Hi, Has anyone ever planted and had success with rutabaga...I thought it was turnip. It's orange color but the only turnip seed I can find is for small white turnips but Burpee's has the darker turnip (rutabaga) from the picture they show. Are they easy to grow?
AnnFran in zone 5
Hi Ann, I have had semi luck with rutabaga. Semi in the regards I fail to harvest when I should.
I tend to let them grow too long and they split/rot down the center , or this happens with excess rain, I'm not sure. I start the plants in side like tomatoes, and plant them about 6 weeks later with cut worm collars. I harvest every other one spaced about 8 inches apart in rows when about 3 -4 inches in dia. hoping for the big ones after the thinning . Some get big but most rot. Hope this helps.
Your Spring planting time is different than ours and you can probably grow them larger. I'm saying this because I've never grown ones as big as the ones in the store that are from the North. We plant in Fall. They need a long, cool period better suited to your Spring weather. That said, I can grow great rutabagas (aka swedes) if the weather is wet and cool. I plant seed the end of September and harvest end of December through February. In N. GA. they grow and develop through Fall but Winter weather will hold them in ground for several months. The challenge is to avoid deer.The deer love them and will not only eat the greens but dig the roots.
In response to kgc's post, the cause of rutabaga and turnip splitting is, from my experience, uneven watering or too much fertilizer. If you are new to turnips and rutabagas I'd suggest starting with turnips and moving on to rutabagas. Though I like the flavor of rutabagas best at least you've got greens with the turnips...even ones that are not meant as greens crops.