Days to Germination:4-14 days
Turnips prefer cool weather, so direct sow in the spring as soon as the soil can be worked and/or in the summer for fall harvest. For smaller Turnips, thin seedlings to 3" apart. For larger Turnips, thin seedlings to about 6" apart. Choose a well-draining, sunny site which is moderately fertile. Dig the soil deeply to a depth of 6" to 8" and add moderate amounts of compost and/or well-rotted manure. Do not overdo nitrogen fertilizer, as this will result in excessive green top growth and no Turnips! Water regularly and fertilize as needed with kelp, fish emulsion or manure tea. Harvest when golf-ball size for immediate use or harvest larger for winter storage. The greens are delicious steamed and dressed with butter or olive oil. Turnips belong to the Brassica family and should not be grown in the same site as other Brassicas for 4 years.
Gardening Tips: Hail to the Hardy Greens
Most garden greens can hardly wait for cool weather to come. They perk up and sweeten up as the mugginess of August fades away. Crops such as Spinach, Arugula, Claytonia and Mâche, if protected by a cold frame or simple unheated greenhouse, survive the winter in cold climates, to be cut and re-cut for a continuous harvest. Sow them in September in the north, October in warmer parts of the country. They do best hunkering down, close to the earth. Lettuce and Endive over-winter best when cut at baby leaf size rather than full-sized heads.
Kale, Collards and Brussels Sprouts fare better if grown to full size and left outdoors to soldier on as long as they can, since they do not re-grow if cut back in winter. We can often harvest them for our Christmas table, even in snowy Maine.