Turnip greens

Turnip greens

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How to manage irrigation

Turnip greens take root more easily in the presence of a mild climate. Irrigation care is an aspect to be taken into great consideration, both for those who opt for pot cultivation (not very widespread, due to the large size that the adult plant takes) and for those who decide to plant the crop in the garden or in the garden. The soil must be moist from the moment of transplanting; it is advisable, therefore, to water the soil in a constant manner but without exceeding, until taking root. In the next phase we must water the plants with equal constancy, paying great attention also to atmospheric agents and rains: it is necessary, in fact, to remove any crusts formed on the surface and avoid stagnation which would lead to yellowing of the leaves.

Cultivation and care

Turnip greens prefer a mild climate, therefore the type of cultivation will also depend on the geographical position. In colder areas, the ideal time for sowing runs from June to the end of summer; in the warmer areas, instead, it lasts until October-November, depending on the temperatures. The cultivation of turnip greens can take place in pots or in the vegetable garden: in the first case, it will be necessary to obtain a large pot, as the seeds will be placed at a distance of about 20-30 cm from each other, and the adult plant will reach large dimensions, with a height that can extend from 40 cm up to a meter. It is not necessary to use a soil of particular quality, it will be sufficient to use a medium-textured soil, provided it is well drained. The plants will be harvested 50-80 days after sowing, when the inflorescences are formed but the flowers are not yet open.

How and when to fertilize

During the cultivation of turnip greens it is advisable to avoid excessive fertilization, which can damage the development of the plant and the taste of the fruit. Furthermore, it is essential to avoid using nitrogenous fertilizers at the time of sowing, because their accumulation can cause damage to health. Before planting, you can distribute mature manure or compost; it would be preferable, however, to plant turnip greens after a cultivated manure, so that they can draw nutrients from the already cultivated soil. At a later stage, to promote plant growth and development, additional tools can be used, such as mineral superphosphate-19, ammonium nitrate-26 or potassium sulfate-50. The use of nitrogen is recommended only in case of cultivation in particularly poor soils or sparse crops, which struggle to develop and, in any case, should only be used when the crop is already in place.

Turnip greens: Possible diseases and remedies

Turnip greens can be grown without the need for pesticides. The enemies that threaten this plant are few and insidious, but not too difficult to eliminate. The first threat is constituted by cavolaia, a moth whose larvae feed on the softest part of the plant, leaving excrements that lead it to rot. Eggs can be removed manually, or natural methods (such as tansy) or specific chemicals can be used. Even the aphids can infest the plants of turnip greens, leading to the death of the same thanks to their rapid reproduction and the consequent colonization of the host organism. Also in this case you can resort to the use of chemical substances or you can serve some "friendly" animals like ladybugs, beetles or birds (in particular, swallows). Finally, it is useful to mention alternariosis, caused by a fungus called Alternaria. This disease manifests itself with the appearance of black spots on the leaves and can be eradicated with copper-based treatments.