Parsnips – Rutabagas – Turnips

parsnip Parsnips – Rutabagas – Turnips – Three root crops that must not be over looked in your home garden.

Parsnip is a root vegetable closely related to the carrot. Its long tuberous root is cream colored and can be left in the ground when it matures. It becomes sweeter in flavor after winter frosts. Parsnips is usually cooked but can also be eaten raw.
It is high in vitamins and minerals, especially potassium.

Half a cup of sliced, cooked parsnips has 3 grams of fiber, 55 calories. (RDA) vitamin C (11%), folate (11%), and manganese (10%).
Parsnip’s unique flavor comes when its starches change to sugar. This occurs after the first frost.

Some say “Parsnips are perhaps the hardiest of all garden crops.”
Parsnips like full sun but can tolerate light shade and frost. They require well drained soil loose, fertile soil, with a pH 6.0 to 7.0. Heavy clay soils may cause crooked and branched roots. Needs a fair amount of moisture.

Parsnip seeds need a soil temperature of 50%F to 85%F to germinate 65%F is a good planting temperature. Seeds emergence in 10 to 21 days. However, germination may take as long as 21 to 30 days with soil temperature at 50 F.

Sow seeds ½ inch deep, 2 inches apart. Thin to 3 to 4 inches apart. To speed germination, keep soil moist. You can sow along with radishes to break soil crust and mark your row. Parsnip Varieties for your consideration.
Rutabagas (aka)swedes winter turnips, Swedish turnips, Russian turnips, Canadian turnips. A favorite for fall and winter soups and dishes, and can also be used raw in salads. Rutabagas (are not a turnip) are often confused with turnips, but are sweeter flavored.

Rutabagas like full sun buy will tolerate light shade. They require a well drained soil
and will tolerates low fertility soils. High organic matter or nitrogen levels may cause poorly shaped roots. Loosen soil deeply or grow in raised beds to encourage good root development. Most gardens will not need fertilization.

Seeds will germinate from 40%F to 85%F, however about 60%F is a good time to plant your seed. Seedlings emerge in 4 to 7 days.
Plant seed 1/2 inch deep and 2 inches apart in early to mid summer, thin to 6 inches apart. Frost improves quality and flavor.

turnip Turnips are fast growing. Spring turnip crops are best harvested while the weather is still cool. The flavor of fall crops is improved by light frost.
Turnips are grown for their green tops as well as for their root crop. Use then in boiled greens, raw in salads, soups and stews. They can also be boiled, broiled or baked.

They prefers a well drained, fertile soil high in organic matter with a pH 6.0 to 7.5. Turnips can tolerate slightly alkaline soils. They need plentiful, consistent moisture. Loosen soil deeply or grow in raised beds to encourage good root development. They will tolerate less than ideal conditions, but poor soil will slow growth and hurt quality and flavor. Fertilize with a N-P-K 5-10-5 or similar fertilizer.

Turnip seed germinate at 40%F to 85%F but a soil temperature of about 60%F is a good time to plant your turnip crop. In early spring to late summer, sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep, 1 inch apart. Thin to about 4 to 6 inches apart.

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