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Turnip is a biennial or annual vegetable plant of the Cabbage or Cruciferous family. Turnip is one of the oldest cultivated plants cultivated for more than 40 centuries, not found in the wild.
The forage varieties of turnips are called turnips. In many farms, gardeners and agronomists grow turnips not only for animal feed, but also for serving them at their own table.
The benefits of this vegetable, its chemical composition and much more will be discussed in this article.
What does the photo look like?
The turnip root crop is a modified root, it is smooth, fleshy, with a diameter of 4-6 cm; at the end there is a pod with a long nose. The shape of the turnip is different: round, slightly flattened or elongated. Depending on the variety, turnip skins can be: yellow, green, pink, burgundy, purple. The pulp of the fruit is yellow or white - juicy, with a rich taste.
If the top of the root crop protrudes from the soil as it grows, it can change in color and turn brown, purple or even black. The weight of a mature root can reach 10 kilograms... The stem is tall with feathery green leaves attached to the root.
See clearly what it is and how a vegetable grows in the following photos:
Turnip (lat. Brassica rapa L.) is a dicotyledonous herb, a species of the genus Cabbage (lat Brassica). This genus is well known for its nutritional, medicinal or feed properties.
In the first year, the plant produces an edible root vegetable and a rosette of basal leaves forms on the surface. Rosette leaves are long-petiolate, lyre-shaped. The stem reaches a height of 40-50 cm, its yellowish-green leaves are serrated, sessile, oval or slightly drooping.
In the second year of life, tall, branched flowering shoots appear. Turnip inflorescences are collected in shields, at the end of flowering they acquire the shape of a brush. The flowers are yellow or pale yellow. Pedicel 3-8 cm long at the end of flowering deviates at an acute angle. Fruits are erect pods with a long nose and small spherical seeds that have a burgundy-brown color.
There are 2 types of turnips: common (garden) and salad (kokabu)... The lettuce turnip is subdivided into leaf and root. The leafy turnip (komatsuna) does not form a root crop; the leaves of the plant are eaten.
Reference! Lettuce turnip was bred in Japan by crossing the Far Eastern and European turnips about 2 thousand years ago.
The type of turnip fruit - a root crop - is not the most typical for the Cabbage genus, among which the taproot system prevails. The turnip root system penetrates deeply into the soil, the root is transformed into a root vegetable, which is a thickened adventitious root. In the structure of the root crop, the most important role is played by the storage main tissue... For the unusual structure of the flower, representatives of the Cabbage family received a second name - Cruciferous.
The formula of the flower is as follows: Ч4 Л4 Т2 + 4 П1, where:
- Ч4 - four sepals arranged crosswise.
- L4 - four petals, cross to cross.
- T2 + 4 - two short and four long stamens.
- P1 - one pistil.
Turnip is a cold-resistant and moisture-loving culture. The seeds germinate at 2-3 ° C and withstand light frosts down to -3-5 ° C. The favorable temperature for growing is 15-18 ° C. With a combination of abundant watering and moderate temperatures, a high yield is guaranteed and flower stalks may appear in the first year of development. Turnip is a long day plant and requires adequate lighting.
The growing season is 40 to 50 days, depending on the variety. To obtain a good harvest, planting in non-acidic soils is recommended; light loamy soils pre-enriched with compost or manure are best suited. It is recommended to feed the plant with ash.
It is undesirable to sow turnips after those crops that belong to the Cabbage family. Legumes, cucumbers or tomatoes are considered good predecessors.
Does the plant differ from others or not?
- the shape of the radish root crop is more elongated;
- the most common is black radish;
- the radish has a characteristic pungent taste with bitterness.
- rutabaga usually has a harder, soft orange flesh;
- the fruits of the swede are larger;
- rutabagas are more nutritious than turnips, but inferior to them in taste.
Where and when did you start growing?
The birthplace of turnip is considered to be Central and Western Asia. The turnip was known to the inhabitants of Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The first mention of a vegetable in Russia dates back to the 13th century. Before Peter I brought potatoes to Russia (until the 18th century), turnip was the main vegetable to be served on the table.
Turnip is rich:
- macro and microelements;
- energy and plastic substances.
The concentration of vitamin C in the chemical composition of turnip is 2 times higher than that in lemon and black currant.
Benefit and harm
The plant has many beneficial substances. Turnip components have a positive effect on:
- metabolic processes of the body;
- help to strengthen the immune system;
- elasticity and strength of blood vessels;
- nervous system.
Vegetable products have pronounced bactericidal and antiseptic properties.
