Tag Archives: turnips

North Florida gardeners, it’s time to start seeds for the fall garden!

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Even now it’s still so hot outside, it is time to start thinking about the fall garden.

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Here’s some seeds I started this week: broccoli, cauliflower, kale, collards, kohlrabi, and Swiss chard.

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Some of the seeds have already started coming up, 5 days later! Even though it’s still so hot, the seeds germinate quickly in the warm weather, and will be ready for transplant when it finally starts cooling down a bit.

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I also planted a few patty pan squash. I may also plant some zucchini and yellow squash too.

Next month I plan to direct sow my mustard greens, turnips, rutabagas, and even try some carrots again. It seems like I try carrots multiple times a year, and something always seems to destroy them. I also need to get some herbs started this week: dill and cilantro.

I also want to have plenty of fall and winter bedding plants, so I’m going to start snapdragons & pansies from seed. For the cost of a few packets of seed and my time, I hope to have plenty of color through the winter.

I am really anticipating the kale and mustard greens. The kale is so good for you and I love it sauteed with a little bit of butter and garlic as a side dish. The mustard greens are fabulous in stir fries. Oh, and I really want some turnips too. Turnips, although a root vegetable that I don’t see often used, is really good, especially roasted.

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That reminds me, I need to plant some radishes next month too. Maybe for Thanksgiving I can make some Colorful Roasted Turnips, Carrots and Radishes.

Do you live in a climate where you get to have a fall garden? What are you planting?

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Colorful Roasted Turnips, Radishes, and Carrots

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Sometimes simplest is best. If you have never tried turnips, I recommend this easy preparation.

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I planted my ‘White Egg’ turnips a bit too closely last fall, but have been able to harvest them at various times without succession planting them. I harvested some as greens, and others have made large roots as their neighbors have been cleared.

I have found them to be sweeter than the purple top turnips that I planted last year.

My husband doesn’t care much for them mashed, so I decided to try roasting them with some carrots from a friend’s garden, as well as with the last of the radishes.

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I tossed the chunks with some olive oil, and roasted them at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, turning them halfway through.

They  were seasoned with just a sprinkle of salt, pepper, and a smidgen of fresh thyme.

I love the pretty pink of the radishes. 🙂

Also, my husband liked the roasted turnips!

I love eating fresh food from the garden. It is nice that I seldom have to buy the vegetable side dish for our dinners; I just harvest what is ready to eat and prepare it. That’s convenience. 🙂

Gardening saves me money and is good for us too!

Have you ever roasted radishes? I planted another row that I hope will be ready by the beginning of March. I’ll pull them, then plant some green beans!

I have another seasonal recipe for you coming soon- Sauteed Mustard Greens! They are quickly becoming one of my favorite greens, and when sauteed do not have a harsh mustardy flavor like their name may suggest.

 

My Florida Garden in February

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I love being able to go outside on a winter afternoon to harvest vegetables. Often we are able to eat vegetables that were growing in the ground an half hour before dinner. You can’t get much fresher than that! We have been enjoying delicious root vegetables like turnips and daikon radishes, as well as nutritious leafy greens.

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I love the purple and white on these turnips.

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The daikon radishes above are pretty easy to grow. Most seem to just  use the roots, but the greens are edible too. They seem like turnip greens to me, only a bit milder. I love crops that are edible above and below the ground!

Much of my Florida backyard garden is waiting for some consistent warmth. I have two gardens: the “shed bed”, which is shady for a good part of the day; and a larger, sunnier garden in the corner of the backyard.

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“Shed bed” with its fall/winter crops of kale, daikon radish, onions, broccoli, garlic, collards, and other greens such as Swiss chard and lettuce. We can eat greens a few times a week now by just harvesting the outer leaves. Kale is so tasty cooked with just a little olive oil, garlic, and kosher salt. Yum! Just the thing to round out a hearty winter meal.

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See how the leaf mulch keeps the weeds under control in the picture above? I seldom have to weed over here.

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This corner garden is just hanging on with its onions, few turnips and rutabagas, cauliflower, and broccoli. Soon it will be full of tomatoes, green beans, and eggplants.

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This broccoli is “buttoning”, or forming little broccoli florets rather than large heads. I think the snow and ice that we experienced here in the Florida Panhandle stressed it out a bit. My daughter doesn’t mind though, she eats them raw.

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Isn’t that just the cutest little cauliflower you’ve ever seen? I had some last year that turned out to be very yummy so I have high hopes for this year. Hopefully they will reach full size by the middle of April.

The corner bed was the big expansion last year. I remember indicating an area roughly 23’x25′ to my husband, then watching him till under this huge corner of the backyard and thinking,”What have I done?!”

I filled it though, and last summer we enjoyed homemade spaghetti sauce, tender eggplant, fresh green beans, and crisp bell peppers. For most of the summer I hardly bought vegetables. It was worth it!

This year, I plan to double the size of that garden.

Ambitious, yes, I know. Either that, or slightly crazy. What do you think?