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Turnips in shallow containers for a super early crop

Plant Indoors for an Early crop
Plant Indoors for an Early crop
R. MacGregor

Growing or hardiness zone 6 gardens are still not ready to be worked, not only is the soil still frozen solid; the ground itself is covered with many inches of crusty snow! What is a gardener to do?

A gardener who likes turnips, kohlrabi’s, beets, or radishes can get a jump on the season simply by starting the seeds, not for transplant, but as a crop, right on the window ledge.

A local gardener has done just that with yellow or Boule d’or turnips, a mild yet tasty variety with lush healthy greens. Filling a standard commercial plastic tote with a mixture of his own compost and garden soil, this enterprising and turnip loving fellow stored the container in his garage over winter.

If you try this at home don’t forget to drill drainage holes in the bottom.

The interior dimensions of this particular container are “20” x 14” x 9” deep and this is enough to grow a half dozen kohlrabi, a dozen beets or turnips, and many radishes. It is just a bit too shallow to grow any carrots other than the round variety, but you can fit nearly as many of that sort in as radishes.

Simply allow the plants to develop and as the weather mellows, just take the containers outdoors to a sunny location. This gardener fully expects to harvest yellow turnips a full month (at least) ahead of his neighbor who will be direct seeding theirs into the garden soil.

What could be wrong with that?

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