Mild mannered turnips
For those who can get a bit muddled telling the difference between turnips, swedes and parsnips, gardening friend Christine said parsnips are shaped like carrots, swedes are bulbous and yellow-fleshed, and turnips are bulbous and usually white-fleshed and with purple crowns.
Turnips are healthy beyond measure containing generous amounts of fibre, folate, niacin, vitamin C, Calcium and fibre. These brassicas have a mild slightly peppery flavour and they're cooked as you would potatoes, usually steamed, mashed, baked or slow cooked. If left to mature turnips develop a stronger flavour and can become stringy. The foliage can also be eaten when young and tender.
Turnips have a moderate growth rate and are best grown over the cooler months. Sow seeds direct or in punnets of quality seed raising mix during January/February. Make sure planting beds have lots of organic matter added, such as compost. Applications of worm juice, comfrey tea and seaweed extract throughout the growing season will produce hardy plants and enviable crops. Check for readiness by moving soil away from the surface and observing the circumference of the root – 4 to 8cm is a good size.