Until very recently, I had never tasted a turnip and had never given much thought to them one way or the other. But last October I noticed their pictures in the John Scheepers Kitchen Garden seed catalogue and had to have them. I decided that they would be an interesting experiment for the winter garden and two packets were ordered (Le Moulin Rouge and White Lady) plus one packet of parsnips.
I planted seven rows in a raised bed by the house and pretty much left them alone for the next two and a half months. By February, I had turnips and parsnips in the rows and (thanks to our generous rains) a jungle of weeds and poppies everywhere else. I pulled some of the weeds, left some of the poppies and thinned some of the turnips and parsnips. Then it rained some more and I left the entire bed alone for the rest of the month.
A few days ago I noticed that I could see the white and red shoulders of the turnips sticking up beneath their foliage. I pulled some up and am thrilled that they look exactly like the picture on the seed packet.
This attitude of amazement is in large part because most of my plantings wind up looking like nothing at all, thanks to gophers, chickens, insects, lack of water, weeding mistakes and big feet stepping in the wrong place.