If you happen to don’t like turnips, this pleasant, candy, connoisseur root will change your thoughts! Lots of people wrinkle their noses on the considered turnips. These mustard-family roots usually get a nasty rap for his or her barely bitter style, brownish-purple shade, and affiliation with “poor man’s” delicacies. However the Japanese ‘Hakurei’ turnip turns all these generalizations on their head.
Its crisp, buttery clean texture and gentle refreshing taste are wrapped in a stunning white package deal that tastes so candy and juicy that it’s onerous to even name it a turnip! ‘Hakurei’ turnips are the fashionable foodie cousins of your grandma’s traditional purple high turnips. The snow-white rounded roots have a fragile fruity taste tasty sufficient to eat uncooked! They’ve lately gained reputation in American farm-to-table delicacies. When you attempt them, you’ll in all probability by no means backyard with out them once more.
The ‘Hakurei’ is remarkably straightforward to develop, requiring related area and upkeep to a radish. Simply ensure you sow quite a bit as a result of these roots disappear shortly when you uncover how tasty they’re straight from the backyard. Let’s dig into all the pieces it is advisable to learn about rising candy Japanese turnips! Certainly, they may reclaim the standard turnip’s popularity within the backyard!
‘Hakurei’ Turnip Overview
Historical past and Cultivation
Turnips and their rutabaga relations have been cultivated for 1000’s of years. As a result of the turnip root is so hardy, frost-resilient, and simple to develop, they have been usually thought of a meals supply for the poor. The simply storable roots offered sufficient sustenance for farmers and livestock all through the winter. European aristocrats refused to eat them.
Nevertheless, this humble vegetable was a staple for a motive: it’s remarkably resilient! Turnips are easy to domesticate, low-maintenance, straightforward to retailer, and nutritious. Their native origins doubtless got here from wild mustards rising all through Europe and Asia. As members of the Brassicaceae or cruciferous household of greens, turnips are additionally associated to broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi.
What’s ‘Hakurei’ Turnip?
‘Hakurei’ is a wide range of turnips with tender white spherical roots finest harvested once they attain golf-ball measurement or barely bigger. The flavour is delicate and barely fruity, between an apple and a gentle radish.
Not like their dense storage root relations, these fresh-eating turnips don’t must be cooked and are sometimes finest loved straight from the backyard! You possibly can put together them in salads, slaws, kimchi, fast pickles, soups, roasts, and sautés throughout many cuisines.
Often known as Tokyo turnips, salad turnips, or Japanese turnips, ‘Hakurei’ was developed in Japan round World Warfare II and has since turn out to be a well-liked hybrid seed selection broadly accessible in the US. The basis vegetable has a juicy, refreshing sweetness that may be loved uncooked, pickled, boiled, or roasted, setting it aside from the dense starchiness of normal turnips or potatoes.
The place Did ‘Hakurei’ Turnips Originate?
‘Hakurei’ turnips have been developed by plant breeders in Japan throughout World Warfare II. The mildly candy, buttery-crisp roots have skinny, pearly white pores and skin that doesn’t require peeling or a lot cooking. As Japanese folks confronted extreme meals shortages within the Nineteen Forties and 50s, farmers and gardeners turned to this quick-growing, nutrient-dense crop to assist feed plenty of hungry folks.
Recall that Japan was prohibited from commerce with the US in 1941. Beforehand, they have been closely depending on meals imports. Farmers have been compelled to leap into motion when worldwide meals was reduce off virtually in a single day. ‘Hakurei’ turnips grew to become an essential substitute for the insufficient rations of rice, beans, and bugs. They develop shortly and simply and may be eaten contemporary.
If you happen to’ve ever grown a radish, you’ll be delighted to search out that the delectably clean and crisp ‘Hakurei’ requires nearly the very same care and situations. The small black brassica seeds are finest sown straight within the backyard.
