Brassica rapa (50 days) Open-pollinated. Popular variety with purple tops, white bottoms and white flesh can attain 6" in diameter. An heirloom from before 1880. Starks claimed in 1921 that “other varieties are good, but this one stands in a class by itself.” Sometimes used to feed livestock, but CR likes them in soups, and Joanna eats them up to golf-ball-sized with the greens. ②③
2378 Purple Top White Globe
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Turnips & Rutabagas
About 6,000-12,000 seeds/oz.
open-pollinated except where noted
Days to maturity are from emergence after direct seeding.
Culture:Minimum germination temperature 40°, optimal range 60-85°. Direct seed at 1 seed per inch, sown in rows 1–2' apart. Thin to 2" apart for small salad turnips, and 3–4" for full-sized roots. Turnips have a shorter growing season and are not as cold-hardy or as good keepers as rutabagas. Turnips are best picked before they get large and fibrous. Rutabagas, also known as Swedish turnips or Swedes, form enlarged roots above ground with a finely branched system below.
Disease: DM: Downy Mildew
Note: Because of quarantine, we cannot ship rutabagas and turnips in packets greater than ½ oz. (14 grams) into the Willamette Valley of Oregon except those that have tested negative for Black Leg and Black Rot.
Insect Pest: Adult Cabbage Fly, Delia spp., (AKA cabbage root fly, turnip fly) lay their eggs near the base of the main stem of brassica roots. The maggot can damage your root crop. Row cover can exclude the adult flies from laying eggs. Long crop rotation between brassica crops and thorough incorporation of all crop debris in fall reduces the overwintering maggots and interrupts the generational cycle. Old-timers in Maine always made the seed bed as clean as possible, with no visible organic matter, and avoided sowing fall turnips and rutabagas until after July 4. A late crop is better than a wormy one!
For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.