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  • Storing Turnips: Problem

    This is my first time trying to save turnip seeds. I've read about how to do it, cut the tops to about 2" and store them in sand over the winter. My problem is: I harvested the turnips in early November, and stored them in a covered crate of sand in the basement. I was down there the other day and noticed the lid was coming off. After I opened the lid I was surprised to see ALL the turnips are resprouting! What is going on?? Is it too warm down there? Are they saveable yet? Or do I have to start over next year? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.....Jeff

  • #2
    I'll venture an answer, though I don't have any experience with it as I overwinter turnips in the ground. I'd suggest temperature as the culprit. Too warm so they didn't go into dormancy. I'm pretty sure they won't be any good for seed saving now. For next season, is there any chance you could just mulch them heavily and leave them in the garden over winter?
    Sorry I can't be of more help.

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    • #3
      Thaks for the response Ray, That's what I was afraid of. The problem with overwintering in my area is rodents, I've left beets in the ground and mulched them only to find them hollowed out in the spring. I guess if I dug down some hardware cloth several inches maybe it would work. It does get below zero around here alot in the winter.

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      • #4
        Get a large Rubbermaid or similar storage container and bury it to the top. Use either sawdust or very dry sand to pack around the turnips. Put the lid on and cover it with a pile or large bag of leaves or bale of straw or hay. One can do the same with beets, carrots, mangels, parsnips, and rutabagas. All those are currently in a 28-gallon container and being used as needed in the kitchen. They all easily keep until May.

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        • #5
          What WI LO M said.

          You could also (maybe next year...if you have the ambition) use a small (or large) "dead" refrigerator (compressor and "guts" removed (environmental))...buried with the door facing up and some rocks and gravel underneath for drainage.

          A refrigerator is nice because they come in many sizes, have a sealing door, have a certain amount of insulation which will helps to moderate temperatures and you can leave a couple of shelves in for separators. Oh, and they're usually free and pretty much rodent proof, too. An instant root cellar.

          Even with an insulated refrigerator, you will still have to cover the door with bags of leaves or hay bales because of your location.

          If/when you decide to do this, don't forget to remove the lock and latch for child safety. Charlie

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          • #6
            The Rubbermaid container is one of two ways that I store such things. I mentioned that method only because of the potential rodent problem. Second is a shallow pit or depression dug into the center of an 8x8 raised bed. Into that went some yellow collard plants, several heads of cabbage, Eastham turnips, and Golden Eckendorf mangels. They are under a pile of loose leaves which in turn is covered with 4 bags of leaves. I especially want the yellow collards to survive since they have refused to set seed in the 3 years that I've grown them.

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            • #7
              did you toss em yet?

              don't
              just get some dirt in a pot or flower box
              they'll be fine!
              can use cut milk jugs for safety covering
              this will work in basement area that has light

              these threads have my posts with pictures of alternate growing suggestions
              notice the many uses of the large flower box

              http://forums.seedsavers.org/showthr...1373#post11373

              http://forums.seedsavers.org/showthread.php?t=1943

              http://forums.seedsavers.org/showthread.php?t=1314

              http://forums.seedsavers.org/showthread.php?t=1067

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              • #8
                Two days ago, brought in cabbage, carrots, and parsnips from under almost a foot of white ice. All as fresh as when they were stored. Wife did inform me that she didn't want to wrestle another 25# head of Megaton cabbage this winter!

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                • #9
                  At my job years ago there were a bunch of old farmers that worked there,
                  Many a time in the middle of winter they told me to pull over by one of their friends fields, grab a shovel and c'mon kid and walk out into the field.
                  Out in the field he would find burlap sticking out of the ground and he'd say dig here. They would dig a trench, line it with burlap bags, fill it with turnips, cover it with burlap and bury them.
                  My Mom wondered when I came home in the middle of winter with Turnips from work!

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                  • #10
                    I didn't toss them. I figured maybe they never went dormant yet, so I put them out on a colder enclosed porch, hoping I can still plant them this spring. Thanks for all the ideas!

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                    • #11
                      Just a note, when your seed pods start to dry, snip off the branches as they do so. Each branch, twig, matured at different rates. I tried waiting for the whole stalk to ripen. I had shattered seed pods EVERYWHERE!!!

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                      • #12
                        Ok. Thanks Greenfinger. Sounds similar to what I do with radish seeds, except they don't shatter, so Thanks!

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                        • #13
                          Do you have a shed???????????????

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                          • #14
                            Yes, I do. That's where I hang some of my seeds to dry.

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                            • #15
                              They definitely would have passed from active growing to dormant without having given an appearance of totally dying. As soon as the roots were no longer taking up moisture and nutrients, that was the trigger to shut that part down and prepare to produce seeds. When you plant them back into the soil, they will resume growth and bolt to seed. You might want to space them about 3' apart. If you think that a tiny radish can become a big plant, wait until you see what a turnip can become!

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