Turnip – Purple Top Milan

Purple Top Milan is a heritage vegetable seed first developed in the 1880’s and still extremely popular. It has a slightly squat appearance but a wonderful pinky purple top fading to cream. It also has a good flavour.

You can sow turnips all year round although those sown from September to February will need frost protection. The important thing to remember is that they are a brassica, although a fast maturing one and you would need to consider this in your crop rotation.

Sow thinly 1- 2 cm deep in rows spaced 25cm apart where they are to grow. They will germinate quite quickly. Thin to one every 10 cm. Thinning’s can be eaten! If you want to eat the tops you will need to cover with insect mesh to prevent flee beetle. Late sowings are not affected.

In the kitchen: You can eat nearly all of a turnip. Thinning’s can be used in salads, older leaves stir fried or steamed. The roots can be steamed, boiled or roasted. I prefer not to peel purple top Milan because of the pretty purple colour. Flavour wise if you have not eaten turnip they have a slightly peppery taste, similar but not quite as hot as radish. Purple Top Millans taste is a good as turnips will really get although I can’t say that I notice much difference between the varieties. This is a good one to grow though if you like heritage vegetables or want to avoid F1 seeds.

Plant health and yield: I’ve never had any problems with turnips, except for flee beetle. Purple Top Millan is on par with other turnips but perhaps a little slower growing than some of the new varieties.

Grow again: This is a trusted favourite.