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Scientific Name

Brassica napus var. napobrassica

Crop Culture

Swede, or Rutabaga, is a root vegetable that's similar to turnips but larger and sweeter. It prefers a cooler climate and does well in full sun to partial shade. Swede thrives in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Enrich the soil with compost or a balanced fertilizer before planting.

Swede is a long-season crop and can be sown in late spring for a fall harvest. In cooler climates, planting can be delayed until early summer.


Sow swede seeds 1/2 inch deep, spacing them 1 inch apart in rows 12-18 inches apart. Thin seedlings to 6 inches apart to allow enough room for the roots to develop. Swedes need consistent moisture for best growth, especially during root development.

Grow Guides

For more detailed information on growing swede, including specific care tips and variety selection, refer to our comprehensive swede grow guide.

Diseases, Insects, and Weeds

Common pests include flea beetles and root maggots. Diseases like clubroot can be problematic. Use appropriate organic or chemical controls for pests and practice crop rotation to prevent soil-borne diseases. Mulching helps in weed control and conserving soil moisture.


Swedes are typically ready for harvest when they reach about 4-6 inches in diameter. The flavor improves after the first frost. Harvest by digging up the roots carefully to avoid damage.

Storage and Preservation

Swedes can be stored in a cool, humid place like a root cellar for several months. They can also be blanched and frozen for long-term storage.