Turnip: Purple Top Milan, Heirloom Organic by Renee's Garden

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Heirloom Turnip: Purple Top Milan

Classic Italian heirloom with, globe-shaped roots that have pretty bright purple shoulders and pure white flesh. Easy to grow, early maturing and very productive variety with sweet and mild flavor.


In early spring, as soon as ground can be worked, sow in well worked, fertile soil in full sun. Space seeds 1-2 inches apart in wide rows 6 inches apart. Cover 1/2 inch deep. Keep soil evenly moist and well weeded. Carefully thin seedlings early to stand 4-6 inches apart, giving them room to size up. Provide consistent moisture.


Make a second spring sowing 10 days later, before summer heat. Protect with floating row covers if marauding birds or flea beetles that chew holes in the leaves are a problem. Sow again mid to late summer for fall harvest.


Begin harvesting when the turnips reach 2 to 3 inches in diameter. If weather turns unexpectedly hot, pull and store the roots in the refrigerator.

Note: Turnips are always spicier when the weather turns hot. Slice and sauté or steam; use in soups and stews, or (and this is our favorite) just cut them in quarters or large chunks, toss with olive oil, then roast in the oven until tender to bring out their natural sugars. Enjoy the tasty, nutritious green tops steamed or quickly braised.