One of the best time to plant turnips is within the cool climate of fall or spring. Nevertheless, you’ll be able to plan for a number of successions of ‘Hakurei’ turnips all through early summer time. The crops tolerate average frost however choose to germinate in cozy soil round 65-80°F. If you happen to’re not sure, use a soil thermometer probe earlier than planting.
Put together a weed-free seed mattress, optionally raking clean a 1” layer of compost over the floor. Create shallow furrows ¼” to ½” deep in rows 12-18” aside. Disperse the turnip seeds in 2-4” vast bands, every seed about 1-2” aside.
Sowing in Clusters
Some farmers sow in clusters of 2-3 seeds each 2”, permitting you to selectively harvest and skinny them as they mature. Like radishes, salad turnips don’t thoughts rising in little bunches so long as there’s room for every bulb to develop 1-2” in diameter. Keep away from sowing too densely, or it will likely be troublesome to type via the jumble of greens to correctly skinny.
Gently cowl with a skinny layer of soil. Keep away from burying too deeply, or the seeds could not have sufficient vitality to succeed in the floor. Preserve steady moisture with a watering can or fan-nozzle hose.
Germination takes 7-14 days. After germination, you should use your fingernails to pinch away any overcrowded seedlings. Watch out to not yank or disturb the child crops you wish to preserve.
Row Cowl is Extremely Advisable
A row cowl is very advisable regardless of the place you direct seed your salad turnips. These quick-growing roots are, sadly, very talked-about amongst flea beetles. The flea beetles prey on younger crops and might decimate the leaves with one million tiny shotgun holes that may shortly skeletonize seedlings.
As an natural farmer, I by no means ever seeded turnips with no row cowl. I left the row covers over the crops for everything of their 30 to 40-day lifecycle. The row cloth creates a bodily barrier to maintain pests out. It additionally creates a heat microclimate that may velocity up germination. ‘Hakurei’ turnips grown below cowl yield extra lovely, flawless, and blemish-free pearly white roots with tender mustardy greens.
The important thing to profitable row cowl use is putting in irrigation beneath the material. The soil moisture might be uneven for those who attempt to overhead water via the material. It’s finest to make use of drip traces or soaker hoses below the material. In any other case, take away the material to water with a hose and drape it again excessive. No hoops are required for this low-growing crop. The material can gently “float” over the floor of the greens. Ensure you crush the perimeters with sandbags or clean rocks to stop the duvet from blowing away.
Transplanting from Cell Trays
Whereas much less frequent, it’s also possible to transplant these turnips or develop them in containers. Many individuals consider it’s not attainable to transplant taproot crops (that is true for carrots and fragile cucurbits), however turnips don’t thoughts transplanting. This can be a nice option to get a head begin in spring and shield younger crops from pests.
Biodegradable pots or a paper pot are the finest for transplanting root crops since you don’t should take away the plant from the container. If you happen to don’t have entry to biodegradable pots, you should use a 144-cell tray.
Fill containers with a well-drained soil combine and sow clusters of 2-3 turnip seeds in every cell. Seeds needs to be planted ¼ to ½ inch deep and frivolously lined with vermiculite or potting combine. Preserve constant moisture till germination, retaining the trays in the identical full daylight space as your different seedlings.
When the seedlings are 2-4” tall, you’ll be able to put together them for transplanting by slowly decreasing water and hardening them off for just a few nights outside.
One of the best time to plant connoisseur salad turnips is spring or fall. Nevertheless, in gentle climates, these quick-turnaround root crops may be sown in steady succession all through the summer time. Listed here are some extra particulars for a streamlined and profitable planting course of:
The spacing for salad turnips is dependent upon how massive you need the roots to be. Radish-sized or golf-ball-sized turnips may be spaced 1-2” aside or grown in clusters of 2-3 turnips with 2-3” between every cluster. Go away 12-18” between the rows to permit area for the greens to proliferate.
Tips on how to Transplant
If you happen to select to transplant ‘Hakurei’ turnips, the cluster-sowing technique helps forestall root injury. The teams of 2-3 seedlings per cell ought to seem strong and vibrant earlier than shifting them into the backyard. Make sure the roots fill out the cells so the basis ball stays pretty intact if you take away it.
