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Thursday, November 29, 2012

My Little Surprise Garden

turnips, planted three weeks ago

I had been  planning to plant something for the winter, anything, just anything. I had planted nothing all spring or summer, so this was my last shot. All the stores had no seeds. Southern States had three kinds--turnips,  basil, and something else. 
I need to take off the leaves, I think. 
4' x 4' bed with layers of chicken wire

Exbf pulled a few weeds for this project. This is where I put kitchen compost and  leaves from the hen pen.  The hens hop in and scratch up soil and weeds, depositing fertilizer. About six months before planting time, I put a stack of chicken wire over it to keep them from making more deposits. It should be fertile.

I just threw handsful of the tiny turnip seeds into the box and misted it well with the hose.
Finally, I saw one minuscule leaf. Then, on Monday, exbf reported two leaves. Today, there are four. I suppose they are turnip plants.
When the plants get a little bigger, I will take the stack of wire off the box. Elevating one layer of chicken wire will keep the wire from squashing the plants, keep the cats off, protect the turnip greens from hens.  I put the wire on in a whole piece because I don't want to cut the chicken wire, but I will now. A free bedsheet can be used for frost protection. They all lived through 26 degree weather last week, so I am not sure how much cold turnips can take.

Tomorrow, I will find bare spots where the Hosta died back, bare spots in flower beds and pots and plant more turnip seed. I really want there to be enough for me and the hens. On rainy or icy days, I tend to keep them in the pen to protect myself from the mud and ice.

Any suggestions? I have never grown turnip greens.    

Your turn
What other seeds can I plant for the winter? How do your turnips fare in the cold? Is this futile? I plan to leave the sheet on some days, sort of mini-greenhouse. Thoughts on that?    Is it okay to plant turnips in the Hosta bed and planter?          


  1. Way to go, Linda.

    If you could put a piece of wood in each corner to raise the height, then wrap the chicken wire around the whole box it might work better to keep the chickens out.

    Brassicas and kale are supposed to be good for winter. Good luck!

  2. Wendy,
    Thanks. Raising the chicken wire is part of the plan, but since the plants are teeny, that was/is not needed yet. This week or next? I am quite sure they would just hop on top of what I have now if they saw tasty turnips sticking through the chicken wire.

    I have to search for more seeds. Turnip seeds were the only ones I found. So, I need to search for brassicas at other stores.


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