Growing Rutabaga, also Swedes

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11 Jul 20 chris dobson (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I love swedes and they are supposed to be easy to grow, but I am struggling. Have tried over 4 seasons now and they are very small and not especially tasty. Very prone to powdery mildew. It does not seem to make any difference if i germinate in pottles or sow direct. Living in Lincoln. Soil is clay base but with good rich top layer. Using home made compost enriched with sheep pellets and blood and bone. PH 6.5 to 7 Would appreciate any advice, Thanks
13 Jul 20 (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Also look up an organic spray for powdery mildew, I think it is chamomile tea. Also water in the morning not late arvo.
13 Jul 20 Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
I don't think I have ever grown them, if so about 55 years ago with my mother. From your post I would wonder if you are providing too rich a soil. A root crop (carrots, beetroot, turnips swedes etc) does not require a lot of nitrogen. If you have very leafy swedes that could be the problem. Don't go too heavy with the compost and blood and bone. Make sure you mix the compost in and give it time to break down. A compost that is more mulch than actual broken down compost will take N from the soil starving the the soil of N for your vegies. Think of crop rotation where you plant a root crop after a leaf crop.
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