“Is it too late to start turnips from seed in zone 7?” Question from Patricia of Warrenton, North Carolina
Answer: It depends on your weather and the turnip. On average, they take around 40-50 days to yield roots from seed. If your Novembers remain reliably mild, then plant them. Another option is to build a cold-frame for growing winter root vegetables and greens. (Click here for Tips for Cold Frame Gardening)
Good Turnip Varieties
If you want to give them a try, here are four excellent varieties:
- Old-fashioned ‘Purple Top White Globe’ (50 days) is a classic turnip with white roots, purple tops, and good flavor. The young leaves are favored in the South for turnip greens.
- Red-rooted ‘Scarlet Ohno Revival’ (50 days) is pretty and delicious fresh or cooked.
- White-rooted ‘Tokyo Market’ (35 days) grows very fast and has a fruity, sweet flavor, making it good for fresh eating.
- The purple-skinned ‘Nagasaki Akari Kabu‘ (50 days) is very flavorful and colorful.
Make sure to work up the soil before planting them and amend it with Black Gold Garden Compost Blend. I generally cover the seeds with a light sprinkling of Black Gold Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss to help them stay moist and sprout quickly.