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

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.
15 Sep 18, PATRICIA GRAHAM (Australia - arid climate)
We spend 6 months in Puerto Vallarta Mexico where daily temperatures are 75 - 85 F. and almost no rain, but mild humidity. They are impossible to buy and wonder if we could grow a few for ourselves. They do not seem to import them as they do apples. We really miss them in soups and stews.
29 Jun 19, Lee (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
In short, it’d either not work at all, or it would. The problem is the temperatures/humidity you describe would make germination non-existent, or incredibly rapid. We have similar conditions at the end of summer when we have to sow our swedes. You’d have to shade them from the sun/light, and water them very carefully. What happens in that kind of heat is they sprout within two or three days, and then if they get direct sunlight, they wilt and die. The little seedlings cant take the heat, there’s not enough moisture in the top layer of soil for the tiny roots, and often the bulbs wont form even if they survive. But having said that, there is more to growing than the weather. Location is also a big factor. In Europe they say it takes up to 6months to harvest, and they grow some whoppers. I grow mine as singles in 3L containers and start harvesting from 3 to 4 months.
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.

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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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