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The turnip greens they are one of the favorite vegetables of Italians and… cultivating them is not at all difficult as you might think at first!
So if you intend to enrich your autumn garden with beautiful turnip greens, all you have to do is read the in-depth study we wanted to dedicate today on this topic!
When to sow turnip greens
The first thing you need to understand when you approach the time to prepare your own vegetable garden with turnip greens it is linked to identifying the right time for sowing. As a rule, direct sowing or in seedbeds in Italy can be done between the end of July and that of September. In order to identify the right week, however, it will be necessary to evaluate one's own reference territory and the variety chosen.
Precisely for this reason, it can be remembered that in the northernmost regions it is usually preferred to sow varieties that tend to be early, sowing in August, in order to finish the cultivation cycle before the arrival of winter frosts. On the other hand, in the southern regions, which are characterized by a milder climate, sowing is delayed at the end of September.
How to carry out the sowing of turnip greens
To sow turnip greens a double modality can be used.
The first method of sowing turnip greens consists in the so-called direct sowing, broadcast. This is a technique that is generally reserved for those who want to quickly cover large areas of land, and is performed by distributing the seed evenly on the ground, then burying with the help of a rake, keeping a few centimeters deep.
If you realize that the plants are growing too close together, you can proceed with moving a part of them towards the more uncovered areas. It is also usually preferred to proceed with broadcast sowing when the ground is wet thanks to the first rains of late summer or early autumn, avoiding to proceed in a climate of full heat.
Alternatively, you can proceed with the heeding in seedbeds with subsequent transplant. Indicated in the hottest periods, to be able to do it you can use polystyrene trays, where to make a hole a few millimeters, where to store the seed.
Approximately 20-25 days after sowing the plants will be ready to be transplanted. Considering that the sowing will be carried out in the summer, it follows that the transplant time will take place during the month of September or October, when there should no longer be any irrigation problems, thanks to the arrival of autumn.
As for the spacing of the seedlings, a lot depends on the turnip variety i intend to sow. In general, a distance of about 10-15 centimeters from each other may be sufficient, while for some varieties (such as sixty) it may take up to 20 centimeters, and for late varieties, even 40 centimeters.
Harvesting of turnip greens
Then moving on to collection of turnip greens, the right time is usually when the flowers are well formed, but still closed. In fact, the beginning of flowering indicates that it is good to accelerate the times in order to proceed with the harvest: as the days go by, the flowering will become more and more intense and increasingly difficult to manage.
It is precisely for this reason that it is advisable to proceed with a gradual sowing, thus being able to manage different maturations, and avoiding all the turnip greens from flowering at the same time, making the harvest more complex.
Let us also remember that not only the broccoli are consumed from the plant, but also the leaves, which are cleaned simply by removing the central ventura and the stem.
Cure of turnip greens against parasites
Turnip greens are generally very resistant, and therefore they are not particularly prone to give in to attacks by parasites and other external agents. Of course, this does not mean that you shouldn't pay some attention to their health and well-being!
In particular, one of the most dangerous enemies of turnip greens is certainly represented by snails, which could attack this plant, ending up infesting it in a very harmful way. However, enemy number 1 is represented by the cabbage, or rapaiola, a moth belonging to the family Pieridae and that it can damage the turnip greens when it reaches the larval state: the larvae of this insect feed on leaves, with what derives from this in terms of the sustainability of our delicious cultivation.
Fortunately, there is a lot we can do with him too. You can act, for example with a natural preparation based on tomato macerate, or by applying a specific or biological insecticide.