Successful ways to grow an ancient Russian vegetable - turnips

Successful ways to grow an ancient Russian vegetable - turnips

Once upon a time, turnip was almost the main product on the tables of our great-grandfathers. It was boiled, fried, steamed and eaten raw. The value of this vegetable is also in a long shelf life - in the cellar it will wait for spring, retaining vitamins, trace elements and useful qualities. And turnips have a lot of them - improving metabolism and helping in the fight against various inflammations. Our great-grandmothers used the juice as a diuretic, pain reliever and wound healing agent. Few people grow turnips today - everyone is busy experimenting with overseas wonders. But as they say, new is a well-forgotten old, so let's try to remember or learn all the nuances of planting turnips in open ground and caring for it: from choosing seeds to harvesting fruits.

Description and main characteristics of the plant

Turnip is a herbaceous plant of the cruciferous family, the genus is cabbage. Western Asia is considered the homeland of this vegetable. It was there that the turnip began to grow about four thousand years ago, and from there this plant spread throughout the world.

Turnip is a root crop, since its spherical white or yellow root is used for food. In the first year, the plant produces an edible root vegetable and a rosette of dissected hard leaves. An arrow with seeds appears only in the second year of cultivation, so the turnip is considered a biennial plant.

The weight of a ripe turnip, depending on the variety, can reach 500 g or more

Turnip growing methods

Turnips are sown twice per season - in spring, in April-May and in summer, at the end of June-July. In the first case, root crops are grown for fresh consumption, in the second for winter storage. Gardeners most often prefer to sow turnips directly into the ground, but in regions with cold climates and short summers, it is possible to grow crops through seedlings. Instead of spring sowing, many gardeners use winter sowing, which also gives good results.

Sowing seeds for seedlings

It will take 1.5–2 months to grow turnip seedlings, so the sowing period can be calculated independently, taking into account the local climate. Turnip is a cold-resistant plant and it can be planted in the ground as soon as the soil warms up, so the seeds are sown, as a rule, in the second half of March. On purchased varieties, recommendations are always given on the timing and methods of sowing.

First, you need to calibrate and disinfect the existing seeds:

  1. Prepare a salty solution - dilute 1 teaspoon of salt in half a glass of water.
  2. Dip the seeds into the solution and mix - high-quality seeds will sink to the bottom.
  3. Drain the water with floating seeds, and rinse the remaining ones several times with clean water.
  4. Pour good seeds into a solution of saturated pink potassium permanganate and stand for 20 minutes.
  5. Rinse the seeds with clean water.

In a salty solution, good seeds sink to the bottom - they must be sown

Calibrated and disinfected turnip seeds are soaked for swelling for 2-3 days.

It is better to do this on a damp cloth:

  1. Place a cloth in a plastic container or saucer.
  2. Spread the prepared seeds, cover with a napkin and moisten.
  3. Cover the container with a lid - not tight to allow air access

Turnip prefers loose soil, so you can take ready-made soil for growing seedlings. But it is best to use peat tablets for these purposes, since turnip seedlings do not tolerate picking and replanting poorly. Seedlings grown in a tablet can be easily planted in open ground without injuring the root.

Step-by-step process of sowing seeds for seedlings:

  1. Place the peat tablets in a plastic container and cover with water.
  2. Put seeds into swollen tablets - 2-3 pieces in each.
  3. Cover the seeds with a small layer of soil.
  4. Cover the container with a plastic lid or a plastic bag and place for germination in a cool, bright place with an air temperature of 10-15aboutFROM.
  5. After emergence, remove the lid or bag and grow like a normal seedling.

Put turnip seeds in swollen peat tablets

When the cotyledon leaves open completely, it is necessary to remove excess seedlings. This is best done with scissors, carefully cutting off unnecessary shoots so as not to damage the delicate roots of the plants. Before planting seedlings in open ground, it is important to water the seedlings in a timely manner. Peat tablets tend to dry quickly, so you need to inspect the seedlings regularly. After the first true leaves appear, the seedlings can be fed using fertilizer for cabbage seedlings.

Three weeks before planting in the ground, turnip seedlings must be hardened. To do this, it is taken out into the open air, first for 10-15 minutes, then, daily, the time is increased. When the seedlings can stay in the air for a day, they are planted on a prepared bed.

Planting seedlings in open ground

Planting seedlings in open ground is not particularly difficult. On the prepared bed, holes are dug at a distance of 10-15 cm from each other and 25-30 cm between the rows. A peat tablet with a seedling is dipped into the hole, dripped with earth and watered. If the seedlings were grown in cups, then before planting in the ground, the seedlings are spilled with water and carefully removed from the container, trying not to disturb the earthen lump. The planted plants are watered and mulched.

Turnip seedlings grown in peat tablets can easily be transplanted into open ground

Seedlings are planted after the soil warms up, usually in the middle or end of May. The best time to plant is evening or cloudy day.

Sowing seeds in open ground

For planting turnips, choose an open sunny area with loose loam or sandy loam... A bed for spring sowing is prepared in autumn, for summer sowing 2-3 weeks before sowing.

