What is rutabaga, how does it grow, what is useful and where it is used

Rutabaga is a biennial plant from the cabbage family that has a forage and nutritional value. Rutabaga is often called fodder beet, which is fundamentally wrong, since these are completely different plants and belong to different families.

Rutabaga - what it is, how it looks and where it is applied, a photo of a plant - read about everything in our material.

What is this vegetable

Rutabaga is a plant with a spherical root crop, which gives a high yield on sandy loam and loamy soils. It is among the main table root crops in Sweden, Germany, Finland.

What does the plant and fruits look like?

In the first year of cultivation, rutabaga is a root vegetable with a rosette of leaves. In the second year, flowering shoots and seeds develop.

What is rutabaga, how does it grow, what is useful and where it is usedRoot crops are round, cylindrical or oval, depending on the variety. The pulp is yellow with various shades or white. The color of the peel protruding above the soil surface of the part is gray-green or purple. The underground part is colored yellow.

The stem is high, straight. The lower leaves are lyre-shaped, incised. Leaves on the stem are whole, sessile.

The structure of the inflorescence has the shape of a brush with small golden yellow flowers, characteristic of cruciferous plants.

In the second year of growth, dark brown spherical seeds about 1.8 mm in diameter, enclosed in a multi-seeded pod 5-10 cm long, ripen in the turnip.


Biological characteristics are given in the table.

Parameter Description
Family Cabbage
Genus Cabbage
View Rape
Plant type Biennial
Relation to air temperature The plant is cold-resistant, the seeds germinate at + 1 ... + 3 ° C, the sprouts withstand a short-term temperature drop down to - 4 ° C. The best quality root crops grow at + 15… + 18 ° С. Resistant to prolonged heat, but roots become tough.
Relation to moisture Moisture-loving plant. With a lack of water, the roots are bitter, premature flowering begins.
Attitude to light When planting in the ground, shaded areas should be avoided.

Homeland and history of vegetable culture

According to some scientists, rutabaga is native to the Mediterranean, where it was obtained by natural or deliberate crossing of cabbage and turnip.

However, any facts in written sources before XVII no century. It wasn't until 1620 that the Swiss botanist Kaspar Baugin described a plant similar to rutabaga found in the wild flora of Sweden.

According to another theory, rutabagas were first cultivated in Siberia, from where they came to the countries of Northern Europe. This opinion is supported by a variety of names for rutabagas in the regions of Russia: rutabella, bruchka, groin, earthworm and others.

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How and where it grows

The culture is popular in the Scandinavian countries, Germany, Sweden. In our country, rutabaga was replaced by potatoes, although in tsarist Russia the production of root crops was up to 300 thousand tons per year.

Regions with cool summers are most favorable for growing swede.


What is rutabaga, how does it grow, what is useful and where it is used

It is not difficult to grow a vegetable on your site, knowing the nuances of root crop agricultural technology.

Soil preparation

Acid and neutral soils with a pH of 5.5-7.0 are suitable for rutabagas. The soil should be loose and nutritious.

reference... Loam, sandy loam, cultivated peat are suitable for growing swede.

Good drainage is important: it is not recommended to plant a vegetable in areas with high groundwater.

In the fall, the beds should be carefully dug up, phosphorus-potassium fertilizers and organic matter should be applied.


The vegetable feels good in the beds where cucumbers, legumes, zucchini, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes previously grew.

Do not plant rutabagas after cabbage, radish, radish, horseradish, turnip.

Sowing seeds

Seeds are sown in open ground in early May to a depth of about 2.5 cm. 45-50 cm are left between the rows.

Thinning of sprouts is carried out at the stage of two true leaves, leaving a distance between the bushes of 4-5 cm.After the appearance of four leaves, the planting is broken through again so that about 15 cm remains between the plants.

They also practice the seedling method of growing rutabagas. The seeds are sown to a depth of 1.5 cm in prepared containers with soil. The seedlings are ready for transplanting to a permanent place when the third true leaf appears.

Weeding and loosening

During the season, you will need to loosen the soil only 4-5 times. This procedure is combined with the removal of weeds. Soil cultivation is carried out to a depth of 4-8 cm.


Rutabaga needs abundant watering: about 10 liters per 1 sq. m. Such powerful watering is needed no more than 3-5 over the summer, the rest of the time watering, based on the state of the plants.

Top dressing

The first feeding is carried out two weeks after the emergence of seedlings or planting of seedlings. Fertilizers are applied for the second time at the beginning of the formation of root crops.

For processing, complex mineral fertilizers are used. Rutabaga needs potassium, phosphorus, boron.

Pests and diseases

What is rutabaga, how does it grow, what is useful and where it is usedThe same diseases and pests are characteristic of swede as for cabbage, radish, turnip.

A vegetable is susceptible to felt disease, mosaic, vascular bacteriosis, black leg.

Of the pests, slugs, bugs, aphids, fleas, cabbage fly are dangerous.

If necessary, chemical preparations are used to treat pests, depending on the type of parasite or disease.

For prevention, it is necessary to observe crop rotation, pickle the seeds before planting, carry out timely weeding, remove all plant residues from the beds.

Harvesting and storage

Root crops are harvested 3-4 months after planting the seedlings. For long-term storage, the rutabagas are harvested shortly before the onset of the first frost.

On a note. Root crops with thick lateral processes are discarded, they have a rough, tasteless pulp.

Leaves are cut from vegetables extracted from the ground at the very base and laid out to dry in a dark place. The crop is stored in unheated rooms or cellars.

