Turnip-rooted chervil is a delicious root vegetable with a delicate and subtle taste reminiscent of chestnuts.
Top Turnip-rooted chervil facts
Name – Chaerophyllum bulbosum
Family – Apiaceae (parsley family)
Type – root vegetable, biennial
Height – 12 to 16 inches (30 to 40 cm)
Exposure – full sun
Soil – rich and cool, well drained
Sowing – November
Harvest – summer
Apart from its flesh used in cooking, it’s also interesting because root chervil is quite easy to care for and grow.
Sowing turnip-rooted chervil
Before delving into the sowing of your turnip-rooted chervil, check that your seeds are recent. You must absolutely be certain of having seeds that are very fresh, or they will never sprout.
Season for sowing turnip-rooted chervil
Sowing turnip-rooted chervil is best in fall, no earlier than November and you can even extend it up to the month of December.
- Break up the earth to a depth of around 8 inches (20 cm), and, best case scenario, add dehydrated manure or compost a few days earlier.
- Mark the rows every 12 inches (30 cm).
- Sow one seed every 1 inch (2 to 3 cm), more or less.
- Cover the seeds with a thin layer of light earth (eventually blended with soil mix).
- Watering using a gentle spray.
When sowing in spring, spread the seeds in a pot in a blend of soil mix and sand, and store it in the refrigerator for about a fortnight.
This cool period will help trigger seed germination. Sow.
Sprouting of turnip-rooted chervil
Turnip-rooted chervil requires a long dormant period during the cool winter before starting to sprout.
Sprouting thus happens in the following spring.
- Starting in spring, water regularly but not too much every time the ground is dry.
- Thin to about 4 inches (10 cm), keeping only the most vigorous sprouts.
Caring for turnip-rooted chervil
Turnip-rooted chervil requires little care. The only relevant care is the same as for all other plants, like regular weeding.
As for watering, it helps to water even in spring and later whenever rainfall is insufficient.
- So run the hoe along the ground regularly and water in case of high temperatures and prolonged dry spells.
- Water regularly, especially in hot weather, because water needs are high.
Harvesting turnip-rooted chervil
Turnip-rooted chervil harvest is in summer, most often starting in June and until August.
If you’ve decided to sow in spring, harvest will be in fall.
Best time to collect your turnip-rooted chervil
- Wait for the leaves to turn yellow and start falling to the ground.
- Once the foliage has died down, pull out the roots and dry them directly on the ground.
- You’ll have to wait for a few weeks before being able to eat your turnip-rooted chervil.
Storing turnip-rooted chervil
Once properly dried, you can remove the leaves that grow from the turnip-rooted chervil crown.
- Brush off excess dirt from the turnip-rooted chervils with care.
- Store the turnip-rooted chervil in crates with a bit of sand.
- Let the turnip-rooted chervil roots mature for 1 or 2 months before eating.
When purchased from the greengrocer’s or in a supermarket, turnip-rooted chervil will keep in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator for a few days.
Diseases and parasites attacking turnip-rooted chervil
Turnip-rooted chervil is quite resistant, but it sometimes falls victim to red spider mites and aphids.
Turnip-rooted chervil is occasionally hit by the carrot fly, but it doesn’t do much damage. The best way to avoid it is to pair the plant with repellent companion plants.
Companion vegetables for turnip-rooted chervil
Cooking with turnip-rooted chervil
Turnip-rooted chervil has no connection at all to the common herb that shares its name, chervil.
Turnip-rooted chervil is appreciated for its flesh that tastes a bit like hazelnuts with a sweet touch.
This root crop can be cooked in various manners, a bit like potatoes. It must be cooked, either as a side to meat or fish, or mashed for puree and soup.
Smart tip about turnip-rooted chervil
In warmer climates, feel free to mulch the soil in spring to retain soil moisture and coolness in the ground.