Turnip is contraindicated for:
- chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract;
- disorders of the thyroid gland;
- pathology of the kidneys and liver;
- severe forms of diabetes;
- nervous disorders.
Which organ is edible?
The edible root vegetables of the vegetable are eaten. They are eaten raw or cooked and used as a medicine.
Attention! An exception is the leafy lettuce turnip, which is grown for leaf use.
Use for treatment
- Turnip juice with honey... The turnip is passed through a meat grinder or juicer and the juice is decanted. The juice is mixed with honey in a one-to-one ratio. Take one spoonful after meals 3 times a day. It is indicated for colds and as a prophylaxis for acute respiratory infections. We wrote about the benefits and contraindications of turnips with honey in a separate article.
- Decoction... Grate 1 turnip and pour boiling water over it, cook on fire for 15 minutes, then strain through cheesecloth. The broth is taken 3 times a day, 50 ml. It helps to cope with sleep disorders and infections.
- Compress... Grate the boiled turnips into a gruel and spread on cheesecloth. You can apply a compress to gout and sore joints for an hour.
Popular varieties according to characteristics
- White ball and Snow White are milky white.
- The golden ball is an orange-yellow round root vegetable.
- Petrovskaya - flattened yellow fruits.
- The Snow Maiden is snow-white fruits with a short shelf life.
- Tokyo is a salad subspecies.
- White Night and Snowball - white vegetables weighing up to 550 grams.
- Russian size - a giant vegetable (up to 2 kg.), Yellow.
- Early ripening (40-60 days after sowing):
- Geisha is a white salad fruit.
- May yellow green-headed.
- Granddaughter - small yellow fruits suitable for winter storage.
- Mid-season (60-80 days after sowing):
- Dunyasha is a dietary variety with an orange peel.
- Gribovskaya - large fruits with a purple top and white bottom.
- Late (90 days after sowing):
- The comet is a white conical fruit.
- Pull-Pull - Round vegetables with sweet yellow flesh.
Turnip is distinguished by a variety of varieties for every taste, therefore, when choosing, it makes sense to be guided by such criteria as:
- ripening terms;
- zoning, i.e. for which region the variety is intended
- personal tastes.
Reference! The most popular variety among Russian gardeners is Petrovskaya, which gives a large harvest and is stored for a long time.
Features of planting and care
- At home - can be grown for seedlings and further planting in open ground or until fully ripe on a balcony or loggia. Seeds are sown in February-March in sowing boxes and covered with foil until shoots appear (we wrote about when it is better to plant turnips here). Soil from a mixture of earth and sand (2: 1). Then the seedlings are either planted outside or thinned out. After the second thinning, the distance between the shoots should be 5-6 cm. Root crops with a diameter of 5-6 cm are removed.
- In the greenhouse - it is possible to grow turnips in the autumn. Seeds or seedlings are placed in grooves at a depth of 6-7 cm, at a distance of 15-20 cm. The main care is abundant watering and plenty of light, as well as weeding and loosening of the soil between shoots. The last cleaning is carried out before frost.
- Outside - the seeds are predominantly sown in the spring, however, it is possible to sow seeds for the first frost, then young shoots will appear in the spring. During the summer, you can get 2 harvests of vegetables. Sowing and caring for a plant is similar to that of a greenhouse.
Turnip does not need feeding; with the right choice of soil, the plant has enough nutrition. Turnip does not like density, so it is imperative to thin out the beds and carry out systematic weeding.
Read about planting turnips here.
Diseases and pests
Turnip is susceptible to the same diseases and pests as other cruciferous plants (radish, cabbage):
- White and gray rot - the fungus affects the crop during storage; vegetable tissues become watery and covered with mycelium.
- Powdery mildew - petioles, stems, leaves are affected - at first they are covered with a mealy bloom, then they begin to dry, the root crop does not receive enough nutrition and begins to lag behind in development.
- Blackleg - the upper part of the root crop and leaves turns black, their tissues soften. On the cut of the root, the tissue becomes dark.
Affected plants are treated with special preparations.
The main pests attacking turnips:
- cabbage butterfly;
- cruciferous fleas;
- cabbage moth;
- cabbage fly;
- wireworms or clickers;
When fighting pests, it is necessary not only to spray the plant with preparations and add special additives to the soil, but also to manually remove the larvae and caterpillars of pests.
Turnip is a valuable and nutritious product, a source of useful vitamins and minerals. The vegetable comes in many varieties to suit all tastes. The plant is unpretentious to care for and to grow it "is easier than a steamed turnip."