Aptly named, Market Express is extremely quick maturing. A very small, pure white turnip that can be ready in as little as 30 days after sowing when the roots will be golf ball-sized or harvest in 40 days or when roots reach 4-5in diameter. Mild and sweet, it grows well in cold climates.
A very popular Japanese type turnip with tender, smooth, white flesh and a good flavour. Oriental turnips are mainly eaten when very young. They can be eaten raw in salad or pickled or added to stir-fry, soups, stews and curries. The young green tops may be stir-fried or used in soup.
Prepare the site: All brassica crops grow best in partial-shade, in firm, fertile, free-draining soil. Start digging over your soil in autumn, removing any stones you find and working in plenty of well-rotted manure or compost. Because they are fast growing, they require a higher level of fertility. Ideally the soil should have been manured for a previous crop and the pH level should be around neutral. Like most brassicas they do not like an acid soil so add lime to the soil if necessary. A week or so before sowing provide a general purpose fertiliser like fish, blood & bone. Tread on the soil to remove any air pockets and make the surface very firm.
Timing: Sowing can start as early as late February under cloches and run through to August. Sow in succession for pulling as required, use for both for summer and winter respectively. As they grow on they become less tender and flavoursome so successional sowing every two weeks ensures that a constant supply of young and sweet turnips can be provided.
Sowing: Sow seeds 12mm (½in) deep and rows should be spaced 15cm (6in) apart. The seeds should be sown thinly, as this reduces the amount of future thinning necessary and potential risk from pests. Rake in lightly. Water a little and often in dry weather. Because they are fast growing, it is important to start thinning as soon as possible. If they are allowed to crowd, decent roots will not develop. Thin to 75mm (3in), so that they don’t touch (Thinnings can be eaten as greens.) If growing turnips for greens only, do not thin out. Turnips are a relatively trouble free crop, cultivation is mainly a matter of keeping them weed free and watering in dry periods to avoid woody texture and split skins. Maincrop varieties that are sown in July and August require a larger spacing, 25cm (10in), to allow the larger root to develop for harvesting in November and December.
Harvesting: Turnips can be harvested at any size during the growing season, but is normally harvested when they are 3 to 5cm (1 to 2in) in diameter, otherwise the roots are ready 10 to 12 weeks after sowing. If growing for greens cut when 10 to 15cm (4 to 6in) high and leave to resprout. Flavour and texture reduce in quality if allowed to grow larger then this.
Rotation: Rotate your crops, planting brassicas, of any kinds, in the same ground more often than once every four years runs the risk of club root infestation and once you have it, the ground is useless for up to a decade. Don't take needless chances, even with catch crops of radishes.
Culinary Uses: Turnip tops can be used as a green vegetable and very young leaves can be used in a salad. They are sweet and delicious to eat raw or steamed. Young, golf ball sized, turnips can be grated and eaten raw in salads. The smaller bulbs can be boiled whole for around 25 to 30 minutes. Main crops will require peeling before boiling, treat as swedes. Enjoy them mashed, roasted, in soups and casseroles. To freeze, peel and dice, blanch for two minutes, plunge into cold water, drain and dry with paper towel, pack in meal sized amounts. Both roots and green tops are high in vitamin C and fibre. Turnips retain their nutrients well when cooked.
|Average Seed Count||200 Seeds|
|Cultivar||Market Express F1|
|Synonym||Japanese Type, White Turnip|
|Common Name||Turnip: Japanese Type|
|Other Common Names||Other|
|Natural Flower Time||No|
|Time to Harvest||30-45 days from sowing|
|Soil||Well-drained/light, Clay/heavy, Chalky/alkaline, Dry|
|Time to Sow||July / August onwards|