Put together your mattress like a seed mattress, amending it with a skinny layer of compost on high. Make small “dibbles” the place every group of turnips will go, and make sure the soil is completely loosened at the least 6” deep. Don’t cram the cells into your backyard soil, otherwise you may injury the taproots, inflicting the entire seedling to flop earlier than creating the rounded white bulb.
You’ll in all probability desire a steady provide after you fall in love with these scrumptious turnips. Succession planting is the artwork of staggering your sowings so your turnips mature at completely different occasions all through the season.
For a quick-growing crop like ‘Hakurei,’ you definitely don’t need dozens of roots within the floor without delay. These crisp white veggies are finest loved once they’re younger and might get outsized pretty shortly. The bigger turnips are nonetheless tasty however not as tender and candy.
Seed Each 1-2 Weeks
To get pleasure from common harvests of completely sized roots, seed a row of Tokyo turnips each 1-2 weeks. As you end harvesting your early spring planting, the following succession might be nearing golf-ball measurement, and a 3rd succession might be germinating. This lets you maximize contemporary harvests all through the season with out occupying an excessive amount of backyard area.
You possibly can technically seed turnips all through the spring, early summer time, and autumn. The one time I’d keep away from rising these turnips is within the peak summer time warmth of July and August, typically into September within the southwest. In hotter climates, the scorching summers could cause bolting or overly spicy, intense roots. Save your turnips and radishes for barely cooler climate and savor them round occasions of sunshine frosts, as that is when the roots are the sweetest.
How Lengthy Does It Take for ‘Hakurei’ Turnips to Develop?
Younger, golf-ball-sized turnips may be harvested as shortly as 30 days after seeding. Bigger salad turnips take 40-50 days. The roots have smoother skins and a extra tender texture when harvested small. The greens are additionally much less spicy when picked early.
Tips on how to Develop
You should have no drawback rising Tokyo turnips for those who’ve efficiently grown a radish. The keys to success are:
- Utilizing row cowl
- Loamy, well-drained soil
- Constant moisture
- Correct spacing and thinning
- Timing your harvest
Right here’s just a few extra particulars:
These refreshing roots require full solar to thrive. Select an space with at the least 6-8 hours of direct daylight every day. Dappled shade is okay in southern climates. Nevertheless, an excessive amount of shade could cause “leggy” or spindly greens and small, underdeveloped roots. In case your turnips look pale inexperienced or develop very slowly, it’s in all probability an indication that they aren’t getting sufficient gentle.
Constant moisture is essential for completely happy roots. Huge fluctuations from bone-dry to soggy moist soil could cause bizarre mutations, ailments, and undesirable texture. As an alternative, preserve a drip line or soaker hose close to every row of turnips. These bulbs are very shallow-rooted and solely entry water throughout the higher 3-4” of soil.
Irrigating on the base is essential, particularly when utilizing row cowl (which is very advisable). Overhead sprinklers could have problem saturating the basis zone and might trigger illness issues on the leaves.
As soon as established, turnips sometimes want about 1 inch of water per week. Examine the soil moisture each couple of days within the early phases. Stick your finger within the filth and gauge the moisture based mostly on how a lot soil sticks to your pores and skin. In case your pores and skin comes out clear, it’s too dry. The soil is simply too moist in case your finger comes out wanting as if you simply dipped it in brownie batter. Discover a completely happy medium the place a bit little bit of soil sticks to your pores and skin and feels pleasantly moist, like a wrung-out sponge.
Loamy, wealthy, well-drained soil is important for completely happy vegetable roots. Guarantee your backyard mattress has loads of high quality compost and natural matter blended into it. As a result of ‘Hakurei’ are pretty shallow-rooted, you’ll be able to develop them in decrease beds as quick as 8” deep. I prefer to put them within the Birdie’s City Brief 9-in-1 Metallic Raised Mattress. Save your tall raised beds for deep-rooted crops like carrots, tomatoes, candy potatoes, and cucumbers.
