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Growing Rutabaga, also Swedes

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

(Best months for growing Rutabaga in USA - Zone 5a 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

Your comments and tips

25 Mar 11, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
You recommend harvesting when the swede is tennis ball size, in the UK we used to buy them the size of bowling balls. Any reason why you recommend harvesting when they are so small?
06 Oct 14, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
When they get large they can get very fibrous and tough - good cattle feed, but not so good for the rest of us.
16 May 11, (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Tim. Try Derris dust on the leaves to kill off/ keep off the nasties! Make sure not to use for a few days before harvesting. And keep pets away from it. Rachel.
08 Jan 12, Ron (Australia - temperate climate)
Originally from Scotland 50 years ago, we always had mashed swede(neeps) with haggis and it is still one of my favorites.
21 Apr 13, ALAN HUNT (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
Where can I obtain Swede (Rutabaga) seeds to grow? I have never seen this veg in South Africa.
31 May 13, Elle (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
LOVE Swedes, just bought some from seeds for africa. You can buy them from their S.A website ( or the site
16 Aug 14, John (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
Any luck with it in jhb west if where is the best place to buy small amount of seed
20 May 13, Deirdre (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I have heard it is grown in Capetown as fodder for cattle? I would love to get some have not had sucess growing them.
23 Jul 13, kenneth Griffiths (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
Boil swede and carrot, mash together add pepper and vinegar to taste and serve as a veg with any roast dinner. Particularly good with roast beef.
04 Aug 13, johno (Australia - temperate climate)
I have grown Sweds for the first time this year with not much success. Theye have grown more like a tube instead of a ball and they seem to have all the growth above the ground. The foilage on top is huge so I think the growth has gone to the top instead of under the soil. Can anyone suggest ways to improve next years crop.
Showing 11 - 20 of 42 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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