Learning Download: How to Grow Rutabaga
Rutabaga is a cross between turnips and cabbage. They are in the mustard family and they have a golden root that tastes like peppery cabbage and sweetens as it is cooked.
Before Planting: Rutabagas prefer well drained soils with an abundants of potash and phosphorus. Soil should have a pH close between 6-7.0. For customary fall and winter use plant in late spring, or early summer or about 90 days before intended harvest.
Planting: Direct sow seeds in the late spring after all dangers of frost have passed. Plant seeds about 1/2 inch deep. Once seedlings reach 3 to 4 inches, thin them to leave enough space for the bulbs to mature.
Watering: Rutabagas require at least one inch of water a week to allow for adequate root development.
Fertilizer: Add a light dressing of fertilizer to the area you plan to plant your rutabaga seeds a few weeks prior to planting.
Days to Maturity: Rutabagas have a long growing season and can take up to 3 or 4 months to come to maturity.
Harvesting: After a few fall frosts, cut tops and store unwashed roots in the refrigerator for up to 6 months. Greens can be harvested anytime after they have reached 4 inches tall.
Tips: Bugs will chew on the leaves of the rutabaga, so if you plan on harvesting the greens, consider using a row cover to keep the harmful bugs away from the plant.