Godless in the garden


Godless in the garden

Discussing all aspect of gardening.

Location: Planet Earth
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Comment by kathy: ky on November 14, 2016 at 9:27pm
Thanks Joan and Daniel. I know I'll miss a years blooms but one of them has grown over twelve ft tall. It's full and bushey at the top but the base is rather narrow. If I don't prune it back this year I'm afraid it will break under the weight of the next blooms. I figured it's better to do it while it's dormant. Ive never seen ome grow so top heavy before. Its not making new shoots at the bottom. I have three others that I've decided to leave alone.
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2016 at 7:26pm

The picked turnip recipe is in Epicurious, too; there are many recipes there and I have not tried tem. These two recipes are basically from my Grandma.

There are many more in Epicurious: 


Grandma also made a turnip slaw, just as you would make Cole slaw. It was something like this:

TOTAL TIME: Prep: 10 min. + chilling
MAKES: 4 servings

Turnip Slaw 


  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet red pepper
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups shredded peeled turnips


  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients except turnips. Pour over turnips and toss well to coat. Refrigerate several hours for flavors to blend. Yield: 4 servings.
Comment by Bertold Brautigan on November 14, 2016 at 6:58pm

That sounds great, Joan. I love leeks and cannellinis are my favorite bean.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2016 at 6:47pm

This is from Epicurious and is similar to Grandma Whitehead's recipe. 


Leek and Cannellini Bean Soup


Yield4 servings


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks
  • 1 cup chopped carrots
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup diced turnip
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 6 cups chicken stock or water
  • 1 1/2 (14-to 16-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (about 2 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano cheese


  • 1. In a large pot, put 1/4 cup of the oil over high heat and heat until it shimmers. Add the leeks and sauté for 2 minutes.
  • 2. Add the carrots, celery, turnip, and salt and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and bring the soup to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 20 minutes.
  • 3. Add the cannellini beans and simmer for another 2 minutes.
  • 4. Ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle each portion with cheese and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil.
Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2016 at 6:02pm

Daniel, turnips are a delicious vegetable, especially in the early summer when I pull up one, wash it off and take slices with my trustworthy shielded knife and a sprinkle of salt from a shaker I keep for that purpose. I take a small bucket of water from the kitchen faucet so I know it is slug free. 

This recipe comes from my Grandma Whitehead

Turnips, pickled: 

YIELD:  Makes 1 quart


  • 1 small red beet, trimmed, peeled, quartered
  • 1 red chile (such as Fresno),halved lengthwise (optional)
  • 1 pound small turnips, trimmed, peeled, quartered
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  • Combine beet, chile (if using), and turnips in a 1-quart heatproof jar or container.
  • Bring vinegar, salt, sugar, and 1 1/2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar.
  • Pour pickling liquid over turnip mixture and let cool. Cover and chill at least 1 week before using.
  • Do ahead: Turnip mixture can be pickled 4 weeks ahead. Keep chilled.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 14, 2016 at 5:46pm
Comment by Daniel W on November 14, 2016 at 10:23am

Joan, or Randy or anyone else - do you know any good ways to cook turnips?  They are in season now.

Ning says there are some Korean methods.  There are lots of turnips.  I'm leaving them in the ground for a while.  I hope the slugs don't eat them.

Maybe just roast with other root crops, and some onions?

I went beyond my experience with late summer seed planting, which is good.  My mother used to cook turnips like mashed potatoes.  I didn't like them then, probably would now.

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 13, 2016 at 9:01pm

Randy, your style of composting matches mine. I have done that for more years than I want to admit. I did an experiment years ago when I cut down corn stocks, piled them up and then started throwing other trimmings on top. I checked the corn stocks a year later and they were almost composted. I left them another year and couldn't tell the corn stocks from the zucchini and squash vines, all turned to black gold.. 

Any squash I don't eat, I cut open for the birds to feed on at the bird feeder station. By spring, there is nothing identifiable left. 

Comment by Daniel W on November 13, 2016 at 9:22am

Joan, having strong young people do the work does more than help you.  It teaches them how to do something valuable that they did not already know.  I know lots of people who send their leaves and trimmings to the recycle center, and buy compost made from trimmings and leaves.

Randy, I'm just as random as you are about it.  It's kind of a mess.  I have room for the mess.  I piled up blackberrry prunings into stacks as high as I am tall, in a hidden edge of my property.  They will need 2 years of rain to decompose, but then will be nice compost.

Kathy, Joan is right about the lilacs.  I prune them after they bloom, or if I can't wait I try to just prune half of the excess stems, then do the other half after they bloom.

Stubborn Belgian :-)  My mom called my dad a stubborn bullheaded German.  There is someone who I sometimes call a stubborn bullheaded Chinese guy :-)

Comment by Randall Smith on November 13, 2016 at 7:14am

Speaking of composting: I have 3 piles in different locations. Unfortunately, I don't leave any one pile alone to do its thing. I keep tossing leaves, grass clippings, etc. on top of each because of convenience, depending on where I am in the yard. I need to remove the top uncomposted layers and shovel out the bottom and spread on the garden. Sounds like a good thing to do today! That and remove tomato plants that died two nights ago in our first freeze of the season.


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