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Swede    

(rutabaga, Swedish turnip). Brassica napus, Napobrassica Group. Cruciferae. Biennials grown for their large edible roots; they are similar to the turnip but have a milder, sweeter flavour and store better. Swede is one of the hardiest of the root crops and can be harvested from autumn through the winter months or lifted and stored either outdoors in clamps or in a cool shed. The roots are peeled and sliced for boiling.

Sow seed on an open site rotated as for other brassicas. A light fertile soil manured for a previous crop, and limed if acid, is preferred. The crop is established from seed, which should be sown early in the spring as it requires a fairly long growing season. A spacing of 40-45cm between rows with 25-30cm between plants after thinning is recommended. Plants should be kept free of weeds and watered during dry weather to ensure continued growth. Recommended cultivars include the yellow-fleshed ‘Acme’, ‘Altasweet’ (very large), ‘Best of All’, ‘Laurentian’, ‘Lizzy’ (bred for flavour), ‘Marian’, ‘Sutton’s Western Perfection’ and the white-fleshed ‘Merrick’. Pests and diseases are much the same as for brassicas in general.

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