- Purple Top Rutabaga seeds
- Very uniform, sweet bulbs. Heirloom (90 - 120 days).
Rutabagas have never really caught on in the U.S. Maybe that's because we're impatient and rutabagas take 3 - 4 months to mature, while their smaller cousin, the turnip can be grown in half that time. But more likely it's because we have bad memories of them being over cooked into an unappetizing mush. Rutabagas are beautiful pale gold roots with a peppery cabbage flavor that sweetens as it cooks
The kale-like greens are also delicious.
Rutabagas, or swedes, are in the mustard family and are a cross between turnips and cabbage. Since they grow well in cool weather and can be harvested well into winter, they tend to be popular in northern countries. Another name for them is Swedish Turnips or swedes.
Sow rutabaga seed ½ inch deep and 1 inch apart. Thin successful seedlings to 4 to 6 inches apart. Space rows 18 to 24 inches apart. Thinning is important so that roots have room to develop.
Rutabagas are large oval or slightly elongated bulbs with a firm yellow flesh.
Leaves: Leaves are similar in appearance to turnips, but thicker, like a cabbage or kale leaf.
Flowers: Rutabagas have the typical small, yellow Brassica flower, with 4 petals that form a cross and give them their designation as cruciferous vegetables.
Rutabagas, Swedes, Yellow turnips
Full sun to Partial Shade.
Rutabagas are biennials grown as an annual crop. They may go to seed in their first year, if they were planted early in the spring.
12 - 24" (h) x 8 - 12" (w)
When to Harvest:
The greens can be harvested anytime after they reach 4 inches tall.
If you don't harm the top of the bulb, the greens will continue to regrow.
Rutabagas are sweetened by a little frost. You can dig them in the fall (or late winter in warmer climates) or you can leave them in the ground with a thick layer of straw mulch and harvest as needed. They should be about 3 - 5 inches in diameter. Larger bulbs tend to get tough.