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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
  • Rutabaga harvest (commons.wikimedia.org - Seedambassadors - CC BY-SA 3.0)

Member of turnip family 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

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.

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.

- Lee

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