The soil ought to really feel gentle and fluffy. Whether it is heavy and compacted, the turnips could have problem penetrating the higher layers and forming wholesome, tender roots. Generally, they may even try to develop above the soil floor as a result of their taproots aren’t sturdy sufficient to interrupt via onerous soil. On this case, a broad fork is the proper option to aerate your soil and add oxygen to the decrease layers. This additionally improves drainage, water infiltration, and helpful microbial exercise.
Local weather and Temperature
Like most brassica-family crops, turnips get pleasure from cool climate and have a tendency to bolt in excessive warmth. The perfect ambient temperature is 50 to 70°F. When established, these roots are mildly frost tolerant. In hotter climates, use shade fabric or solely plant within the spring and fall. Hotter climate sometimes yields strong-flavored roots which will have extra of a radish-like spice.
One of the best soil temperature vary for best germination is 65-80°F, however they’ll germinate in soils as chilly as 60°F. When unsure, use a soil thermometer probe to examine your mattress temperatures earlier than seeding.
These pretty root veggies don’t want loads of fertility to thrive. Oftentimes, a wealthy compost is lots to make sure an considerable harvest. In case your soil lacks fertility, add a small dose of natural all-purpose fertilizer to slow-release all through the rising season. Keep away from something with extreme nitrogen, as this may gasoline large inexperienced progress on the expense of root growth.
If you wish to develop flawless pearly white ‘Hakurei’ turnips like a professional, don’t skip this step! Row cowl is a semi-translucent woven agricultural cloth that permits water, daylight, and air in however retains pests out.
Flea beetles are a significant challenge with this crop. Root maggots will also be problematic, and so they develop from a small grey fly that may be excluded with a canopy. You in all probability don’t wish to spray your turnips on a regular basis, so be sure you use this underrated backyard software!
Toss or “float” the material excessive of the mattress when seeding. Preserve the row cowl on for the crop’s total lifespan. Reduce your row covers to the proper measurement to your beds (leaving a foot on either side to anchor them down) so you should use them for each succession.
That is the largest farmer’s secret to lovely salad turnips:
- Seed the mattress
- Water the seeds in
- Lay down your drip traces (to irrigate beneath the material
- Safe the row cowl with sandbags or clean rocks
- Go away some unfastened overhead area for progress
Take away the row cloth when it is advisable to skinny, weed, or harvest, then toss it again on. Flea beetles can scent these roots from a mile away, and as soon as just a few get beneath the duvet, your turnips could possibly be doomed.
‘Hakurei’ is commonly used synonymously with ‘Tokyo’ turnip, salad turnip, and Japanese turnip. Nevertheless, a few variations of this candy, fresh-eating turnip reclaim the tarnished popularity of the traditional ‘Purple Prime’ turnip. Relaxation assured, we don’t imply to hate on the old school turnips; they’ll nonetheless be scrumptious when grown and ready correctly!
The unique F1 hybrid, ‘Hakurei,’ is the superior alternative for contemporary consuming. The gentle taste, low spice, and tender apple-like crunch are delectable.
The roots are chosen for near-perfect white skins, juicy texture, and fruity taste notes. Keep in mind, you’ll be able to’t save true-to-type seeds from hybrids, so this cultivar needs to be repurchased each season.
Similar to ‘Hakurei,’ that is one other white Japanese hybrid that gained the All-American Choice award. The proper globe-shaped roots mature in 25-45 days and have nice bolt resistance. It’s typically referred to as kabu, kabura, or manjing in Japanese.
An early shiny crimson salad turnip, ‘Hirosaki Purple,’ provides shade to your spring salads. They’re barely spicier than Tokyo turnips however much less intense than a radish. We love the tender, juicy texture and fairly pink skins.
Pests and Ailments
Turnips are pretty resilient to pests and ailments. Because of their fast progress cycle, you’ll be able to simply keep away from injury or alternatively pull a crop and begin over if issues go awry.
