turnip greens and collards and mustard greens? "

Interesting. but we don't even grow collards and mustard here......... do grow turnip for the root!

Image

Now that's a turnip!
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

Taiji
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Re: Turnip question

jal_ut wrote:Eat turnip greens? Not me! Plant turnips for the root. Around these parts the lil insect critters punch so many holes in the turnip leaves they look like they have been shot with a shotgun. If you want greens, plant some spinach and chard.
Ha ha! Same here. All my turnip greens have that same pincushion look. Worse this year than ever. But, it hasn't always been that way. I think maybe that culprit is thrips. Does that sound right? They also go after arugula like crazy. Funny how they seem to like the bitterest things out there.

Anyway, I like both turnip greens cooked like spinach and the roots. But I mostly want the roots. (big bulbs) The variety is purple top white globe. Some years I get great turnips, doesn't seem to be any explanation. Maybe they are a little too close together but not outrageously so. I would say about 3 inches from the next guy! Could be too much nitrogen I guess. We are in a monster heat wave right now that could affect bulb formation, but it has been unseasonably cool up to about a week ago; should have been good turnip root weather?!

Taiji
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Re: Turnip question

I looked again this morning at the turnips and maybe they are a bit too close. I will file that away along with the sustane and bone meal info for future root crop growing. ( I need to go look up sustane now) :)



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