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 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 7°C and 25°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 10 - 20 cm 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

15 Oct 21, John Copeland (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Could somebody tell me why my swedes (rutabaga) are woody Thank You
19 Oct 21, (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Did you water them regularly?
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.
02 Sep 09, Diane (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Peel and slice swede into 2cm thick slices and gently fry them in a little oil until browned on both sides. Absolutely yummy as a replacement for potato.

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