Garden rutabaga, such as ‘Bronze Top’ and ‘Purple Top Improved’ often replace winter turnips. Rutabaga are hardy, and the large roots may be left in the ground until Christmas at least. You can also lift the roots in October, cut off the foliage and store the swedes indoors in dry sand.
Rutabaga do best in an open, sunny site, and the soil should have been well manured or composted for the previous crop. A sprinkling of a general compound fertilizer may be made before sowing if the soil is not too fertile. Sow very thinly in May or early June in 2.5cm (1 in) drills spaced at 38cm (15in) apart. Thin the seedlings to 30cm (12in) apart and, if growth appears rather slow during the summer, topdress and hoe into the ground nitrate of soda at the rate of 28g (1 oz) to a row of 3m (10ft). This fertilizer should be watered in, if the season is a dry one. Hoe to keep down weeds. Alternatively, mulch with chopped straw or sedge peat in late July.