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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

06 Jan 14, Michael Tuma (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I am chasing seeds or plants of a swede / turnip I've been told is called Rutabaga by the Americans and here in Australia. Every listing I find here has Rutabaga as 'Brassica napus (var.) napobrassica' whereas I'm after the one the Germans call "Steckruebe". It's botanical name is Brassica napus (var.) rapifera. Can anybody help?
21 Nov 13, Pete Sawyer (Australia - temperate climate)
In reply to johno..If you have huge leaf growth with either Swedes or cabbage ,caulies toms or most others it can often be because of to much nitrogen. You try to build up the soil with chemicals when a better way is organic compost.I have discovered this the hard way. Best of luck keep trying and you will get it right Regards Pete
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Showing 21 - 30 of 42 comments

We planted swede seed in trays 3 weeks ago in potting mix and had 2 seeds germinate. We kept them moist and they were in dappled shade - what did we do wrong?

- Sharon

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