Production of Turnips and Rutabagas. Page: 1
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LEAFLET 142 U. S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
By W. R. BEATTIE, formerlyV sc)ior
hoticulturi. st, Crops Rese(irch Division,
Agrie/ultf iora RWescarch Serice
TURNI PS and rutabagas are anong thle iost commonly grown and
widely adapted root crops of the United States. Both are grown
as general farm crops, by market gardeners, and in home gardens.
Essentially cool-climate vegetables, they are grown widely in northern
Europe, inl (Great Britain, in Canada, and in the United States. Comilercial
production in the northern part of the United States centers
mainly around their use during the fall and winter for human consumption
and for livestock feeding. However, truck-growing areas
in the South produce turnil)s and turnip greens at all seasons, and in
the Southern States turnips are one of the standard home garden
crops, especially for greens. Rutabagas are not adapted to the South.
Turnips and rutabagas are members of the Cruciferae or mustard
family and belong to the genus Braxsica. To this extent they are
related to cabbage and cauliflower, but they belong to distinct species,
tle turnip being B. rapa and the rutabaga B. napobrassica. Turnips
resemble rutabagas in size of plant, in general size and shape of root,
and in flesh colors. They differ chiefly in leaf characters and in minor
details of root shape and structure. Turnip leaves are usually light
green, thin, and hairy, whereas those of the rutabaga are bluish, thick
like cabbage, and smooth. Turnip roots generally have little or no
neck and a distinct talproot, while rutabagas often are slightly more
elongated alnd have a thick leafy neck and roots arising from the
under side as well as from the taproot. Analyses show rutabagas to
be somewhat higher in total dry matter and total digestible nutrients.
Neither is as high in sugar content as the table beet, sugar beet, halfsugar
mangel, or the mangel-wurzel.
Turnips and rutabagas are essentially cool-climate crops and make
their most vigorous root growth at relatively low growing temperatures
regardless of date of seeding. Both are resistant to frost and
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Beattie, W. R. (William Renwick), b. 1870. Production of Turnips and Rutabagas., book, February 1958; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1817/m1/1/: accessed July 16, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.