How to Plant, Grow and Harvest Swede Turnips

Updated on July 10, 2018
How to - Answers profile image

L.M.Reid is an Irish Writer who has published many articles. She is a keen gardener with lots of experience.

Growing Swede
Growing Swede | Source

How to Grow Turnips

Turnips are easy to grow once you get the soil conditions right.

  • I show you where to sow the seeds.
  • How long it takes them to grow and when they are ready to harvest.
  • Step-by-step instructions with videos and photos.

The Swede Turnip originated in Scandinavia and the botanical name is Brassica napobrassica.

When and Where to Plant in The Garden

Plant the seeds from late May to early July, which is our late spring here in Ireland. This vegetable likes cool moist climates so it is ideal to grow in most of Europe. This vegetable does not like to be grown in waterlogged soil. So make sure it is well drained.

It is also necessary to keep them watered so the soil does not dry out. This will cause the plants to wither and the roots to split. It is a fine balancing act but once you get it right, the turnips will flourish. Plant in a sunny position and shelter away from the wind.

Variety of Swede I Grow

The seeds I use are called Swede Purple Top Rutabaga. Each packet has about 400 seeds in it so it is great value as they last for three years. This is an old variety that has large round roots of purple flesh colour. It is easy to grow and gives a good crop yield.

How to Sow Swede Seeds

Sowing in Containers

  1. Planting indoors in a tray is how I prefer to sow the seeds.
  2. Place two seeds in each compartment and water in well.
  3. Cover the tray with a clear plastic bag.
  4. The seedlings will take about ten days to sprout.
  5. Make sure the soil does not dry out.
  6. Once you see them emerging remove the plastic and allow them to get the sunshine.
  7. When the seedlings have grown for another ten days they will be ready to be transplanted into your garden.
  8. Make a space for them in the garden and plant at 25cm, 10in apart.

Planting Swede Seeds
Planting Swede Seeds | Source

Sowing Straight Into The Garden

  1. A week before planting prepare the soil.
  2. Weed the area first and then add two handfuls of powdered blood, fish and bone mixture per square metre.
  3. Mix in well.
  4. Make rows in the soil in a straight line.
  5. Dig rows 1cm deep.
  6. If you are using more than one row make sure the rows are 12in, 32cm apart.
  7. Place the seeds in this row thinly and cover them.
  8. After about ten days you should thin out the seedlings to 16cm, 6in apart.
  9. Water them well and keep the soil moist.
  10. If you allow them to become too dry then the Swede will not taste very nice when it is harvested. The root could also split.
  11. But be wary of over watering too.
  12. Keep an eye out for weeds during the growing season.

Planting Swede Seeds
Planting Swede Seeds | Source

How to Plant Swede Turnips

Protecting the Plants

If possible it would be a good idea to protect the plants from birds and butterflies by erecting netting above the growing area. Pigeons especially love to eat the leaves. Butterflies will lay their eggs and then the caterpillars with cause a lot of damage to the leaves. This will stop the turnip roots from growing.

Harvesting

  1. You can start to pick the swede from early Autumn which is September here in Ireland.
  2. Only pick what you intend to eat because they can be left in the ground until the early winter.
  3. When it is time to harvest the remaining swede wait until there is a dry day.
  4. If you want to leave them in the ground until December then cover the plant area with straw. This will keep the frost at bay.

Harvesting Swede
Harvesting Swede | Source

Storage

  1. Remove the leaves and root tails before storing.
  2. They store very well if put in a wooden box in a Hessian sack and placed in a dry, dark and cool area.
  3. Swedes will keep for up to six months if stored like this.

Swede I Grew
Swede I Grew | Source

Varieties of Swede Turnip Seeds

  1. Invitation is resistant to most of the common diseases that plaque the turnip.
  2. Ruby has a dark purple skin. It is resistant to powdery mildew.
  3. Helenor is also a good variety which keeps mildew at bay. The flesh has a sweeter taste when cooked.
  4. Marian has a purple skin and is one of the varieties that give you a high yield. It is resistant to the diseases of club root and mildew.
  5. Bora produces a better quality of flesh which tastes sweeter.

Growing Swede Turnips

Have You Grown Swede Turnip before?

See results

How to Cook Swede Turnip

  1. It is the root of this vegetable that is cooked.
  2. Remove the leaves and storks.
  3. Peel the outer skin including the inside rim.
  4. Cut up into small pieces, add water and boil for twenty minutes.
  5. Remove the water and mash them adding a knob of butter.
  6. It can be combined with cooked carrots for a delicious alternative.
  7. Swede can also be boiled for five minutes and then roasted in the oven for 40 minutes.
  8. Swede leaves can be used raw in salads and coleslaw.

Cooking Turnips
Cooking Turnips | Source
Mashed Swede Turnips
Mashed Swede Turnips | Source

Questions & Answers

  • Can I cut back the leaves on swedes?

    If you cut the leaves from swede or turnips, it will stunt the growth of the vegetable. If the leaves are overshadowing other plants to the degree that their growth is hampered then cut some back.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)