American Purpletop Rutabaga
Rutabagas were the standard root crop in Europe before the potato arrived on the scene in the 16th century. American Purple Top Rutabaga has been around since the 1920s. It produces huge yellow roots 4-6" in diameter that are globe shaped with purple shoulders. The flesh is yellow, sweet and finely grained. It turns orange when cooked.
Sun - full sun
Spread - 10 inches
Height - 12-18 inches
Days to Maturity - 90-105 days
Ideal Planting Time - Plant in early spring or 60 days before the first frost.
Seed Depth - 1/8th-1/4 inch deep
Seed Spacing - 4-6 inches
Row Spacing - 10-12 inches
Days to Germination - 3-14 days
Harvest Tips - Dig or pull roots when they are 3 - 5" in diameter. You can leave the roots un ground over the winter, if you cover with heavy mulch.
Other Planting Tips - Rutabagas like cool weather and grow best in well-worked, well-drained soil rich in organic matter. Add aged compost to planting beds in advance of sowing. Remove soil lumps and rocks which could cause roots to split or become malformed. Add aged compost to planting beds before planting and as a side dressing at midseason. Rutabagas prefer a soil pH of 5.5 to 6.5.
Available - 1/2 oz. and 1 oz. pkgs.
One of fall’s ideal vegetables, rutabaga ripens best in cool autumn weather, taking on its characteristic mild, rich flavor after fall frosts descend on the garden, and staying in the ground for a long time for later harvests.
Rutabagas are known by many names: Russian turnip, Swedish turnip, Swedes, winter turnip, yellow turnip, and Canadian turnip.
As these names suggest, rutabagas are related to turnips, created by a natural cross between cabbage and turnip. Compared to turnips, rutabagas grow larger (thanks to their cabbage heritage) and require a few weeks longer to mature..
Although grown primarily for their roots, the leaves of rutabaga are also edible, adding zest to salads. Pick younger leaves, never removing more than a few leaves per root.