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How to plant and cultivate rutabaga?

How to plant and cultivate rutabaga?

The characteristics of rutabaga

  • Type: vegetable plant
  • Height: up to 45cm
  • Flower color: green, yellow, purple
  • Desired exposure: sunny, shaded
  • Type of soil: clayey
  • Foliage: obsolete
  • Interview : frequent watering
  • Sanitizing: no
  • Diseases and pests: powdery mildew, downy mildew, snails, slugs

Origins and characteristics of rutabaga

The rutabaga is a winter vegetable from the brassicaceae family also called cabbage, turnip from Sweden, Swedish cabbage or Siam cabbage. Its various names are due to its origin since the rutabaga seems to be a cross of kale and turnip and that it comes to us from Scandinavia.

Cultivated since the Middle Ages in this region of the world, it is known to have fed families during the Second World War as did the Jerusalem artichoke. This is why it conveys an old-fashioned and not always very positive image despite its health benefits.

There are several species of turnips from Sweden like the Red-collared Mushroom, Globus rutabaga or Thomson. These varieties are more or less tasty and come in slightly varied colors, some offering a yellow root with purple collar, others a yellow root with green collar.

Rutabaga seedlings

It is in fresh soil rich in humus that it is best to sow your rutabaga. Not very difficult, it can also evolve on clay soil. Be sure to provide your Swedish sprouts with drained soil and a sunny or partial shade location. To avoid creating an imbalance in the soil, avoid placing it near vegetables of its family: turnips, cabbage, radishes, etc.

Sowing is carried out in March-April in the nursery or in May in the ground. In the nursery, sow on the fly and clear up after a few days, spacing the feet 40 cm. In place, sow immediately every 40 cm and keep the most vigorous plants.

Cultivation and maintenance of rutabaga

In order not to invade your vegetable it is advisable to weed and hoe regularly. Water moderately regularly, especially when it is hot and has not rained for a few days. Watering should especially be done in dry weather.

A mulch is useful in summer to preserve freshness and in winter to fight against frost, the rutabaga being able to withstand temperatures up to -20 ° if it is well protected and if the soil is well drained.

Diseases and pests of rutabaga

The rutabaga needs trace elements like boron. In case of lack, the leaves can turn yellow, then it is best to sprinkle with comfrey manure. Powdery mildew, downy mildew and root rot can also threaten your crop. Among the pests are snails, slugs and cabbage fly larvae that can weaken your plants.

Harvesting and conservation of rutabaga

If the harvest is carried out 3 to 4 months after sowing, it should be harvested Siam sprouts of medium size so that they remain tender if you wish to consume them, the mature vegetables being rather intended for animals. It keeps in sand, in a dry place, for a few months.

You can create a rutabaga silo to keep your crops outdoors. All you need is 20cm thick straw. Place the pyramid roots on the straw, head outwards, then cover with straw again.

Use of rutabaga

Cabbage is very popular in soups, gratins, mashed potatoes, stews or casseroles. It can then appear in different recipes according to your imagination.

The virtues of rutabaga

Rich in minerals (potassium, calcium, phosphorus), it is also rich in vitamin C but also in magnesium when cooked. Rich in fiber, it also has diuretic, digestive and laxative properties.