About Seven Top Turnip: Seven Top, a turnip grown especially for the unsurpassed flavor of its nutritious greens, is the most popular source of turnip greens in the southern regions of the United States. The use of turnip tops for salad greens goes all the way back to ancient Greece, and has been a common practice in nearly every civilization since then.
Seven Top Turnip Germination: A cool weather crop, turnips thrive when planted three weeks before the last frost in the spring, or after the hottest part of summer for a fall crop. Direct sow the seeds in rich, deeply worked soil and full sun, 1/2" deep in rows 12-18" apart; as the seedlings grow, thin them to 4-6" apart.
Growing Seven Top Turnip Seeds: Apply mulch to conserve moisture and control weeds. Watch out for pests such as the red and black harlequin bug, which must be removed to prevent damage.
Harvesting Seven Top Turnip: Harvest greens as soon as they reach a good size for eating; if using both the greens and the root, harvest only 2-3 leaves per root. Since small turnips have the most tenderness and flavor, pull them when they reach a size of 1-3". To store them for extended periods, cut the top down to 1/2" and store in a cool, dark place without washing off the dirt. Gardeners with warmer winters will be able to apply a layer of mulch and leave the crop in the ground all winter.
Saving Seven Top Turnip Seeds: Turnips will cross pollinate with other varieties of turnips, and should be isolated to ensure genetic purity. This vegetable must overwinter before producing seed. In warmer climates, a layer of mulch will be sufficient for protection. In colder climates, dig up the turnips; cut the tops to 1" and store them in damp sand at 33-40 degrees F until replanting in spring. The roots will send up flowering stalks. When the seed pods begin to turn brown, remove them before they shatter or dig up the entire plant and hang it upside down in a protected location to dry. Thresh the seed from the dry pods by crushing them. Store the seeds in a cool, dry place for up to 4 years.
Detailed Seven Top Turnip Info: Brassica rapa. Also known as Seventop. Biennial. 45-65 days. 10,000 seeds per oz. 12-18" height. 4-6" apart. Produces no edible root, but is grown for the nutritious and flavorful greens that can reach a height of 22".