December Turnips

mulberryknobDecember 21, 2008

I pulled most of the turnips that were left in the garden yesterday. I planted the things too thick back in Sept and thinned them to feed the chickens and eat greens but not enough. So that leaves many turnips with radish sized roots in the garden. It will be interesting to see just how much cold weather they can stand. So far we've had 18 degrees but now 9 degrees is forecast for Mon morning. I was surprised to find a few cilantro plants out there that selfseeded over the summer. It is thriving and tastes wonderful. The deer took out the carrot and beet tops before they got a chance to make decent roots. ANd they also ate the tops of the brussels sprouts that I planted in Sept but didn't make. I also found a lovely little clump of deer tongue lettuce, and what looks like a tiny butterhead, also self seeded from a spring "summer mix". The black seeded simpson is long gone and so is the red variety I planted at the same time in Sept. Arugula is still alive and so is Mizuna mustard, although the deer are starting to nibble both. The parsnip plants that I planted in Sept are still alive but very small, The Chinese cabbage is also alive but wilted looking. It never made firm heads, but I neglected to thin it enough.

Dh and I have finally finished spreading the leaves that we've picked up over the asparagus bed, all 2,000 feet of it and have filled a four foot tall bin the size of a king sized bed with well tamped down leaves, which we then covered with a layer of chicken litter--manure and wood shavings. Litter also went on the portion of the garden where corn will go next year.

Now with all that done, it is time to start cutting next year's firewood.

So how's things with y'all? Dorothy

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You have been busy! I can't seem to even get the leaves mulched in the garden and flower beds.....still in windrows in the front yard.

I did get my garden seed order in and that's about it.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 5:44AM
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Sounds like you've accomplished a lot this weekend Dorothy.
That's a BIG asparagus bed! Are you growing it to sell? Mine seemed very easy at first and then I started having trouble with beetles laying eggs on the spears. Still, I think I'd like to order some male spears of some sort that won't go to seed like mine does that I have now.

I got a catalog from Stokes Seeds this week. I still want to buy Kohlrabi seeds but I think I can get those locally instead of ordering them.

What kind of turnips are you growing Dorothy? I think my kids would eat them if I found a variety that wasn't hot. Sometimes they can be a little sweet and I think they would love those. I don't know if it's the growing conditions or the variety that makes the difference.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 9:44AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

That is a lot of leaves. I haul mine in from Joplin in my little pickup and I like to be able to see out the back, so I can't get that many. Leaves, chicken litter that should be wonderful after it rots. No wonder you can grow asparagus. I covered my pots with leaves. Tonight will be the coldest it has been I think.

    Bookmark   December 21, 2008 at 12:29PM
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Christie, I raise that old standby Purple Top Turnip. And I am convinced that growing conditions have more to do with flavor than variety. If planted in a well composted bed enriched with a light sprinkle of woodash, watered and thinned well in a cool fall, turnips are the sweetest. We can control everything but the weather, and this year with good coolish weather I didn't control the thinning and watering as well as I should have. Still I like turnips. One mistake people often make is to cook them for too long. The longer they are cooked the stronger they become. They are best if just steamed tender. Dorothy

    Bookmark   December 23, 2008 at 4:00PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

If I pull turnips what do I do then. Will they keep in the refrigerator. I don't know if they are good or not. I haven't watered or cared for them in any way except I did thin them.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 2:18PM
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I put the bag of turnips the neighbor gave me out in the milk parlor which gets about the temp of a fridge. I notice they are putting out green tops! Maybe it is too warm of a day out there. I may let them grow and cook some.

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:50AM
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Sorry I didn't see this earlier, Helen. My computer has been in the shop, just came home today. You can tell if they are good by pulling and cutting one open. If it is still firm and crisp, it's good. And yes, they will keep quite a while in the frig. Glenda, you can let the tops grow and then cook them, but then the roots will probably go pithy on you, as they feed the tops. You will probably get leaves at the expense of roots.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 10:15PM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

Mine are crisp, not pithy with a good texture but the taste is strong. I think the dry weather may have affected the taste. Even with potatoes and butter, I did not like them. I would like to learn to like something so easy to grow. I will try them again.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 12:37AM
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Yes, dry weather makes them strong. So does hot weather so most people raise them in the fall. Better luck next fall.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 8:57PM
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crm2431(7 -Tahlequah)

I find the Japanese Hakuri Turnips very mild and tasty, but the seed is kinda expensive.


    Bookmark   December 20, 2012 at 10:23PM
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