United States Edition


Brassica napobrassica

Swede is part of the Brassica (Mustard) genus and its scientific name is Brassica napobrassica.

Direct sow seeds three to four months before the first autumn frost.
Swede is a brassica that grows a swollen root over the summer. The root is about 10 to 15 cm diameter and sometimes has a red top and shoulder the inside is yellow. It keeps well and is cooked in stews or mashed with butter as a vegetable

The leaves of this particular variety normally show as   Dark spring green and   La Salle Green colour. It is a flowering edible vegetable that typically grows as an annual, which is defined as a plant that matures and completes its lifecycle over the course of a single year. Normally reaching to a mature height of 11.7 inches (30.0 cm). Popular varieties of Swede with home gardeners are American Purple Top, Laurentian, Marian, Ruby and Joan.

Swede is great for inexperienced gardeners and those that like low maintainance gardens.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Swede have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Swede

  • Full Sun

  • Medium

Water if conditions are dry, as the quality of the root will reduce with cracking and toughness if the root is allowed to dry out.

Try to plant in a location that enjoys full sun and remember to water moderately. Swede requires a loamy and clay soil with a ph of 6.5 - 7.2 - it grows best in weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Swede is thought of as very hardy, so this plant will tend to survive through freezing conditions.

See our list of companion Plants for Swede to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Swede from seed

Sow direct from early spring to early summer. Make two or three sowings to spread the time over which the crop matures

Try to aim for a seed spacing of at least 1.95 inches (5.0 cm) and sow at a depth of around 0.47 inches (1.2 cm). Soil temperature should be kept higher than 8°C / 46°F to ensure good germination.

Transplanting Swede

Thin out to 20 to 25 cm after germination
Keep weeds out to reduce competition for water and sunshine

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Swede is a very hardy plant.

Harvesting Swede

The roots may be ready as early as late summer, but they can be left in the ground until winter if the soil does not become waterlogged. Lift the root as needed in the kitchen, using a small fork or trowel.

Seed Saving Swede

Swede would not normally flower unless it is left in the ground until the spring. If the variety is heirloom, so open pollenated, then then seeds can be saved for future plantings the

Common Swede problems

These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Swede plants:

Club root. Reduced by growing in more dry or acidic conditions, or using resistant varieties

Cabbage root fly
Flea beetles
Try covering with fine fleece

Other names for Swede

Rutabaga, Swedish turnip, Wax turnip, Tumshie, Neep, Kålrot

Brassica napus napobrassica, Brassica napus var. napobrassica

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Swede care instructions

How long does Swede take to grow?

These estimates for how long Swede takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world. Start logging and journaling your observations to participate!


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