Growing Swede or Rutabagas With Planting & Harvesting Tips

Last Updated on April 12, 2024 by Real Men Sow

Growing Swede is super easy! No wonder it is one of the perfect crops for a novice gardener! Swede provides you with crops for a long time and can be left in your garden overwinter

These plants are often interchanged with turnips because they are related to turnips and are also known as Rutabagas. They differ with turnips through their taste which is sweeter and milder than turnips. They also crop much later in the season and can tolerate hard frosts.

Its tasty edible roots and green leaves are the reason why it’s grown. Its green leaves can be cooked like spring greens. There are three types of swedes: green tops, bronze tops, and purple tops. The latter is most commonly available and produces the largest crops. 

Best Place F0r Growing Swede

Swedes grow well in medium soil with lots of nutrients, but they grow in most soil types. However, they are prone to club root, therefore, make sure your soil isn’t too acidic because that will encourage it. The pH of the soil should be between 7.0 – 7.4. Add well-rotted manure, bone meal, or similar to your soil if it lacks nutrients. 

It’s important that your soil is free-draining due to swedes not liking being waterlogged. If your soil isn’t free-draining, dig some well-rotted compost or grow your swedes on a ridge.

When to Grow Swede

It’s best to sow swedes in mid May to mid June. However, if you live in a warm area, sow in mid July.

Growing and Transplanting Swede

Plant your swede seedlings 6in apart by plants and 12in apart by rows. Make a hole using a dibber or a suitable stick to put your seedling plug in. Firm gently around its roots then water well. Keep in mind that they should be planted a little bit deep. 

Care for Swede

After 10 days from sowing, the seedlings will emerge and you’ll have to thin them out. Thin them to about 25cm apart. It’s important to keep them well-watered and well-weeded to have no problems.

Harvesting Swede

By early Autumn, the swedes will be large enough for you to harvest. Leave them in the ground until the odd frost or two has got to them to make them taste sweeter.  The plant stores well in a box with them being separated by layers of sand or simply in a sack in a cool area without light.

Storing Swede Plants

Store your swedes in a dry, dark, and cool area of the garden. You may put them in a wooden crate that should be free from rats and mice attacks. You should only harvest them in dry weather conditions for them not to rot. Remove its leaves and root tails so they won’t rot when they’re stored. They can stay for 6 months if they’re stored the right way.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.