Which vegetable is the first to be picked in your spring vegetable garden? Here in New Jersey that is often a leafy green, like kale or leaf lettuce. Or perhaps the humble radish has the honor of adding home grown crunch and flavor to a salad. For many, it is a familiar looking white turnip which makes the journey from plot to pot.
One early spring candidate rarely seen in local gardens is the yellow turnip, known sometimes as the Boulle d’or variety. These should not be confused with the swede or rutabaga which is sometimes referred to a yellow turnip; these are larger, grown in the fall and are a different plant altogether. No, the Boulle d’or is a true turnip with the same growth characteristics, general shape and texture of a white turnip.
What distinguishes the yellow turnip from the more common purple top white globed variety is its sweet mild flavor. It lacks the strong turnip taste that some people dislike in the paler vegetable and can be cubed, steamed and mashed either alone or in company with potatoes to create an interesting side dish.
And of course the greens of the yellow turnip are every bit as tasty and nutritious as are ordinary turnip greens.
It is not easy to find seeds for this variety but Baker Creek Seeds, to name one outlet stocks them along with many other heirloom, non GMO altered seed varieties.
Yellow turnips may be sown weeks before the last frost in the most ordinary of garden soils and will be ready for the table 50 to 60 days later. The greens may be selectively harvested even sooner. A second planting in the fall provides another harvest of these attractive veggies. The Boulle d’or tolerates mild frost well and will keep for weeks after harvest if stored in a cool, slightly humid environment.
Tasty, healthful, early and easy to grow the yellow turnip is a delightful change of pace in the home garden. Why not add a packet to your next seed order and enjoy their goodness by June?
Like what you see and want to come back? Just click “+ subscribe”, it’s easy and anonymous!