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PAYMENT



 

~ TURNIP Seed ~

A few years ago we did a big trial of lots of turnip varieties. Of the ones that grew best , we did a tasting.
This gave us the very best and tastiest varieties, which we offer here!

Here is the final shortlist laid out for a 'blind' tasting session - so no one knows which is which until afterwards.

plant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant picture

When to sow?

There are basically two options:

To eat Turnips in summer and autumn: sow from spring to midsummer (the most normal timing)

To eat Turnips in winter: You need Maincrop types. Sow early summer, eat fresh when small in autumn, and lift for storage overwinter.

= normal sowing / harvest times

= alternative or experimental sowing / harvest times



~ First-early Turnips ~
for spring sowing & harvest in Jun
e

plant picture



plant picture Milan White (a.k.a. "Bianca Piatta Quarantina")
This pure-white turnip is a good first-early variety from Milan in Italy, sown in spring, for harvest of tender  white roots about six weeks later. 

It did very well in our blind-tasting trials, with a good texture and flavour. It's a decent size, and very quick, and we think it is a great one to sow at the start of the season for the earliest turnips of the year.

Order TuBP - 2g of seed 1.58



~ Maincrop Turnips ~

for Spring Sowing (harvest in July)
or Summer Sowing (harvest in autumn)



plant pictureplant picture Giant Limousin Turnip
This one is reputed to be the most productive of all the old French traditional varieties. It is a maincrop round-ball white type.

Sown in Spring, it will come ready just after midsummer, at the start of July. You can also resow around mid summer for harvest in Autumn.

It is famous for reaching 10 - 12 inches diameter if left in the ground, but to be honest, you might prefer them a bit smaller as Ben is holding on the left.

We did try them leaving them to get bigger - and the one in the photo on the right was perfectly tender even at that size!

We found this one to have a fantastic flavour that was a bit less 'turnipy' and subtly different from all the others, and it was without any hardness even when large.

Do try it cooked with Paul's fabulous recipe: roast turnip wedges with mustard and honey glaze - mmmm!

Order TuGL - 2g of seed 1.89



plant picture 'Navet de Nancy' Turnip
A classic French variety, from the seedhouse of Catros Gerand. We shall leave the description to M Vilmorin, writing in the 1870's:

"A handsome form of the Early Flat Purple-Top turnip,
remarkable for it's earliness, the regularity of the shape,
and the very deep colour of the upper part of the root."

The strain we have today is almost identical 130 years later, except that the leaves are less deeply cut . We like this one because it has a good flavour without being overwhelmingly strong, and because you can also eat the leaves cooked like spinach. (Not all varieties have nice-tasting leaves, but this one is particularly good.)

Round turnip, red/purple on top. Always hugely popular

Order TuNN - 2g of seed (lots!) 1.74



plant picture

 

Norfolk Purple Turnip
This is a traditional turnip that was being grown in Norfolk around 1680, and originally popularised by Charles the 2nd Viscount Townshend.

He life was completely focussed on progress through turnips, often talking of nothing else, and becoming known as “Turnip Townshend” due to his obsession with the vegetable, which he used as the mainstay of his new "4-field Norfolk Rotation" on his estate.

Despite the scepticism of his peers, his rotation was based on very sound principles and these turnips turned out to be a crucial part of the agricultural revolution in the early 1700’s.

Now we have some seed so you can grow it at home. Still a very good turnip for the UK, even after all these years.

Order TuNo - 2g of seed £1.58

plant picture



plant picture

 

Gilfeathers' Turnip-Swede NEW for 2014
Right, now we're quite proud of this one - even for us, this is pretty unusual. It's a natural cross between a turnip and a swede, found by John Gilfeather in his fields in the late 1800's.

Turnips and Swedes are closely related, but actually different species which normally do not cross at all. But very occasionally it can work, giving rise to a completely new type of vegetable - and it was just lucky that Mr Gilfeather spotted the unusual plant and decided to keep seed from it.

We were a bit dubious when we first heard of it, but in our never-ending quest to find you exciting new things to grow, we got some seed and tried it last summer. It was fantastic! This unique vegetable tastes neither of turnip nor swede, being milder than either. It is really great boiled or mashed, and we will now grow it for our own household use in the future.

Really, really nice, and easy!

Order SdGi - 0.8g of seed £1.84



Saving Turnip Seed

Turnips are from the Brassica family (Cabbages, Kales etc) and are really easy to save seed from. Yet another reason to learn to save Brassica seed - it's the same process for all, so learning one thing lets you save lots of different vegetable seed.

We would really like to encourage you to have a go at saving seed from brassica family - that's the cabbages, kales, oriental vegetables, broccoli and turnip family. We know many of you save obvious ones like tomato and lettuce seed, but we've noticed that in the past people shied away from doing the biennial vegetables (plants that flower in their second year).

Cheeringly, more people are saving brassica seed now - and we'd like to encourage you to try it too: its incredibly easy, and you get so much seed, you'll have loads to give away. There's really no need for example to buy Turnip seed from us every year at all. You just set aside a patch of good turnip plants (eat any rubbish ones) , and let them flower, making sure that you've got a reasonable number, that they are healthy, and that no other sorts are flowering nearby that might cross with them. You'll get lots of seed pods in August.

 

plant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant pictureplant picture

Many of the brassicas (turnips, cabbages, cauliflowers etc) will cross with each other very readily
- so only let one variety flower each year.

Flower stalks from a good-sized population are hung up to dry,
then broken open over a bowl (or old baby bath in this case!).

The bits of pod are screened out with a sieve or a soil riddle
- but you can instead winnow them off in a breeze pretty easily if you prefer.

Step-by-step instructions are here on our new brassica-seed-processing page.
And of course, seed-saving is only possible because these are all real, non-hybrid varieties.

It's pretty foolproof - why not give it a go?




The Real Seed Catalogue is produced by The Real Seed Collection Ltd , a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.
~ Company No 5924934 ~ VAT No 841181938 ~ DEFRA registered Seed Provider No 7289 ~

Our Unique Guarantee:
We think these are the best seeds you can sow.
We will immediately refund or replace if you are in any way less than delighted with them, even including the flavour of the resulting crop!

Due to daft seed laws, some rare veg seeds can only be supplied to members of our Seed Club. But membership costs just one penny per annum. When we process your order, you will be charged
a penny for a year's Seed Club Membership. For more details see our terms and conditions.

Gardeners Should Save their Own Seed:
Because none of these seeds are hybrids,
you can save your own seed for future use: there's no need to buy new each year.

Saving your own is easy. You will get great seed, and great vegetables adapted to your local conditions.
Do have a go - read the seedsaving instructions we provide with every order, and also on this site.

~ We have sent out over 65,000 sets of home seed-saving instructions!~

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