Boston seedsman John B. Russell sold seed in 1828 for a turnip called Swan’s Egg, which appears to be the immediate predecessor of White Egg. In fact, based on old descriptions, the two are essentially the same. It is a fall variety that remained popular throughout the nineteenth century because of its keeping qualities. True to its name, the turnip is both egg shaped and white, generally about the size of a goose egg. The flesh is snowy white, tender, and very juicy, since there seems to be a higher water content in this turnip than in many other varieties. The flavor is somewhat sweet, and so mild that the turnip can be eaten raw, at least when fresh from the garden. In storage, the flavor intensifies. It has been said that voles destroy the best things first, and something about this turnip makes it extremely attractive to them. Voles will seek it out even when other turnip varieties are nearby. Their fondness for this one may be turned to the gardener’s advantage, since the culls make excellent bait for vole traps.
From a nutritional standpoint the leaves are the most important part. They are rich in vitamins A, C, E, B6 and K folate, chlorophyll and some important phytochemicals (including isothiocyanates). They are also an excellent source of the minerals calcium, copper and manganese. In addition, turnip greens are an excellent source of dietary fiber.
The roots contain vitamin C, complex carbohydrates, soluble fiber, lysine and tryptophan.
Spacing: 4″ – 6″
Height: 14′′ – 22′′
Optimum Soil pH: 6.5 to 7
Days To Maturity: 45 -55
Sowing Method: Outdoors
Heirloom turnip seeds can be planted in early spring or early fall. Plant turnip seeds 1” apart and thin weakest seedlings to desired spacing. Keep soil evenly moist to prevent roots from getting woody. For longer harvest, stagger turnip plantings every 2-3 weeks.