My Piece of Dirt

Zone 8 Gardening

Turnips MPOD

on February 1, 2015

Number #1 Rule for all Root Crops

hawkYou do NOT want to tuck root crops up against the wall or along the side of a fence. – And I learned this one the hard way. – Because critters like squirrels, chipmunks and even moles love to eat root crops and they love to run along the edges of walls and fences. These critters do not like to be out in the open and vulnerable to predators.

Predators, such as hawks, owls and even cats, do not like walls and fences. They do not like to catch a chipmunk breakfast and then slam into a fence.

Also, do not have so much mulch laid down that these critters can eat on your root crops and hide from predators at the same time. So make it easy for the predators and dangerous for the critters with minimum mulch.

Turnips – Feb 1st 

Big Rain Tonight and much Colder tomorrow: Direct sowed turnip seeds today. Pushing the window a little bit here, but Spring comes and goes so fast in Zone 8. And all that I am risking is a few seeds

Not much do here. The plot was already prepared, fertilized last fall, and neutral ground. I do not want a whole bunch, so its just a 3X3. Using the top tier of and above ground plot – about 1 and 1/2 foot deep- and never walked on. If you want big roots, you gott’a have deep ground.

Okay for the seeds to freeze – even good –but not so much the seedlings. Seeds emerge in about 5 – 10 days. If it does freeze, I’ll allow more time for germination. If by Mid-Feb I do not get germination, I’ll just plug some more seeds. If the seeds do pop and it freezes, I may cover them at night to keep heavy frost off. Nothing elaborate, just one of my steel grids and an old sheet. If all else fails, I’ll just plant some more. Have to get them in before temps go up to 70F.

Also, this year I’m planting heirlooms, so I have to remember to let the turnips bolt. By golly, I’ll get me some turnips or seeds. One or the other, by golly.

Also, I have heard that peppercorn and minced garlic – sprinkled on dry day – can deter critters.  So I bought some of the cheapest to dust around my root crops. But really, I think, out in the open is the best solution.



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