I planted purple top turnips this year for the first time. My soil is kind of a sandy loam with a moderate PH. It could use some more lime and it will get it this year. The area that I planted was previously farm field but had not had anything planted in the last twenty years or so. I sprayed the plot with round up and then disked it, sprayed again about a month later and then disked it again prior to planting. I broadcast the turnip seed and had very good emergence despite moderately dry weather this year. By november the deer had eaten all of the green tops off of the turnips and they are still eating the turnips now. The ground has been frozen and they have eaten the turnips down flush with the ground but have not been able to dig them out of the ground. I'm sure they will get them all during the next thaw.
Next year I'm going to plant them again, with more lime and fertalizer. I am also going to decrease the amount of seed I use, I think I ended up with too many plants, too close together , which affected the size of the turnips. The sizes ranged from golf ball size to softball size but they were not as big as the ones that I have seen sold commercially. Once planted they were very low maintainance.
I planted purple top turnips this year. My soil is a little more rich than a beach. I have not limed yet and just fertilized, I had turnips as big as soft balls. The deer seem to love the greens more than the turnips themselves.
I once planted turnips, rutabagas, and sugarbeets in the same row. The turnips grew fastest and were the least work. They competed with the weeds the best. The rutabagas were a slightly slower maturing crop. In all truth, my area is out of the sugar beet belt and I was battling soilpH and poorer quality soil than the good beet ground. But I did grow a few beets up to 3 inches in size. I put a lot of finely powdered lime below and adjacent to the beets seed. Also lots of hand weeding for the beets. But I grew some and the deer liked them the best.
Planted rutabagas this past summer. Deer loved the green tops but never ate the root. In fact, I finally threw a bunch out on what is left of the oats and they are still there. Back when I was a yooper, lots of folks grew them for deer feed and had good luck with them up there. Nobody that I've spoken with down here has ever tried them. I'll probably try some turnips this summer but not sure because a neighbor grew some and they did not do well. However, it may have been because he did not lime his sandy ground too.
A couple of years ago we tried Biologic's Premium Perennial product....a mix of clover, rape, and turnips. The turnips were a huge hit. Not at first but by the time there was snow on the ground and the greens were gone the deer were pawing out those turnip bulbs like they were gold. In fact they would eat into a half buried turnip so that it ened up looking like a hollowed out pumpkin.
The PremPernnial mix appeared to be a good product. It was for us. The rape and the turnips were annuals, of course. A one-shot deal. But the clover continues to thrive.
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