Swede varieties

There are two types of swede:

  • dining room - with a yellow, tender, juicy pulp and a pleasant aftertaste;
  • stern - has a more rigid and coarse structure.

The following table varieties are most in demand among vegetable growers:

  1. Krasnoselskaya... The formation of root crops occurs 90-120 days after the emergence of shoots. Fruits are flat-rounded with delicate sugary pulp. Weight from 300 to 600 g.
  2. Novgorod... The crop is harvested 120 days after germination. The pulp is yellow, firm and juicy. Root weight about 400 g.
  3. Child love... Reaches technical ripeness 90-120 days after planting in the ground. A rounded root vegetable weighing 350-400 g. Taste is excellent, the vegetable is juicy and sweet. Productivity from 6 to 6.5 kg per 1 sq. m.
  4. Vereiskaya... It takes 85-90 days from sowing to harvest. The fruit is flat-round, with a delicate and juicy structure. The yield is low: up to 4 kg per 1 sq. m.

Beneficial features

Rutabaga has long been considered a product that strengthens the immune system and restores vitality.

The use of a vegetable has a positive effect on the state of the body:

  • toxins are removed;
  • metabolic processes are accelerated;
  • blood vessels are strengthened;
  • blood pressure is normalized;
  • reduced cholesterol levels;
  • bone and dental tissue is strengthened;
  • the processes of tissue regeneration are accelerated.

Rutabaga has a mild diuretic and laxative effect.

Composition and nutritional value

Rutabaga is rich in B vitamins, contains vitamins E, K, PP, lycopene, beta-carotene, unsaturated fatty acids.

100 g of a vegetable contains 30 mg of vitamin C, which is one third of the daily human need.

The product contains minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron.

Nutrient content per 100 g of edible portion:

  • proteins - 1.2 g;
  • fats - 0.1 g;
  • carbohydrates - 7.7 g.

Eating 300 g of vegetables covers 30% of the body's daily fiber requirement.


Due to its rich vitamin and mineral composition, the unusual taste of rutabagas, it is used in cooking and in folk medicine.

In cooking

What is rutabaga, how does it grow, what is useful and where it is used

Raw root vegetable is sweet, juicy, aromatic.

When cooked, it resembles potatoes, so it can replace it in salads and side dishes. Baked rutabaga is a healthy and tasty treat.

Rutabaga is eaten fresh, boiled, stewed, used to make juice. With the addition of a vegetable, fritters and cutlets are fried, cereals, soups, and pie fillings are prepared.

Rutabaga goes well with other vegetables, especially potatoes and cabbage. Regardless of the method of preparation, it serves as an excellent low-calorie side dish for meat and fish dishes.

In folk medicine and cosmetology

In folk remedies and cosmetics, juice and chopped rutabaga pulp are used.

Gruel, mixed with honey in a 2: 1 ratio, relieves colds and ARVI. You need to take one teaspoon of the product before meals with plenty of water.

Gently solves the problem of constipation by eating 100-150 g of baked turnip every other day.

Compresses from grated root pulp will help to cope with minor burns, purulent rashes and skin lesions.

For acne, it is recommended to wipe your face at night with swede juice.

To moisturize dry skin 2-3 times a week for 15 minutes, apply a mask of mashed vegetable pulp and an equal amount of sour cream.

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Swede recipes

Rutabaga dishes are simple, even a novice hostess can cook them. Vegetables are used to prepare snacks, salads, first and second courses, desserts.

Rutabaga salad with carrots

Grate medium-sized rutabagas, scald with boiling water, then immediately rinse with cold water. Squeeze out moisture and mix with one grated large carrot. Add a handful of raisins and crushed walnuts. Season with sour cream and herbs.

Vegetable puree soup

What is rutabaga, how does it grow, what is useful and where it is used

To prepare the soup, in addition to the swede, you will need cabbage, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, onions. Vegetables are washed, peeled, cut into pieces, boiled until tender.

Then, together with the broth, grind in a blender. Serve with salt, pepper and chopped herbs.

Rutabaga stuffed with mushrooms

Small root vegetables are boiled for 1.5-2 hours. The pulp is carefully removed, leaving walls 8-10 mm thick. Fill the workpieces with mushrooms fried with onions and pulp, add grated carrots if desired.

Place portions in a thick-walled saucepan, add water and simmer for about 15 minutes, tightly closing the lid.

Rutabaga pudding

Ingredients for two servings: rutabaga - 75 g, apricots - 50 g, cottage cheese - 50 g, one egg white, milk - 30 g, butter - 10 g, sugar - 10 g, semolina - 10 g, sour cream - 30 g ...

Rutabaga is cut into strips and stewed with butter and milk until tender. Grits, sugar and soaked chopped apricots are added to the resulting mass. The mass is thoroughly mixed and cooled.Introduce mashed cottage cheese and whipped protein, alter. Spread in a greased mold and bake until golden brown. Served with sour cream.


Despite the enormous benefits, there are a number of contraindications to the use of vegetables:

  • exacerbation of gastrointestinal diseases (gastritis, colitis, peptic ulcer);
  • diabetes;
  • flatulence;
  • pregnancy and breastfeeding.

It is not recommended to use rutabagas for children under 3 years old.


Rutabaga is an undeservedly forgotten root crop that is easy to grow in a personal plot. Side dishes and soups are prepared from the vegetable. With the addition of rutabaga, cutlets are fried and filling for pies. The product can be a healthy and low-calorie substitute for potatoes.

In traditional medicine recipes, pulp is used to relieve colds and constipation. Juice is a great natural remedy for acne. It is worth trying to grow this wonderful root vegetable and experience all of its beneficial properties.

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