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Is Early October Too Early to Plant Turnips From Seed in Zone 7?

By: Jessie Keith

Plant Turnips From Seed

“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:

  1. 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.
  2. Red-rooted ‘Scarlet Ohno Revival’ (50 days) is pretty and delicious fresh or cooked.
  3. White-rooted ‘Tokyo Market’ (35 days) grows very fast and has a fruity, sweet flavor, making it good for fresh eating.
  4. 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.

Happy gardening!

Jessie

About Jessie Keith


Plants are the lens Jessie views the world through because they’re all-sustaining. (“They feed, clothe, house and heal us. They produce the air we breathe and even make us smell pretty.”) She’s a garden writer and photographer with degrees in both horticulture and plant biology from Purdue and Michigan State Universities. Her degrees were bolstered by internships at Longwood Gardens and the American Horticultural Society. She has since worked for many horticultural institutions and companies and now manages communications for Sun Gro Horticulture, the parent company of Black Gold. Her joy is sharing all things green and lovely with her two daughters.

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