As talked about above, flea beetles can scent turnips and radishes from lengthy distances and are available in with a vengeance. These shiny little beetles can put one million tiny holes in your turnip greens in just a few days.
Fortuitously, prevention is easy! Don’t skimp on the row cowl! Bodily exclusion is the best and most ecological option to preserve these pests out. It’s also possible to use a diluted neem oil answer and companion planting with white alyssum, dill, or yarrow to draw parasitic wasps and different pure predators.
Root Maggots and Cabbage Flies
These pests are straightforward to exclude when utilizing row cowl. Root maggots are the larvae of a tiny grey fly, so for those who preserve the fly out, you need to be capable of keep away from them.
Nevertheless, if root maggots take maintain in your turnips, they impede water uptake, so the crops could seem wilted in broad daylight, even with loads of soil moisture. One of the best motion is to drag the crop and begin over in one other backyard space utilizing a row cowl!
Alternaria Leaf Spot
Alternaria leaf spot is a standard fungal illness that resembles bleached or yellow splotches on the leaves. The lesions are inclined to develop between the leaf veins and are lined with brown margins.
The simplest prevention is to keep away from overhead irrigation. The illness is usually beauty (harming your enjoyment of lovely turnip greens) however may hinder photosynthesis. Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to water on the base.
This damaging bacterial illness assaults the leaves of turnips and rutabagas, shortly killing the crop. The primary signal is yellowing of the decrease leaves and V-shaped lesions alongside the leaf edges. Finally, the leaf veins flip black and start to die.
Supply disease-free seeds from a good firm and instantly get rid of any contaminated crops.
Similar to leaf spot, downy mildew tends to develop on the foliage everytime you water overhead. Preserve turnip greens as dry as attainable and widen your spacing in humid climates to take care of ample airflow. In excessive instances, you’ll be able to attempt an organic-approved copper fungicide to gradual the unfold.
Plant Makes use of
All components of this plant are edible. Whereas the roots are most favored, the greens may be sauteed and used like kale in lots of dishes. Take pleasure in Tokyo turnips uncooked, cooked, or fermented. They’re scrumptious when shredded right into a salad or slaw or sliced and eaten with hummus.
You possibly can roast them complete with potatoes, beets, and radishes. They make an unimaginable addition to fast pickles or fermented kimchi blends. Better of all, ‘Hakurei’ turnips are a refreshing and hydrating summer time snack straight from the soil.
All turnip leafy greens are edible, and when harvested younger, they are often fairly scrumptious. The inexperienced tops are finest chopped up and added on the finish of a root saute till barely wilted. Season with salt, olive oil, and tamari or soy sauce so as to add taste. The greens get spicier in scorching climate or because the crop ages.
The fragile, gentle taste of ‘Hakurei’ turnips differs from any turnip you’ve ever tried! They’re candy, crisp, and nearly fruity in taste. The feel is someplace between a crisp radish and a juicy apple. There’s little bitterness or spice until you enable the roots to get too massive. Develop in cool climate and harvest at 2-3” in diameter for the sweetest, most tender roots.
‘Hakurei’ are the one turnips you’ll wish to eat uncooked! That is once they shine probably the most. Often known as salad turnips, these connoisseur white roots are tender, candy, crisp, and refreshing. They don’t must be cooked and have a pure sweetness that units them aside from their relations. You possibly can pop them in your mouth complete or shred and grate them right into a salad or slaw. They’re additionally glorious in ferments or sautes with their greens.
These distinctive connoisseur roots present a scrumptious reward for little or no effort! For probably the most profitable crop of ‘Hakurei,’ bear in mind to:
- Stagger your plantings each 1-2 weeks for a steady provide.
- Harvest younger for probably the most tender and candy roots, ideally when they’re golf ball-sized or barely bigger.
- At all times use a row cowl to guard from pest injury and guarantee clear, white pores and skin.
Don’t neglect to benefit from the nutritious greens or use them as a high quality compost ingredient!