Turnips are hardy cool-season root vegetables. A member of the cabbage family, they are a welcome addition to a variety of soups and stews. Loaded with carbohydrates and fiber, they are flavorful, economical and easy to grow in the home garden. There is a wide variety of turnip types from which to choose, so selecting one that is suitable to your region of the country should be a simple matter. Most turnips are harvested three to four months after the seeds have been sown and are then stored for the winter in the following manner.
Harvest the turnips as needed, beginning in the early fall. The roots tend to be more mild and tender if not allowed to grow excessively, so try to pull them when they have reached an average diameter of approximately 3 inches.
Immediately remove the greens from the turnips or they will draw moisture from the root, dehydrating the tubers to which they are attached.
Rinse the greens in cool water and shake vigorously to remove any excess moisture. Transfer the washed greens into a plastic food storage bag and place the bag in the refrigerator. Greens will keep for up to four days at temperatures of less then 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Select a cool, moist, dark location for the storage of any excess turnips. Place unwashed turnips in a single layer in the storage area. Check them frequently for signs of deterioration or decay, removing any blemished roots. Turnips can be safely stored for up to five months.
Keep a supply of turnips on hand in the refrigerator. Put a useful quantity of the roots in a plastic food storage bag and place the bag in the refrigerator. Turnips can be stored in this manner for up to two weeks.
Things You Will Need
- Plastic food storage bags
- Cool storage area
- Turnips are a cool weather crop and can survive well into the fall frosts. In fact, exposure to cooler conditions might improve the overall flavor of the tubers.
- Liberal applications of mulch can extend the turnip growing season into the early winter.