Days to Maturity: 120 days
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Turnips and Rutabagas (Brassica rapa and Brassica napus) are cool season biennials in the Brassicaiceae family, which includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, turnips, mustards, watercress and horseradish.
Soil Nutrients and Requirements
Turnips and Rutabegas can tolerate slightly alkaline soil, preferring the range 6.0 -7.5. Deep, loose, well drained fertile soil with moderate nitrogen levels is best.
Planting instructions are from direct seeding. Planting depth: 3/4"
Seed spacing: for turnip 8 sds/ft, for rutabaga 6 sds/ft; Plant spacing: for turnip 2-4" , for rutabaga 6"
Row spacing: for turnip 12-18, for rutabaga 18-24”.
When to Sow
Turnips can be grown all season long but perform best in cool fall conditions. Rutabagas are sown in the summer for fall harvests. Seeds will germinate from 45-85 degrees.
Flavor is sweetest when harvested just before the ground freezes or at least after two hard frosts. Turnip tops can be eaten as greens.
Unwashed roots can store for several weeks at 32°F at a high relative humidity as close to 95% as possible. With good air circulation, topped roots can be stored four to five months.
- Cabbage looper, imported cabbage worm, and diamondback moth, are of the Lepidoptera order and can be controlled by Bacillus thuringiensis (such as Dipel DF) and/or spinosad, preferentially in rotation with one another to prevent selection of resistant individuals.
- Cabbage root maggots feed on roots, resulting in stunting and wilting of plants. Use floating row cover to protect young plants. There are also beneficial nematodes available.
- Flea beetles make small holes in the leaves and are most damaging to growth when plants are young. . Floating row cover may be used to ward them off.
- Black rot, caused by the bacteria Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris, is one of the most destructive diseases of all crucifer crops. Symptoms first appear as V-shaped yellow lesions at the leaf margin, after which the veins of infected leaves, stems, and roots turn black. Infected plants should be pulled up as soon as noticed, and plantings should never be worked during wet conditions.