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Growing turnip in my garden

Growing turnip this beautiful just makes me feel so happy! This particular variety was very common in the past here in Scandinavia, but we haven't forgotten about it in my garden.

Två lila svedjrovor ligger på en sten i skarpt solljus. Growing turnip, sunlight

I finally started growing turnip in my garden. These Nordic turnips have a more distinct flavor than the regular turnips that are more common today. It tastes like a combination of regular turnip and rutabaga.


I got to taste a specific type of pan-fried turnip (common for slash-and-burn cultivation up here in Scandinavia), for the first time a few years ago. I absolutely loved it! The beautiful root vegetable tastes wonderful when cooked. It took a few years before I managed to get ahold of seeds though, and I bought my first seeds this winter.

My first attempt was a winter sowing, which sadly didn't amount to much. I tried again in spring, I put the plants among the asparagus and then forgot about them. Summer came along and it was time to mulch the asparagus with grass clippings and I was very surprised to see that all of my turnips had survived despite the heat and drought. It made me so happy to see! I recently harvested my first turnips from my garden.


Cabbage root fly larvae

I noticed that the turnip was covered with little bumps. I didn't know what they were at first, but I later discovered that they housed cabbage root fly larvae. You can tell that it's cabbage root fly and not cabbage moth by the color of the larvae, the cabbage fly larvae are white and the cabbage moth larvae are black/yellow. The larvae where funnily enough only living in the bumps and the root itself was in good condition.

As mentioned earlier, I don't have much experience eating this type of turnip. Whenever I use a new vegetable in the kitchen, I always try to make something I'm familiar with. Pan-fried turnip is like I mentioned before really tasty, so I will keep on experimenting with that. I have read that something fatty goes well with the sharp and slightly bitter taste.


Read about growing cabbage: Growing pointed cabbage


I'm going to try to make coleslaw and soup with this turnip. Or perhaps simply boil it in vegetable stock and serve it with a chanterelle stew and fresh vegetables. Sounds pretty great in my opinion!



I sowed some more of these turnips in June, in the north-facing part of my garden. Have you tried growing turnip in your own garden? Do you have any tips? Let me know in the comments below!
/Sara Bäckmo


02. August 2021