Rutabaga is the most cold-resistant, the most undemanding in care and very nutritious vegetable. This root vegetable plant of the cabbage family is a hybrid from crossing turnip with cabbage.
Rutabaga is cultivated as a biennial plant. In the first year, a fleshy root crop is formed, used as a vegetable or fodder plant. In the second year, root crops give flowering shoots and form seeds. The plant is cross-pollinated, easily cross-pollinated with wild relatives (colza, wild turnip, rapeseed). The root crop is round-flat, the flesh is yellow in different shades or white. Seed bush from 80 to 170 cm tall. The seeds are dark brown or purplish black and are difficult to distinguish from cabbage seeds, but can be distinguished as follows: if cabbage seeds give a sticky discharge when cut, then swede seeds do not.
You can sow rutabaga in 2-3 terms. The first sowing is recommended in early spring at the end of April for consumption in mid-summer, and the last sowing in such a way that the root crops do not freeze before harvesting, retain good taste and in this state were laid down for winter storage. The soil intended for sowing rutabaga does not require special preparation, especially if the predecessors of the rutabaga were fed with mineral or organic fertilizers. To obtain 2-2.5 kg of swede per 1 sq. m. on medium soils, 10 g of ammonium nitrate and potassium chloride and 50 g of superphosphate are required.
Rutabaga can be sown in open ground or grown as seedlings. The depth of seed placement when sowing in the ground is 1-1.5 cm. The density of standing is 35 plants per 1 sq. m. m. Recommended planting pattern: row spacing – 60-70 cm, distance between plants in a row 4-5 cm. Crop care includes the destruction of the soil crust (loosening), weeding and watering. To control pests (cruciferous flea, cabbage fly), standard preparations are used.
Growing and caring for rutabagas
The technology of growing swede is not complicated. Rutabaga gives good yields in any weather, with little care and on any soil. The best predecessors of rutabaga from vegetables in crop rotations are cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes, but cabbage is not desirable, since rutabaga and cabbage have common diseases and pests (keel, bacteriosis, formos, cruciferous flea, cabbage fly).
When growing swede through seedlings in film greenhouses on ridges and in nurseries, seeds are sown 40-50 days before planting seedlings in open ground. Seeding depth 1-1.5 cm, distance between plants 7-10 cm, seed consumption 4.5 g per 1 sq. m. Before sampling seedlings, abundant watering is necessary. The selected seedlings are planted in the ground on the same day. When disembarking, it is necessary to ensure that the growth point is not covered with earth. Seedlings with 5 true leaves are considered suitable for planting.
The rutabaga is harvested when the root crops reach a diameter of 5-6 cm. It is impossible to overgrow and allow coarsening of the pulp. Root crops are dug up, the tops are cut, trying not to damage the head, they are cleaned of roots and soil. In winter, the swede is well stored, sprinkled with clean sand, at a temperature of 0 to 1 degree and air humidity of 90-95%.
Rutabaga varieties are more often forage purposes. But there are also delicious table varieties. The most common of them is the old Russian variety Krasnoselskaya. This is a medium-early very productive variety, on fertilized soils it forms fruits suitable for food in 65-70 days. The root crop is round-flat with yellow, high palatability, pulp, weighing from 350 to 950 grams. Resistant to keel, not blooming.
Rutabaga is a cheap source of minerals and vitamins. In hard times, she saved entire villages and districts from starvation. Where there is a long winter and problems with a lack of vitamin C, the swede is simply irreplaceable, because in terms of the content of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) among root crops, it ranks first (70 mg per 100 g). Turnip retains almost all vitamins and nutrients until the end of storage, and, most importantly, retains them during heat treatment.
They use the vegetable crop, consuming it fresh, stewed, fried, baked, adding to vegetable soups, stews, vinaigrette, etc.
Cut the peeled vegetable into slices 1-1.5 cm thick, grate with salt and red pepper, roll in wheat flour and fry in a skillet in calcined oil until the crust is browned on both sides. Then put in a saucepan and bring to readiness in the oven.
Rutabagas with sour cream
Prepared rutabagas are cut into small cubes and boiled in salted water until half cooked, then they are thrown into a colander, seasoned with sour cream and put in a cast iron (pot) in the oven, brought to readiness. Served on the table, seasoned with herbs. Instead of sour cream, sour cream or milk sauce can be used for dressing.
Peel medium-sized rutabaga, boil in salted water until half cooked, then cut off the head and cut out the core. Mix the removed part of the pulp with minced meat (rice, meat or mushrooms), close the chopped swede with a lid (head) and bake in the oven.