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The Swiss botanist Kaspar Bauchin first discovered rutabaga in Sweden in 1620. Turnips and rutabagas are members of the cabbage family, the plants are often confused, and rutabagas are sometimes called Swedish turnips.
This article will discuss how to grow this beneficial crop outdoors and how to avoid problems.
We will also tell you about the most common problems that gardeners face when growing rutabaga on their site.
How is it different from a turnip?
First, turnips are usually smaller than a turnip, about the size of a golf ball, with a creamy white, smooth skin. The rutabaga is much larger, its coarse rind is creamy white and partly purple, with a characteristic "collar". Although there is an opinion that rutabaga is a product of Russian, not Scandinavian selection, one thing is clear - this is a northern vegetable that significantly loses its taste in hot climates.
Reference! The seeds of the swede begin to break through at two degrees of heat, and the seedlings can withstand even slight frosts. The biggest difficulty in growing this plant is directly planting, but if everything is done correctly, then the culture will not require special attention to itself in the future.
You will find a description, useful properties and harm of rutabagas in this material.
|Variety name||Root crop formation period||Average fetal weight||Description and taste of the fruit|
|Krasnoselskaya||3-4 months||from 300 to 600 grams||Gray-green oval fruit with sugary flesh, good storage|
|Novgorod||4 months||400 gram||Round fruit with a purple top, juicy flesh without bitterness|
|Hera||3 months||300-400 grams||Juicy, rounded fruit with good taste|
|Child love||3-3.5 months||300-500 grams||Oval fruit with firm, juicy flesh|
|Vereiskaya||3 months||250-300 grams||Round fruit with yellow flesh, good storage|
|Kohaliq xining||4 months||800-900 grams||Fruit with yellow, tender and juicy pulp|
|Kuusiku||5 months||2 kilograms||Fruit of mediocre taste|
Currently, new varieties have begun to appear, and, as they say, outstripping their predecessors: Lisi, Marian, Ruby. But little is known about them, and getting them is not always so easy. Therefore, the Krasnoselsky variety is considered the most popular among Russian gardeners - a strong average in all respects.
How to grow?
Neutral and acidic soil is best for swede.:
- sandy loam;
- cultivated peatlands.
For this plant, it is better to pick up a moist soil., but, at the same time, do not allow water to stagnate, therefore clay and sandy soils should either be excluded or diluted with peat.
The main rule when planting a swede is not to plant it after (so that at least three years have passed) closely related plants, such as turnips, cabbage, all types of radishes, but tomatoes, cucumbers and potatoes are considered good predecessors for this culture.
Prepare the beds for swede since autumn by fertilization:
- humus or compost: 2-4 kg per 1 square meter;
- 10 grams of ammonium nitrate;
- 15 grams of superphosphate;
- 15g potassium salt.
Rutabagas are sown for summer consumption in early spring, and for storage in winter - in mid-summer. The region plays an important role, therefore, ideally, it is better to experimentally find out the best period for sowing or planting.
The vegetable is planted in two ways: seedlings and immediately into the ground.
The seeds are sown in pots or containers with a special earthen mixture to a depth of 2 cm. There must be holes in the dishes at the bottom. Rutabaga seedlings should be grown in exactly the same way as any other: water, spray and fertilize. Seedling boxes can be installed directly at home on the windowsill. The first shoots will appear within a week.
When three leaves appear in the seedlings, after about a month, the plants are transplanted into the garden bed. Rutabaga should be planted in cloudy and cool weather. Two weeks after planting the seedlings, fertilization is carried out with liquid manure, and after the root crop is formed - with mineral fertilizer.
- Sowing in the ground
Rutabagas are sown, on average, in early May, when the topsoil is moist, to a depth of about 2.5 cm and with a distance between rows of 40 cm.For example, two parallel grooves are made on a garden bed one meter wide, keeping the distance from each other. The seeds of this vegetable are small, so they are used sparingly: only half a gram of seed is spent on a garden of 5 squares. Next, the grooves are leveled, mulched with peat (or other mulching material) and watered.
- When the seedlings get stronger and clearly begin to interfere with each other, it is time to thin them 4 cm apart, and when the plants have four leaves, they are thinned again at a distance of 15 cm.
- One of the main secrets of successful planting or sowing of rutabagas is moist soil, so the grooves should be pre-moistened. In order for moisture to enter the seeds, the beds are compacted, and after a few days they destroy the formed crust on the soil.
- For the season, for swede, two procedures of loosening the row spacings are required, the first time to a depth of about 10 cm, the next by 5 cm, as well as 2-3 weeding.
- It may happen that on the garden bed, as if extra plants are formed - this is not scary, they can be safely transplanted to another place, the main thing: together with a piece of land. But the strongest plants should be left in the main bed, forming rows in a checkerboard pattern.
- In the middle of summer, it is best to fertilize the rutabagas with a manure solution: 1:10 (where one part of the droppings, 10 parts of water), with the calculation of about 10 liters of solution for 5 squares. This solution can be poured between the rows with a regular watering can without a nozzle.
- When the growing season comes - this is the period of the most active growth of the plant, rutabagas need to be watered several times a week, as well as spud a little.
- Rutabaga is a very moisture-loving plant, therefore, in dry periods, it should be watered at the rate of 2 liters per 1 m2, and later 7-8 liters, while moistening the soil to its entire depth, and not only to the tops.
Frequent mistakes in agricultural technology
This is mainly the choice of soil and place for the garden (it is worth stopping at the northern part of the site), as well as the balance in watering: disadvantage - the root crop becomes tough and bitter, too much watering - the fruits lose their taste and become watery. Therefore, it is better to water the beds with rutabagas more often, but try not to flood them.
Collection and storage
Starting to grow rutabagas, you should decide on the goals: whether it will be a product for cooking, or a fodder option.
It is better not to bring the rutabaga, which will be used as food for humans, to a weight of over 1 kg, but you can remove it from the garden when it reaches an average diameter of 6 cm.
The vegetable is harvested before the onset of frost.cutting off the tops and small roots. It is best to store rutabagas in basements in boxes, sprinkling root crops with river sand or peat, at a temperature not exceeding 4 ° C. If the site is located in southern latitudes, with warm winters, then the rutabagas can be dug out as needed.
Diseases and pests
The biggest drawback of swede is its low resistance to pests and diseases. The main enemies of this plant are:
- Cruciferous flea.
They fight with it with the help of wood ash, pouring it between the rows.
- Cabbage fly.
This pest is chased away by a mixture of naphthalene and sand, in a ratio of 1:10, with which the aisles are also treated, and the procedure is repeated after two weeks.
How can you avoid problems?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, but there are a couple of tricks to watch out for:
- Minerals. Phosphorus increases the sweetness in the swede, and if the plant lacks boron, its flesh becomes brown and bland.
- To avoid plant diseases, the seeds are heat treated: water is heated to 50 ° C and the seeds are soaked in it for half an hour, after which they are dried in a cloth and mixed with calcined sand.
Rutabaga is an excellent source of vitamin C and fiber, folate and potassium. A British social study recognized this vegetable as one of the most dangerous (along with other tough fruits: pumpkin and turnip) - of course, because a fifth of the respondents indicated that it was from him that suffered in the kitchen. But these difficulties, as well as not the simplest cultivation, should not stop you, because this is the case when all efforts pay off.
We offer you to watch an informative video on how to grow a turnip: