Growing Rutabaga, also Swedes

Brassica napus var.napobrassica : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
            P P        

(Best months for growing Rutabaga in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • P = Sow seed
  • Easy to grow. Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 45°F and 77°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 4 - 8 inches apart
  • Harvest in 10-14 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Peas, Beans, Chives
  • Avoid growing close to: Potatoes
  • Rutabaga harvest ( - Seedambassadors - CC BY-SA 3.0)

Related to turnips. Round root vegetable with creamy white flesh and reddish purple leaves.

They take about 3 to 4 months to grow.

Grow where beans or peas have been grown the year before.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Rutabaga

Use when about the size of a tennis ball.
The leaves can be cooked like cabbage when young.

Your comments and tips

21 Mar 23, Greg J (Australia - temperate climate)
Swedes actually freeze long term pretty good, if you cook them and mash them up the same way you would to serve them, and then stick the mash in plastic bags and stick them in the deep freeze. The frozen mash lasts for months, and you just whip out a bag when you want a side dish of mashed swedes and let it defrost, and off you go! No difference in taste or texture at all.
08 Feb 23, (Australia - temperate climate)
In Cornish pasties or boiled with potatoes and mashed together with garlic butter Salt and lots of pepper. Great with corned beef and cabbage.
22 Sep 22, Sharon (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Looking for swede seeds in Cape Town. Seeds for Africa unfortunately don’t have them anymore. Can anyone assist
06 Nov 22, Rob Lawrence (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Hi Sharon i have some spare, just brought back from Scotland in Tableview Rob 0823375621
27 Oct 21, Steve (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Why exactly can you not plant Rutabagas next to Broccoli? The few companion planting guides out there that I have found says NO they hate each other. What's the science behind that thinking?
20 Feb 22, Steve (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Thanks everyone for responding. Broccoli did fine and still harvesting rutabagas. Did not have any issues with growth or pests and no diseases that i can see. Conclusion even though they did well together, I'll stick with time proven methods.
08 Jan 22, Anonymous (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Rutabagas are moderate to heavy feeders that do best in rich, loamy soil amended with composted manure. Optimal soil temperature: 18-21°C (65-70°F). Rutabagas need lots of water. Brussels sprouts prefer temperatures between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit and also like well composted manure. Additionally, they both like approximately the same PH range. They are both Brassicas; one Brassica oleracea the other Brassica napobrassica. They like the same conditions: no surprise, they are from the same family. So why did a companion planting guide tell you not to plant them together. The main reasons: 1. They are both considered heavy feeders: that means they will sap your soil of all nutrients. Companion planting usually doesn't place two heavy feeders side by side. It's easy to get past this: just add lots of compost or manure several times in the growing season: at planting: mid season: and nearing the end of season so the plants have enough nutrition to fully develop their fruit (vegetables). 2. These two plants share the same threats (pests); when you plant them side by side the TARGET BECOMES BIGGER and more attractive, so you need to watch out for pests. Companion planting usually places a
09 Jan 22, Celeste Archer (Canada - Zone 7b Mild Temperate climate)
Companion planting usually places plants that don't attract the same pests (or discourages pests that the other attracts) side by side. This stops/inhibits infestations which can occur easily when the pest can move from one site to another (plant to plant - like in rows or patches). Herbs tend to deter a lot of pests (odour) as do Calendula (pot marigolds). To my best estimation you can plant these two plants side by side: just add extra manure/compost and be on the look out for pests (taking action quickly if spotted).
28 Oct 21, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
It is usually because they might produce chemicals in the soil that affect growth or they take the same nutrients from the soil and are susceptible to the same diseases.
28 Oct 21, Steve (USA - Zone 7b climate)
Thank you for your reply, but your answer is a little too vague. I had already placed them together per spouse suggestion in a 4x4 section of the greenhouse so I'll do my own testing, good or bad the sacrifice is minimal.
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