Growing Rutabaga, also Swedes

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

(Best months for growing Rutabaga in New Zealand - cool/mountain 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)

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

23 Jan 21, Tracey Bullen (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I live in Hobart & have had great success with swedes & parsnips in separate beds. Can they be planted in the same bed? Your advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
25 Jan 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Shouldn't be any problem.
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.
30 Dec 19, Volkhard (Australia - temperate climate)
Swedes. I planted them as seedlings in Sep/Oct. They grew ok but quite early developed flower shoots, and the roots became woody. What is the secret to avoid this? Should I plant them earlier, say July-August?
04 Jan 20, (Australia - temperate climate)
Check here
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.
04 Mar 18, Scott (Australia - temperate climate)
can I grow sweedes next to or near cauliflower??
Showing 1 - 10 of 55 comments

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