Turnip, Aprovecho Hardy (Organic)
Brassica rapa. 70 days.
This is our hardiest turnip bred specifically for Oregon winters. Salvaged from the less than 5% of the surviving turnips from a population of Dr. Alan Kapuler’s Six Root Grex Turnip. The rest of the population died after a hard 8°F frost at Aprovecho Research Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon. The diversity of root types was reduced but the result is strong, hardy, round turnips. We have since selected heavily for attractive root shapes and colors, which vary from white to purple to green-topped. Our favorites in the population are the bright white ones with combined purple and green tops.
As required by the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Washington Crucifer Quarantine, all Brassica family seed lots have been tested and found negative for blackleg (Phoma lingam) by an approved, certified lab.
Direct sow March through August in rows that are 1’ apart. When seedlings are 3” tall, thin to 3” spacing for turnips, and 8″ spacing for rutabagas. Don’t forget to eat the greens! In our area, rutabagas can grow through winter without protection as long as the mice don’t find them. Only some varieties of turnip have the same hardiness. Both can be harvested in autumn and stored for many months in root cellar conditions.
Collect seeds from 20 or more plants (to avoid inbreeding) in the second year when seeds have dried down. Cut seed heads, place on tarps to dry a few days, then dance to free seed. Winnow to clean. Isolate from other Brassicas of the same species by ½ mile for B. napus, and 1 mile for B. rapa (watch out for wild turnip!).