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Rutabaga



Rutabaga

CULTURE: A sweet soil (above pH 6.4) is best with moderate nitrogen but abundant in potash and phosphorus. For customary fall and winter use plant in mid-June to mid-July or about 90 days before intended harvest. Sow 6 seeds per foot, 3/8" deep, thinning to 6" apart, in rows 18-24" apart.
DISEASES: Soft, brown interior root spot indicates soil boron deficiency, corrected by good compost or agricultural borax. Diseases include black leg, black rot, and turnip mosaic virus. Practice crop rotation (as with all brassicas). Dispose of infected plants and do not allow any to survive the winter to infect a new crop.
INSECT PESTS: Protect from cabbage root maggots and flea beetles with floating row covers at time of planting (see Index).
HARVEST AND STORAGE: After at least two good frosts, cut tops, and store washed or unwashed at 32F (0C) and 95% humidity for up to 6 months. Waxing (dipping clean roots in paraffin) is done prior to delivery to prevent drying of roots in store displays.
AVG. DIRECT SEEDING RATE: 1,400'/oz., 15.5 oz./acre at 6 seeds/ft. in rows 24" apart.
GRADED SEEDS: Where noted.
SEED SPECS: SEEDS/OZ.: Avg. 9,300. SEEDS/LB. Avg. 150,000.
MINI: 1 gm. (avg. 300 seeds) sows 25'.
PACKET: 7 gm. (approx. 1/4 oz., avg. 2,100 seeds) sows 175'.


Rutabaga


THE BENEFITS OF RUTABAGA

The roots of the rutabaga are either globular or elongated, and the leaf has no hair and is fleshier than the turnip. Also, the rutabaga has a longer ripening period. The turnip has flat roots, hairy leaves that are not fleshy, and the plants take less tune to mature. Additionally, the rutabaga has much denser flesh than the turnip and is somewhat higher in total dry matter and total digestible nutrients. Although there are white-fleshed and yellow-fleshed varieties of both turnips and rutabagas, most rutabagas are yellow­fleshed and most turnips are white-fleshed. A further important difference is that the rutabaga grows best where the weather is colder, and is principally cultivated in the northern latitudes.

Rutabagas should be firm and fairly smooth, with few leaf scars around the crown and with very few fibrous roots at the base. Soft or shriveled rutabagas are undesirable, because they will be tough when cooked. Avoid roots that are light for their size, as they are likely to be tough, woody, pitted, or hollow and strong in flavor.

Rutabagas are sometimes recommended for cases of constipation. However, because of their mustard oil content, they are apt to cause gas. They should not be used by anyone who suffers with kidney troubles. Rutabagas contain more A than turnips.