Turnips are a fantastic addition to any food plot. They generate up to 6-8 tons of fodder per acre and are rich in accessible protein and readily digestible. Purple top turnips, like strongly linked forage radishes, are unaffected by mild frosts.
Turnip flavor improves as the weather gets colder since the young leaves are sour at first but sweeten as they develop with cooler climates. Both the leafy green crowns and the large round roots are preferred by deer above the neighboring forage.
A turnip cultivar produces the purple top (Brassica rapa). Turnips are biennial plants, meaning they have a two-year growth cycle. Turnips, on the other hand, are grown as an annual in vegetable gardens, with the root-like tubers harvested at the end of the first season.
The section of the tuber that develops beneath the ground is white, whereas the upper half that rises out of the ground is purple, as is the case with purple tops. The purple section produces equally tasty greens. Purple tops can be kept in the fridge, damp environment and grow bigger than many turnip kinds.
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How To Grow Purple Top Turnips
Working the soil in the garden till it is loose is a good idea. If needed, supplement with compost to create fairly productive conditions in a well-drained region with a pH of 5.5 to 6.8 and full sunlight to partial shade.
With your finger, make 1/2-inch deep shallow trenches. 12 to 24 inches apart is a good distance for trenches. Four to six weeks before the final frost, sow purple top turnip seeds approximately 1 inch apart in the trenches, gently burying the seeds with soil, for harvest in late spring.
Temperatures of 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal for growing purple tops and other turnip kinds. Grow them so that afternoon temperatures reach 75 degrees Fahrenheit 45 to 65 days after they are planted.
Instead, sow them in the late summer for a fall harvest after the summer heat has gone, or sow them each two weeks through the middle of the summer for a persistent crop in locations with cooler summers.
When they’re a few inches tall, thin the immature turnip sprouts 4 to 6 inches aside, preserving the toughest ones. Shield the tops of the tubers from the sun by mulching the purple top plants with straw.
Keep the soil moist by watering the purple top turnips on a constant schedule. This guarantees the most sensitive tubers and the highest growth. Allow the soil to remain moist at all times.
Midway through the growing season, side dresses the purple tops with compost by distributing it between the rows adjacent to the plants. Maintain a continuous weeding of the turnip bed. Weed roots can result in little purple top tubers, which can attract pests.
Once the roots are 3 to 4 inches wide and the temperature is under 75 degrees Fahrenheit, harvest the purple top turnips. Pull them out of the ground with a garden fork and shake off any excess soil.
Trim the greens off and consume them right away or refrigerate them for future use. Keep the purple top roots cool and wet in a cellar.
Read also: Do Turnips Come Back Every Year?
Benefits Of Purple Top Turnips
In your vegetable crops, Purple Top Turnips will not let you down. They’re simple to grow and maintain, and they give a nice crop for deer to munch during the fall and winter hunting seasons.
When you’re initially getting started with food plots, they’re an excellent beginner crop, and they’re also a nice complement to thinning out existing plots. Purple Top Turnips are an excellent choice if you’re busy or simply need a “one-stop-shop” plant.