Purple Top Milan

AT A GLANCE

A popular Italian variety, Milan Purpletop turnips produce excellent yields of succulent roots that are white beneath the purple top.

More details

SunFull
Germination7 - 10 Days
Sowing MethodDirect to Ground
Days to Maturity70 Days
Greenhouse / PolytunnelOptional for Early Crop
Seed Count1000
Recommended Soil pH5.0-7.0

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Milan Purpletop turnips are fast growing, with creamy-white roots and bright purple shoulders. They are quick to mature and ideal for planting in the early spring, as they’re ready to eat before many other crops. Their taste is sweet and mild, which makes them ideal for salads and coleslaw. They also taste amazing when cooked like potatoes: boiled, roasted, or mashed.

The greens of these turnips are also quite tasty and boast an impressive array of vitamins and minerals. Use in stir-fries, soups, and casseroles.

Starting out

Like most brassicas, turnips grow best in rich, well-drained soil. Choose a location that gets full sun and loosen the soil to a depth of 24-30cm. Beginning in March, sow seeds in succession from spring to mid summer, 1cm (0.5in) deep in rows 30cm (12in) apart. Thin out the seedlings to 10-15cm(4-6in) apart. (For greens, don’t thin.)

Keep well watered to prevent bolting, but don’t water-log. Keep weeds down by hand as hoeing can damage the roots' shoulders, leading to canker.

Plant in 10-day intervals for turnips all growing season long.


Plant direct
Hoe Weeding

Maintenance

Turnips are super easy to maintain after growing. Simply keep the bed weed-free, ideally with a thick layer of mulch. Water about 2cm a week to prevent the roots from becoming tough and bitter.

Growing turnips with nasturtiums will help to draw cabbage white butterflies away from your crop. Planting with mint is said to help deter flea beetles.

Harvesting

You can begin harvesting the leaves as soon as they are 8-10cm long. Harvest the roots when they are still young and tender. Simply lift out of the ground, twist off the leaves and store in boxes of sand or in a cool place outdoors.


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