9 September 2011, by gj
“Oh rutabagas- they’re just the same as turnips.”
Yes, I’ve heard this said.
Although they are related, a rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip, and have some similar characteristics, they are not the same.
1. They are sweeter.
2. They store longer.
3. They grow much, much bigger.
4. It’s more fun to say ‘root-a-beg-a’.
5. They were the original Jack O’ Lanterns.
6. Frost? Ha! They scoff at frost!
Rutabagas actually like a little frost. They take about 3 months to grow, so plan your planting time accordingly.
Here in Zone 5/6, we usually get frost later in September; so I just toss a few seeds in when I’m planting in June and let them go.
Rutabagas don’t have a lot of special needs.
You can eat the greens, always a bonus.
Rutabagas are great added cooked to mashed potatoes. Mmmm.
That’s our favorite way to enjoy them; Mandolin likes this too, he also puts them in soups and stews.
Botanical Name: Brassica napus
Yield: One veggie per seed planted, though thinning plants to give them more room will help them grow larger.
Days to maturity: 90
Storage: Refrigerate or root cellar, pressure canned, dehydrated.