Rutabaga (Brassica napus)
Much sweeter than a turnip, and starchier than a carrot, the rutabaga is excellent for mashing, roasting, or adding into soups or stews. Sometimes called a Swedish Turnip or simply a Swede, this root grows well and tastes sweeter in colder weather.
Nutrients: vitamin C, potassium, manganese.
How To Grow Rutabaga From Seed
Rutabaga is a frost-tolerant root crop that prefers full sun, but will tolerate partial shade. Plant in loose, well-drained soil. Rutabagas are tolerant of low fertility soils. High organic matter and/or nitrogen can cause malformed roots.
Rutabaga is a cool season vegetable that tastes best when exposed to frost just before harvest. Direct seed outdoors in mid-summer for a fall harvest. Plant seeds 1/2" deep, 1" apart, in rows 12" apart. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 45-85°F. Seeds will sprout in 5-17 days. Thin to 3-6" for mature plants.
Use row covers when plants are young to prevent pest damage from flea beetles and cabbage root maggot.
Leaves can be lightly harvested when large enough to eat. Roots are ready for harvest in approximately 90 days or when 4-5" in diameter.