~ TURNIP Seed ~
A few years ago we did a big trial and taste test of turnip varieties, and found some really great ones.
(Here is the final shortlist laid out for the 'blind' tasting session - so no one knows which is which until afterwards.)
When to sow?
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 June
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 £
for Spring Sowing (harvest in July)
or Summer Sowing (harvest in autumn)
This great yellow turnip from Poland comes from our most recent turnip trials a few years ago.
It is particularly sweet and mild, and has been in great demand whenever we have offered it, as it has such a great flavour. Does well from a spring or late-summer sowing.
It is one of the best turnips we have tried, and several people have written in to say they really like it too. We misjudged our sowing quantities last year and ran out, but this year we grew a big bed, and should have plenty of seed for everyone!
Order TuPe - 2g of seed (lots!) £
We also discovered that it has leaves that are really nice cooked. So save the tops and boil them separately, like chard or any other green. Here you can see them served with butter, it makes a very nice side dish.
"For my money it is the best turnip I have ever grown. Very easy to grow and a great flavour both raw and boiled. I'll try it roasted next. I live in Barnsley, South Yorkshire and my allotment is a bit exposed. I must admit to not taking a lot of care over the plants (not much weeding etc.) but they still grew well and have produced a very good crop. ... Can't fault it at all. All the best." Tony
"I grew Petrowski turnip for the first time ever last year, and thought you might like to know what a brilliant crop it's proved to be even in a year when a lot of my crops were badly affected by the cold, wet summer. We started to eat thinnings as leaves in late spring, it continued into autumn as maincrop turnips (plus leaves that never became too tough too eat), and a late summer sowing gave us freshly harvested turnips for Christmas day. They are still going strong now, outside with no more protection than a mesh cloche, in my garden 1200 feet up in the Pennines!" - Judith
Giant Limousin Turnip
This one is reputed to be the most productive of all the old French traditional varieties. 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 £