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Hollow Turnips: Boron deficiency, Brown heart?

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Hollow Turnips: Boron deficiency, Brown heart?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/20/2016, 12:07 am

My turnips last year had a small hollow spot in them. I find two options online. One, slugs - but there's no access tunnel; I really don't think that's what happened in my case. Two, "brown heart" due to boron deficiency... Has anyone seen brown heart to be able to say if that's what the problem is? Or had hollow turnips? Nothing was mushy so I don't think it's a severe deficiency and I know boron has to be added very carefully... Maybe this just some sort of uneven growth issue?
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Re: Hollow Turnips: Boron deficiency, Brown heart?

Post  sanderson on 4/20/2016, 11:26 pm

It looks like no one has an answer.

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Re: Hollow Turnips: Boron deficiency, Brown heart?

Post  plantoid on 4/21/2016, 4:55 am

If you get some more like that can you slice one in half from top to bottom take a picture or two & post them onth thread , so we can see a complete sectional view .

 If it is slugs or other grubs / creatures attacking the flesh early on , the insides will be scalloped and scabbed over ( normally ) .

 If you can grow cauliflowers in your beds it's not likely to be a boron deficiency as they need it to produce good heads of flower l.  Same with dark green cabbages if you can grow those well  boron is present in reasonable quantities .

 I myself  think it may also in part  be a watering issue where it started to get enough water for a while then went through a sudden dry period of a few weeks & then had it resolved . I have had similar parsnip & turnip root form shapes on some of the ball rooted parsnips in our veg beds when I was setting the automatic watering system up & before I purchased a decent long moisture testing probe .

I guess that in the dry period the plant shuts down goes hard and dense internally ,  then suddenly expands with quick growth when it gets the water it needs thus causing the internal splitting . Carrots suffer a similar splitting fate , so if your carrots are split top to bottom or part split you may well have the complete solution .

As an add on bit of info..
This last four years I've been giving an annual just before planting out dressing in the  my veg & flower beds a liberal sprinkling of Epsom salts & a dose of borax solution every other year , to ensure that boron & magnesium is there specifically to grow my caulies & give the flowers that little extra depth of colour. prior to doing that I couldn't get the caulies to produce a sensible curd . It is suppose to be released if you use dung based manures in your composting but there didn't appear to be enough in mine despite the nine or so different animal dungs c/w associated beddings I used when making my composts from scratch for all our 21 new beds .

Apply household borax at a rate 1 tablespoon Borax to 12 quarts of water prior to planting & then the second dose after planting.
This amount will treat a 100 foot row of vegetables or 10 square feet of soil. Apply two times 2-3 weeks apart.


 If you put , "  Boron deficient turnips " into Google and look  in the images part, you'll see classic pictures of how a Boron deficiency affects your crops.
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Re: Hollow Turnips: Boron deficiency, Brown heart?

Post  Scorpio Rising on 4/21/2016, 7:18 pm

I, too, would need to see a cross-sectional cut to make a call.  It doesn't fit with slug damage.  And honestly, the images of brown heart/boron deficiency do not match what you have pics of.  Did you cut into the turnips?  What did it look like?  Was the overal texture affected? Pithy?  Was it super hot or uneven water especially early on? thinking


Last edited by Scorpio Rising on 4/21/2016, 7:19 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo)
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Re: Hollow Turnips: Boron deficiency, Brown heart?

Post  BeetlesPerSqFt on 4/21/2016, 11:38 pm

The photo in my first post (if it’s not visible, let me know… ) is of one sliced one in half from top to bottom, with the top oriented to the top. The chopped pieces are from another turnip I cut up (with the same issue, before it occurred to me to take a pic.) The hollow wasn’t what I’d call scabby. More.. fibrous? This was months ago, so I don’t have clear recall… There might have been some pithiness near the stem , but over-all the flavor and texture of the turnip were fine (yum!)  The variety is Golden Globe.  Here's a closeup of part of the hollow:



I haven’t tried cauliflowers yet – this year will be my first.  I actually wasn’t successful with green cabbages last year, but the problem could have been starting at an awkward  time season-wise and/or getting shaded out by the kale.  I haven’t tried carrots in my beds yet – those will be a semi-first for me this year, too. (Grew in a 5-gal bucket last year;  had great germination, but very slow growth, probably insufficient sun+ not enough time before frost; different growing mix.)   

My journal says I direct sowed June 24th, and I did have two weeks near the beginning of July where I was only able to water once. But I don’t recall what the weather was, so I don't know whether it was dry of hot. I, also, looking back through my notes, had issues with wilting that I eventually attributed to cabbage root maggots (I smooshed quite a few pupae when I was preparing my beds in the fall/spring.)

I have Epsom salts, but I don’t recall whether I bought Borax when I had the ant problem, and if I did, where I put it when I moved…   I should probably give the cauliflower seedlings a smidge of Epsom salts; they aren’t quite right.  My ANSFG beds were initially practically vegetarian (i.e  no-low manure) so I wouldn’t have gotten much boron from manure. I stirred in composted manures and mushroom compost (manure’s once-removed cousin) to top off my beds this year. 
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Re: Hollow Turnips: Boron deficiency, Brown heart?

Post  plantoid on 4/22/2016, 6:06 am

Once a crack starts in the root crop  or brassica stem   you'll often get fly lava ,baby slugs, very fine thinner than cotton thread worms ,  small 3/4 inch long centipedes & millipedes taking up residence in the crack & feeding on the plant .

Sometimes it will stay wet in the area of feasting because of rain or the plant fighting back & at  other times when the creature dies or moves on it will dry off & have a slight scabbing colour a bit darker than the skin of the plant .
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