Digging for 1 m2 the soil is brought in by:

  • ash 150 g;
  • dolomite flour 250-300 g;
  • compost or rotted manure 2-3 kg;
  • nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium fertilizers 15 g each.

Video: How to plant a turnip

The dug up bed must be loosened up, and then compacted - lightly rolled or slammed the soil. Make small, 3-4 cm grooves at a distance of 25-30 cm from each other and shed them with water. Prepared (calibrated and soaked) seeds are sown in the usual line or nesting method, spreading 2-3 seeds at a distance of 10-12 cm. The second method eliminates the need to subsequently thin out the seedlings. It will only be necessary to remove excess shoots with scissors. Sprinkle the seed grooves with a layer of soil 2-3 cm.

Turnip seeds are placed in the prepared grooves

The sown bed is watered and covered with foil or agrofibre. Such a measure will accelerate the emergence of seedlings, but the film must be removed as soon as the first shoots appear, otherwise they may burn out in sunny weather. In this regard, agrofibre is much preferable - it not only retains heat and moisture, but also protects young seedlings from the sun and wind. Although many gardeners consider a turnip shelter superfluous and can easily do without it.

Further cultivation of turnips does not require special preparation - there is nothing complicated about that. As soon as the crops sprout, it is advisable to sprinkle the aisles with wood ash to scare off the cruciferous flea.

Turnips do not like acidified soils, so liming is necessary before planting. If this is not done, then the harvest will turn out to be modest and will be poorly stored. For these purposes, it is advisable to use dolomite flour - it not only normalizes acidity, but also enriches the soil with useful microelements of organic origin.

Winter sowing of seeds

Turnip is a fairly cold-resistant plant - spring shoots appear at a temperature of + 3 + 5aboutFROM. Given this feature, many gardeners sow the seeds of this culture before winter. This method allows you to get the first vegetables 2-3 weeks earlier than usual.

Seeds are sown after the first frost, usually in November. For this, the garden bed is prepared in advance, dug up and filled in the same way as for spring and summer sowing. Several buckets of earth are placed in a greenhouse or room to keep it unfrozen. Grooves are made on the leveled bed. When the ground is slightly frosty, dry seeds are laid out somewhat thicker than with normal sowing. The fact is that some of the seeds sown before winter will disappear, but the grown plants will be much stronger than those planted in spring. After sowing, cover the grooves with prepared soil. In spring, seedlings are thinned out, mulched and grown in the usual way.

Growing features

Due to its unpretentiousness, turnip does not require much labor when growing. For a good harvest, it needs moist and loose soil, so irrigation and loosening of the soil cannot be avoided, but top dressing must be applied very carefully.

Top dressing

If, before planting turnips, the bed was well filled with organic matter, then during the growing season it is enough to feed it with mineral fertilizers once or twice. Excess nitrogen, namely organic matter, harms turnips - the fruits become clumsy, tasteless and with voids inside. It is better to apply top dressing in liquid form per 1 m2 10 g of urea, 15 g of superphosphate and 10 g of potassium sulfate diluted in a bucket of water are enough.

Soil mulching

Turnip is hygrophilous, so regular watering is very important, especially at first. Do not allow the soil to dry out, otherwise the seedlings may die. Mulching is used to preserve moisture in the soil. Cover the soil around the plants with peat, hay, straw, cut grass, sunflower husks or rotted sawdust. Such a layer prevents the sun and wind from drying out the surface of the earth and inhibits the growth of weeds. By creating comfortable conditions for underground inhabitants, mulch improves the structure and fertility of the soil and, as a result, increases the yield.

Mulching will retain moisture in the soil and curb weed growth

Turnip predecessors and neighbors

For the successful cultivation of turnips, as for many other vegetable crops, it is very important to observe crop rotation. This crop should not be planted after similar plants - all types of cabbage, radish, radish, mustard and other cruciferous plants. Cucumber, potatoes, carrots, beets and onions are also not the best predecessors for turnips. These are the same plants and unwanted neighbors for turnips. Turnips planted after peas, beans, tomatoes, celery or next to these plants feel good.

Marigolds and calendula are the best neighbors for all cabbages, including turnips

My childhood memories are connected with the turnip. Every summer I was sent to my grandmother in the village and those were really happy times. Freedom, air, river, forest and a lot of free time. And the turnip - for some reason she was especially remembered. Grandmother was a noble gardener, and all her vegetables grew and made both adults and children happy. Turnip turned out to be just a fabulous beauty - large, smooth, bright yellow like the sun. My grandmother baked it in the oven with mushrooms or meat, whenever, and not in a clay pot. First, she boiled the root vegetable in water, then cut off the top in the form of a lid and took out the pulp with a spoon - a turnip pot was obtained. I filled it with stewed mushrooms or meat mixed with turnip pulp and put it in the oven. The dish turned out to be fragrant and very tasty. Now, for colds, we are preparing black radish with honey - a good cough remedy. My grandmother treated us with turnips, and who then heard about the black radish. She gouged a hole in the raw turnip and filled it with honey. Within a few hours, the honey in the turnip turned into juice. We drank this medicine with pleasure, and it helped not only for coughs, but also for colds in general.

