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, I personally like rutabagas better.
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, though I admit I never have (I hear they’re not as good as turnip greens).
Rutabagas are great added cooked to mashed potatoes. Mmmm.
That’s my 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.
Long Term Storage: Pressure canned, dehydrated.
Short Term Storage: Refrigerate or Root Cellar.