Rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica) is a relative of radish, turnip and cabbage, a family of cruciferous. There are other names - Swedish turnip, buhva, rutabaga, kalega. Do not confuse it with fodder beets. A vegetable is much tastier than turnips, and it’s very disappointing that recipes with it are forgotten. In England, rutabaga is served with meat.
In our country, finding a variety of culture is very difficult. But thanks to foreign breeders, you can buy very healthy vegetables.
Distribution area and history
Where rutabaga originally appeared is not clear. Many believe that it originated in the Mediterranean as a result of crossing kale and turnips. Since in 1620 the root crop was described by a botanist from Sweden, the vegetable is often called Swedish turnip.
According to others, rutabaga is a vegetable first grown in Siberia, from where it spread throughout Russia, and then reached Europe. In favor of the theory presented, the rutabaga is cold-resistant. Of course, she perfectly survives the high temperature, but at the same time loses her taste.
In the 17-18 centuries, the vegetable was actively grown in Scandinavia, Central Russia, France. Now it is cultivated in Russia, Sweden, USA, Germany, Canada.
Rutabaga is a biennial plant. In the first year, the development of the root and leaves. The following year, the stem and seeds are formed. The shape of the fruit may be different:
- flat round;
The rutabaga pulp has a yellowish or white tint. The top has a purple or dark green color.
Rutabaga perfectly tolerates low temperatures. An already formed plant with seeds can withstand frosts of -8 degrees. Root growth occurs at a temperature of +16 degrees.
Rutabaga can grow on both acidic and neutral soils. In this case, the soil should be light, even peat bogs are suitable, but the best option is loam, sandy loamy or fertile soil. Moisture should pass freely through the soil, but do not allow acidification.
It is better to plant rutabaga after legumes. But landing after closely related crops will not work!
Rutabaga loves manure, but it should be introduced only in the autumn for digging. When making fresh manure during the ripening of the crop, it is likely that the plant will be porous and dry. You can fertilize with mineral fertilizers, for example, phosphorus-potash. A good effect is the introduction of wood ash.
Seeds can be planted directly into the ground. The beds need to be prepared in advance. Landing is carried out to a depth of 2.5 centimeters. Between the rows should remain 45 centimeters.
After the shoots appear, they are thinned out. Between plants leave about 4 centimeters. When 4 leaves are formed in the seedlings, thinning is carried out again, in this case the distance is 15 centimeters.
Growing seedlings is carried out in the same way as in cabbage. Before planting seedlings, the seeds are placed in a container with the soil mixture to a depth of 1.5 cm. After 40 days, seedlings will appear. Plants are transplanted into the soil only after the appearance of the third leaf.
You can learn about the main principles of growing seedlings in one of our articles.
Rutabaga grows slower compared to turnips, as it is cold-resistant. They grow vegetables for winter consumption. In the first year, shooting can occur due to long daylight hours or too low temperatures.
If the soil is acidic, they must be lime. If you don’t do this, swede can get sick.
Growing rutabaga involves the implementation of periodic watering. But pouring the plant is also not worth it. Make sure that the soil from the upper part of the root crop is not washed, otherwise the plant will lose some of the nutrients.
In order for rutabaga to accumulate useful properties, fertilizers must be applied. So, in the fall, 10 grams of phosphate and potassium fertilizers, about 3 kg, are applied. organic fertilizer, 15 grams of potash.
In July and June, organic fertilizing with the addition of superphosphate and ash is carried out. Watering is preliminary carried out, then the soil is loosened.
Rutabaga loves top dressing with manganese, boron, copper, phosphorus and calcium. So it becomes more delicious and sugar.
Sprouts are sprayed with a mixture of tobacco and ash in a ratio of 1 to 1. Do not forget about constant weeding and thinning.
Pests and diseases
Rutabaga can suffer from a disease such as keel and leaf-eating insects. You can cope with both, and with the help of folk methods.
Useful properties and composition
Useful properties of the culture - diuretics, anti-inflammatory, wound healing, anti-burn. Rutabaga is good for teeth and bones, it contains a lot of calcium. In the spring, it is necessary to eat it because the roots are rich in vitamins. Rutabaga in combination with honey will help get rid of cough. A decoction of the seeds of the plant can gargle with inflammation. For diseases of the intestines and stomach, consume the culture with caution.
Root crops contain a large number of minerals - calcium, potassium, phosphorus, iron. Among other things, they have a lot of sugar, proteins, oils, fiber. Of the vitamins, rutabaga is rich in B2, C, B1 and P. Regardless of which recipes you choose, the vegetable will perfectly retain all the beneficial properties. He is not afraid of either frying or cooking.
Planting crops is carried out by seeds or seedlings. Care consists in conducting timely watering and fertilizing. Culture prefers manure, but you need to make it correctly. A prerequisite for a good harvest is light neutral or acidic soils. Planting a plant is best after legumes. Since rutabaga is cold-resistant - frost is not a hindrance to it. The vegetable is rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron and vitamins. It can be consumed both boiled and fried.