The Story of Goliath the Giant Turnip


I wanted to share with you, the story of Goliath, the giant turnip. You may remember from last week when I posted a “guess the weight” post. He turned out to be 6 pounds!

Goliath’s story as I know it, started back in March. My mom was helping to enable my seed collection, and knowing how much I wanted to grow Zucchini, she bought a pack of seeds. However, my mom does this thing where she never takes the first thing in a row at a store. For example, when buying a newspaper, she’ll take the second or third paper down the stack, not the top one. So when she bought me Zucchini seeds, she just grabbed the next seed pack and continued on with her shopping. As I am sure you have guessed by now, those were not zucchini seeds, but purple topped turnip seeds.


We had a very (unseasonably) nice spring here. But usually it snows… A lot… Especially on May long weekend. So the rule of thumb around here is to wait until after then to plant most things in the ground. I believe we put all our seeds in on May 30th.

We probably should have paid more attention to seed spacing, but the seeds are tiny, and we were tired after a long day at work, so just put the seeds in the drill and called it a day.


The forecast was calling for some rain so we didn’t worry too much about watering everything. We just hoped that it stayed as a rain forecast rather than changing to snow.

Our other issue in the early spring, was gophers. Although they didn’t seem to be too interested in the turnip seeds, they did eat most of the beet seeds.


I am going off on a tangent, so back to Goliath. He didn’t want to be like the other turnips, growing in the nice straight row. So he set out on his own and went rouge. He set up his growing area on the edge of the garden on the other side of the carrots, and set about spreading his wings, so to speak.

But in early summer, we had a garden decimating hail storm that wreaked havoc on everything. You can read about the devastating effects on my backyard garden in my quick hail post from July 6. Luckily, since we had planted this garden later, and it was less mature when the hail struck, most of our garden came right back, without too much trouble.


Goliath grew and grew and grew and grew. We thought about pulling him out when he got to be a respectable turnip size, but by that point we just wanted to see how big he was going to get. Every few days, we would go to check and be amazed at how much larger he had become. Every single time we were a little shocked at rate of growth.


We harvested the garden on September 11, and pulled Goliath at that time. He may not have been safe after all the other vegetables were gone, as sometimes a tractor makes its way through the garden. While he may have had a few more weeks to get even larger, We actually wanted to be able to harvest Goliath ourselves.


Above is the Pre-Harvest shot… Showing how far the greens expanded out… Probably nearly a 3 foot span. They even started to shade some of the carrots – You can see in the top of the photo.


An average sized Turnip sitting on top of Goliath. His butt-crack kind of makes it look like 2 turnips, but it is just massive Goliath. (Wow I actually used butt-crack in a sentence)


Out of the ground measuring… In this photo we were not around the widest part of the turnip… He was honestly, nearly 26 inches.


And finally… We chopped him in half. There was some little worm activity near the top greens and around the edges, but the centre was fine and turnip-y. He did, unfortunately end up on the compost pile, and not cooked. Mostly due to our busy schedules.

Who knew! Turnips are easy to grow! And fun to watch grow too! I will probably be planting some more again next year… Even if just for the amazement.

And in-case you are wondering, the other half of “we” in this post, is my good friend Cal. We are co-workers and gardening-buddies, and generally spend a lot of time together. You should read her blog too: We Get Outside


5 thoughts on “The Story of Goliath the Giant Turnip

    1. We have a relatively short growing season most years because you never really know when the snow will leave and when it will reappear… But next year I think we will plant most of our turnips a little later so they don’t get to be soooooo massive. But we will also probably try and get another giant

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