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Growing Rutabaga, also Swedes

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

Your comments and tips

23 May 17, Maureen (Australia - temperate climate)
I enjoy eating swede and have never considered it a sweet type of vegetable. I love it cooked with potato and carrot and then mashed with milk and butter. I like it simply steamed. I think it is simply personal preference.
24 May 17, Jack (Australia - temperate climate)
I love swedes as well. We eat them as you suggested and also 'julienne' them on a V slicer and add them to creamed corn after they are cooked. Kids like them that way too.
21 Apr 17, Brian Hargiss (USA - Zone 7a climate)
Where and when is the best place to plant rutabagas in northwest Arkansas? Thank you very much
22 Apr 17, John (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Rutabagas can be planted now. they are a cabbage/turnip cross and will do well where cabbages do well. Old manure worked into the soil and even watering will reduce the chance of checks in their growth. Along with their common uses they are great cooked and mashed or finely diced, cooked and mixed with creamed corn.
20 Apr 17, Allan (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
The swede is bitter when it is cooked. I thought it is lacking something in the soil. What am I doing wrong.
21 Apr 17, Jonno (Australia - temperate climate)
Swedes originated as a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Like their half sisters; Brussels Sprouts they can be bitter. A lot of gardeners say that they are sweeter after they have had a few frosts on them. growing them with even watering and no set backs would also help. Maybe some other reader will be able to help.
03 May 20, Paul (Australia - temperate climate)
I still eat them after a lifetime of growing and eating them . In fact my grandfather grew them commercially in the 1950s and 60s. I usually eat them mashed with potato, sometimes on their own. However I am a Masterchef-type mash person, with oodles of butter ! That often hides a little bit of bitterness . You might find your soil was too well manure or fertilized and you had heaps of green top at the expense of a well-developed root . Very cold winters also produce better swedes . Heavy frosts .
27 Nov 16, Lorin Maskey (Australia - temperate climate)
I have grown some swedes in Dubbo good tops and no actual swede developed. what would cause that.? the soil was well fertilized with sheep manure.
27 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Root crops such as swedes, carrots, etc, do not need a lot of nitrogen; which would be present in the manure. Nitrogen in root crops causes excessive top growth at the expense of the roots. After you have freshly manured your soil it is better to start off with a leaf crop such as lettuce, cabbge, etc. Follow this with a fruiting crop such as tomatoes, beans, zucchini, etc. the soil will then be ideal for root crops such as swedes, carrots, parsnip, etc. If that is the problem; all is not lost, look after them and you will get some sort of root and the tops can be used in soup or stir fries. Trust this helps
20 Sep 16, paul merrett (Australia - temperate climate)
live in south australia and cannot find swede seeds anywhere. any advice. thankyou.
Showing 11 - 20 of 50 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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