Post last updated: December 31st, 2018

I don’t know everything I should know about gardening.  I am not a Master Gardener and I don’t want to contemplate becoming one because you have to do phone work afterwards to pay for their investment in you. Hate phone work.

It happens that when you don’t know what you should know about gardening, you garden mostly by experiment. Highly unscientific experiments that are probably the reason I have never once heard any of my friends suggest that I might be a genius.

For instance, when my turnip greens grew really large turnips, I no longer wanted to eat the turnip greens. I figured the greens were bitter or tough. I could have dug them up and started a new crop since turnips are a winter crop in Florida. I’m not real clear on why I didn’t do this. Maybe I thought it was too cold.

I was real clear, however, on the reason I left them in the ground. I wanted to see if the plants would act as weed prevention. Those square foot gardeners plant things close together on purpose. They call it “intensive” gardening but I think they’ve mentioned weed control, too. I wish I could remember stuff. Anyway, I decided it would be a good experiment to see if all those fluffy turnip greens would shade the ground and keep weeds from getting a leg up on me.

I’ll admit, it did help. Somewhere around the middle of March, I separated those fluffy turnip green leaves and found:

Turnip boobs !
Turnip boobs !

Evie is holding the two turnip boobs to help demonstrate the size of these turnips.

turnip boobs for size-2124
Turnip boobs after harvest

I don’t know what to call this one:

Caption ???
Anybody got an idea for a caption ???

With our wildly fluctuating weather – 30 today, 80 tomorrow – my bok choy and broccoli bolted. Like the turnips, they were left in the ground for weed prevention and food for the bees. Bees have such a hard time these days with pesticides that I like to help them out when I can.

Next thing I knew, the bok choy started producing seed pods like the end of the world was coming. Here are just a few of the branches filled with seed pods.

bok choy seed pods-2111
Ready for harvest

Over at Growing Food In Florida, the blogger suggested using bok choy in fresh salads because it is good both cooked and raw. An excellent idea since I’m fairly certain I now have a lifetime supply of bok choy seeds and might as well toss a few in the ground now and then. Just to see what happens when it’s the wrong season for them. I gotta keep up with my experiments even though no one thinks I’m a genius.

28 thoughts on “TURNIPS OUT OF CONTROL”

  1. I left turnips in overwinter. We planted really late, I thought I might get some greens off them, which we did. We have also had wonderful little turnips, they even survived the frost. Our weather has just become a little warmer and they seem to have sprung into life again leaf wise.

  2. Glo wants some of those seeds. I told her to email you. Those turnips were massive. I wish I ate that part of the turnip because I could have lived off those things for a year.

    1. You’ve got a point. That big old turnip, had it been edible — which I doubt — could have been cut up and thrown into some turnip soup. You could have revived the turnip soup periodically with a fresh hunk a meat and eaten that stuff for a year. They did that back in the olden days.

  3. I just like that I have enough seeds to make sprouts & eat them. This way you know for sure your seeds aint got any unwanted chemicals on them. Bok Choy is also like celery in that you can plant the root stump and another plant can grow from it. AND, no master gardener told me that either! I question the usefulness of what folks learn in that program. Not many of us care to know all about turfgrass for golf courses & stuff like that.

    1. I’ll be doggone! You mean to tell me I can sprout these bok choy seeds? Fer sure, fer sure, I know there are no chemicals on these seeds. I gotta get busy … better get out there tomorrow and harvest more seeds. I’m with you on not wantin’ to know a whole lot about turfgrass.

  4. I love turnips, Linda. I don’t know a lot about growing greens but I love to eat them. Susan could probably answer all of your questions about greens. Look, I don’t know about your gardening skills, but I know you are a fine writer, and a very nice person. The way I look at it if you throw in a little gardening you are a very special person. Love your stories!!!! Let’s cook those turnips and greens!!!!

  5. Yum! Bok Choy is better than lettuce in salads. That’s quite a fancy turnip you have there, too. I do so enjoy your garden ramblings – wish I could make things grow. I can kill philodendron and that’s supposed to be indestructible!


    1. Pat – I kill my fair share of stuff but I don’t let it bother me. I just try again. The website that talked about eating bok choy in salads was the first I’d heard of such a thing. You’ve been holding out on me!

  6. I think, amazingly enough, that you are a brilliant gardener!! I think experimenting is the best. BTW, when you have MG phone duty and you don’t know the answer, all you have to say is,” I don’t know, but I will be happy to find out for you”. Then you call them back once you’ve talked to a real smart person! Easy!!!
    Maybe you can share some of your bok choy seeds (along with your rock garden seeds) at the MGC plant exchange.:)

    1. Now Becky, you KNOW I would get all the weirdos whether it was a full moon or not. I’m just not gonna be a MG and that’s that. It’s funny you would mention my rock seeds. I just got a letter from the Grand Poobah and the last line of her letter said: “Keep watering your rocks … careful with the fertilizer and don’t prune them till they’re a foot tall.”

  7. Hilarious! I love the idea of bok choy setting seed pods like the end of the world is coming. In the event of a cataclysmic disaster, you NEED bok choy so you’ll be OK.

  8. Woah! I have some turnips that I don’t know what to do with already in my fridge (as part of a CSA veggie share from the local farm) – I can’t even imagine having that large of turnips to deal with! I’m thinking you need to have a turnip dinner party, you know, like one of those cooking shows where they make everything using the mystery ingredient. Turnip salad, turnip cutlets, turnip ice cream.. maybe you shouldn’t let your dinner guests know what you are serving before they get there, though…

    1. Well, Indie, if I had a turnip dinner party, it’s a cinch no one would ever again come for dinner at my house. Momma always said that overly-large turnips get pethy. I’m not real sure what that means since the word is not in the dictionary but I can assure you, judging from the grimace on her face, it ain’t good.

  9. You could just google around and find the Master Garden Notebook and look up things for yourself without having to take the course and do the phone thing. I don’t think they address the things you are learning for yourself, though. Your way is more interesting.

    1. More interesting, huh? That depends on whether you are you or me. Seems like I am forever in the middle of some sort of adventure that was not on my agenda. Many thanks for the tip on Master Gardener Notebook. I went looking for it and found it. Had no idea something like that existed on the web for all to see.

  10. I am very impressed with the outcome of your experiments! Not everyone can grow turnip boobs! By the way, I have some Kale in the big stone planter that stretches across the front of the house. We have been eating on it all winter, but now it is bolting and flower buds are forming. I thought it looked fine, until a guest asked me if i knew I had a giant weed growing by the font door!

    1. LOL – “not everyone can grow turnip boobs!” Ignore the ignorant guest. Leave those kale in there to make seeds for next year! I’ve got LOTS of bok choy seeds I’m saving for next year and hoping they will grow into something.

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