My daughter planted a row of turnips and only the left-hand 50% have come
through to show some early leaf growth - the rest, nothing at all.
They don't use weedkillers so nothing has been applied by them to the
surface to prevent germination.
Any ideas what could cause such a weird effect?
Have they been covered with a floating row cover? Turnip (and its
cousins) are an irresistible spot for flies to lay their eggs. The
maggots will then hatch and feast on the roots.
If you're only getting 25% sprout rate then my other thought is that the
seeds are no good. Seeds also need to have good drainage but kept moist
at the same time. Too much H2O could have rotted the seeds in the ground
(which might explain why one side was decimated).
I plant mine in raised beds with a floating row cover tucked into the
sides. The row cover can stay on the turnip until they're ready to be
picked....removing it only to weed. You can water and fertilize through
the fabric. If you're planting in the ground, hill the soil so that
excess water/rain will drain away....but don't let it go dry to the
point that the soil is light brown and crumbly.
When they do grow, pick them when they're about the size of a
baseball/softball. If you leave them too long, they'll get a 'woody'
taste to them.
And it's probably not too late to try again. I can sometimes get two
plantings in our very short season.
Zone 5b in Canada's Far East.
We must change the way we live,
or the climate will do it for us.
I'll take a bet it's Flea Beatle. Very bad this year, despite dusting all
brassicas with Derris Dust as soon as the seedlings appear we have still
lost half out Turnips and a lot of Radishes with the remainder looking like
lace as do our planted out cabbages.
If you have never seen it look for tiny pin head sized little shiny black
dots that jump if you try to touch them.
I've given up trying to grow radishes in the garden due to Flea Beetle. I'm
lucky to get any before they are trashed.
Now I grow radishes in a seed tray of fresh potting compost, keeping the
tray on an old table out of reach of the ground. Has worked thus far. Pity I
can't use the same technique with turnips.
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