Purple Top Turnip is an heirloom, open-pollinated variety that has been the preferred standard of market farmers and backyard gardeners for over 100 years. Roots are white with purple crowns that will be exposed above ground as plants mature. The white flesh is tender and has the characteristic spicy flavor synonymous with raw turnips. Raw turnip roots make a flavorful addition to any salad or raw vegetable medley. When plants are thinned properly, roots may grow as large as 6″ in diameter. But flavor is best when harvested around 3-4″ wide. The flavor intensity will decrease somewhat during cooking. This is the most popular variety for cooking the southern classic dish of turnip greens with roots. Plants produce large, lobed greens that are excellent sautéed or boiled. Leaves will have the best flavor when exposed to light frost in the late fall/winter months.
We recommend direct-seeding turnips for best results. They can be direct-seeded easily with a walk-behind planter like our Hoss Garden Seeder. We suggest using a #1 seed plate and modifying the hole size to fit the variety being planted. From one variety to the next, seed size will vary. Therefore it is always necessary to calibrate the seed plate properly for the variety being used. The density of planting will depend on the desired harvest. In some cases large bunches of leaves may be the goal, while other growers may target larger roots. If large bunches of leaves are desired, turnips may be planted densely where roots will remain small and leaves will grow large. If larger roots are desired, plant less dense or thin to one plant every 4″.
Purple Top Turnip Planting Information
Planting Method: direct seed
When to Plant: early spring and fall
Planting Depth: 1/4″
Seed Spacing: 2″
Row Spacing: 12-18″
Days to Maturity: 50
Disease Resistance: None