Roasted turnips are delicious, as are braised turnip greens with a touch of garlic and olive oil. They boast a mild, crisp, tender flesh with a surprisingly delicate flavor.

by Dani Yokhna
PHOTO: thebittenword.com/Flickr

Size: 12 inches

Sunlight requirements: Full to partial sun (A minimum of four to six hours is ideal.)

Water requirements: About 1 inch per week—overly wet soils promote black rot and other diseases.

Soil requirements: Average, well-drained soil high in organic matter. Optimum phosphorus levels promote growth of all root crops.

When to plant: Best planted in late summer for fall harvests, but can be grown season-long. Direct-seed when soil temperatures are between 60 and 70 degrees F. Roots (and greens) are sweetened by frosts.

Where to plant: Garden; containers

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When to harvest: 55 days after seeding, when roots are 3 to 4 inches in diameter. Can harvest throughout the winter when provided with a protective mulch. Harvest greens 30 to 40 days after planting.

Produce storage: Store roots unwashed just above freezing at a high humidity (a root cellar is ideal) for several months.

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