Undeservedly forgotten and supplanted at one time by potatoes, turnips are ready to return to our gardens. It is not difficult to grow it and it grows, due to its unpretentiousness, even in the most severe climatic conditions. Turnip dishes prepared according to old recipes will delight gourmets and fans of healthy eating with a new taste.

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Hobbies play an important role in my life - floriculture, gardening, traditional medicine, pets. I love nature and all living things very much, so I read many articles on various phenomena and laws of life, everything that brings harmony.

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Turnip - growing and nursing in the open field. When to plant turnips from seeds

My grandfather planted a turnip, a big turnip has grown - a great one! Probably everyone remembers this tale? But how many of you plant such a vegetable on your plot? Turnip is the progenitor of vegetable crops in Russia. It is not known exactly when it appeared, but they began to cultivate it when agriculture appeared. No other people appreciated this root crop as much as the Russians. It is no coincidence that it is considered a primordially Russian vegetable. It is believed that this vegetable was cultivated about 40 centuries ago and until the 19th century played the same role in Russia as potatoes do now.

Eating a vegetable strengthens bones and teeth, because it contains a lot of calcium. Calcium is almost twice the content of other nutrients in a vegetable. The juice of the leaves is used to treat diseases of bones and teeth, for example, osteoporosis (brittle bones), caries. In addition, turnip has an excellent anti-inflammatory effect. And how useful it is to just gnaw it fresh, especially for children. While chewing, the gums are massaged, blood circulation improves, which has a positive effect on the condition of the teeth.

It is a strong, pretty, yellowish root vegetable with a pleasant taste. Turnips are baked, fried, steamed, boiled. Casseroles, vegetable stews are made with it, added to salads, stuffed. It keeps well in a cool place until spring. The expression “simpler than a steamed turnip” testifies to how it was simply cooked in a Russian oven in a sealed container, where it was steamed in its own juice.

Turnip breeding history

The turnip belongs to the Cruciferous (genus Cabbage), it is considered an annual crop (maximum two years). In the first year, it forms a root crop, and in the second year, seeds can be obtained from it. The birthplace of turnip is considered to be Western Asia. It was cultivated about four thousand years ago. In the ancient states of Greece and Egypt, turnip was the food of the poor and slaves, but in the Roman Empire it was served on the table even in rich and noble families.

Turnip came to our country from Greece in about the XIV century and for a long time was the main product, the mention of which is found in ancient Russian treatises. It was only at the end of the 18th century that the potatoes imported from overseas began to give way. They sowed it everywhere, even on the Solovetsky Islands. The land under the crops of turnip was called turnip. From it they prepared the now forgotten dishes: turnip from grated turnip with large turnip, or turnip, - turnip stew with malt or oatmeal, baked pies with turnip. Since turnip is a rather dull root crop, you can feast on it throughout the year.

Turnips can be cooked in completely different ways.

Root vegetables can be eaten fresh and subjected to various types of culinary processing (stew, boil, roast, bake). They are delicious stuffed. The root vegetable can be added to the first and second courses.

In salad varieties of table turnip, even leaves are eaten. This also applies to the leafy variety, in which root crops are not formed. Pollination in turnips occurs in a cross way. Therefore, it is able to interbreed with related plants, especially with the rape, rutabaga. The leaves are located on the flowering stem. Turnip flowers are yellow, represented by inflorescences. The fruits are pods.

Turnips are grown for vitamin green tops, and not just for root crops.

Turnip is not only a valuable food, but also a medicinal product. The combination of specific aroma and peculiar taste is provided by the presence of sugars with mustard oil contained in root crops. The composition, in addition to basic proteins, fats and carbohydrates, is enriched with vitamins (including carotene, group B), potassium salts, calcium and phosphoric acid salts. The turnip contains succinic acid. Thanks to its bouquet of useful substances, it has a diuretic, relieves inflammation, healing, anesthetic, antiseptic effect. With its regular use, appetite improves, the digestive tract normalizes, and the digestibility of food improves.

Turnip varieties for growing in Siberia and the Urals

An excellent choice for the Ural and Siberian summer residents will be the variety Russian size... Root crops will delight you with their large size (2 kg), excellent classic taste and a long storage period. Sow the Russian size variety at the end of June, harvest after 2 - 2.5 months.

The variety is ideal for summer consumption. Snowball... Root crops are large, white, without bitterness, recommended for dietary nutrition. The yield of the variety is consistently high. The leaves can be used to make salads.


Selectively, the harvest begins in May-June. The petioles from the bush are cut with a knife, and not broken out when they reach 25-30 cm in length and 1.5-2 cm in diameter. Leaves are also cut off from them, using petioles in writing. Young fresh rhubarb without defects is selected for storage, wrapped in plastic wrap and left in the refrigerator. Harvesting is stopped 1.5-2 months before the completion of the growing season of the bushes, so that they prepare for a successful wintering.

Watch the video: How to Grow Lots of Turnips from Seed to Harvest