(Brassica rapa) Turnip is native to western Asia and Europe, used for its leaves, roots, and occasionally its blossoms, and as a fodder crop since at least Roman times. Turnips are under-appreciated by today’s gardeners, but, properly grown, they make a superb storage crop for use through the winter. Technically a biennial, it is grown as an annual for its swollen stem/root.The turnip is believed to have been introduced to Japan in 700 AD. Japanese turnips are quicker to mature and more mild in flavor, and they are steadily becoming one of the most sought after cool season root vegetables. Direct sow in early spring and mid/late summer for fall harvest. Ideal germination temperature is 45-85F. Seeds germinate in 4-7 days. Sow seeds 1/4- 1/2 inch deep into ordinary garden soil, well worked and free of stones. Grow in full sun to part shade. Thin to stand 6 inches apart; thinnings may be used as greens. Roots are ready in between 35 and 70 days, depending upon the variety, and may be stored in the fridge, an unheated garage, root cellar, or right in the ground if properly mulched.