Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Garden -- turnips

It's time.  I have to thin the turnips back heavily this week.
If I don't, I won't get nice fat roots.
It's all good.
This is also the time when the turnip greens are still baby-fine enough to eat well.
They are starting to get scratchy.
After this they will need more cooking to eat right.
I have leftover fish from last week so I'll fry them up together with some red bell pepper, onion, and garlic.
If you planted turnips for the first time and you see pinholes in the leaves of what you are thinning out, don't panic.
They are HOLES.  The bugs are gone.  Want to be sure?
Turn the leaves over on every side before you pull a specific plant out as a thinning.
You won't find any bugs.
So pull that one out, twist off the stems and throw those and the roots into your compost.
Take the leaves in, rinse in cold water, and cook as soon as possible so as to keep all the nutrients.

Now, how do you make sure you thin out the right thing and don't ruin something you don't need to thin?
I never make a map of where I planted what, but if you did, you're done reading.
The difference between turnip greens and mustard greens is that mustard greens may be frilly and wrinkly, but they aren't scratchy.
The difference between turnip greens, and those relatives of cabbage -- kale, cauliflower and broccoli -- is that turnip greens don't have the slightly bluish color of the others.
The difference between turnip greens and beets is that turnips have definite purple on the root and beets have definite red, plus beets have smooth leaf edges as well as surfaces.
Chard, which is related to beets, has yellowish roots like their mutual ancestor.  In fact, I planted oriole chard instead of swiss chard, because of that yellow.  Makes a colorful garden.

© Patricia Jo Heil, 2013-2018 All Rights Reserved

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