All You Need To Know About Growing Rutabaga

You plan to grow rutabaga at home and have some questions that need to be answered?

Great! This article is exactly for you since I will answer various questions about growing rutabaga at home in the following FAQ section.

Table of Contents

Time & Duration

When to grow rutabaga from seed?

You can either grow rutabaga from seed in spring for an early summer harvest or plant it in fall for an early winter harvest.

Both options are perfectly fine as long as you make sure that rutabaga plants are not exposed to strong frost.

Does rutabaga grow year-round?

While you could grow rutabaga year-round, your plants will need some level of cold weather to grow well and to develop decent yields.

Hence, make sure to plant rutabagas according to that and adjust growing periods according to the climatic conditions you live in.

Does rutabaga grow fast?

You can grow rutabaga within three months and this means that you will be able to grow it much faster compared to pumpkins, melons or zucchinis.

Prepare the soil!

However, it will take you longer to grow rutabaga compared to carrots, radishes or lettuce which you could often grow within one month.

How long does it take to grow rutabaga?

While it will take you between 80 and 100 days to grow rutabaga from seed to harvest on average, this also greatly depends on the growing conditions you provide for your plants and on the climatic conditions outdoors.

Thus, don’t get discouraged if it takes you a little bit longer and just enjoy the ride.

Does rutabaga grow back every year?

Rutabaga will not grow back every year. Consequently, to get multiple rutabaga harvests per year, you would also have to grow multiple batches of rutabaga seeds.

Hence, you will have to do all the hard work over and over again if you want to get rutabaga yields on a regular basis.

How long do rutabaga plants live?

If you harvest rutabaga in time, your plants will live around three months before you pull them out of the ground.

However, in case you just let rutabaga grow, it will live much longer and will only decay once the first strong winter frost arrives.

How long does it take until rutabaga flowers?

You will often not see rutabagas flower since you will harvest your plans before they have the opportunity to do so.

Hence, if you want to see rutabaga flowers and save seeds from your plants, you would miss out on high-quality rutabaga harvests at the same time.

Can you grow rutabaga in fall?

Growing rutabaga in fall is perfectly fine. You just need to make sure that you start growing rutabaga around three months before you expect the first winter frost of the year so that your plants have enough time to mature and to develop decent crops.

Can you grow rutabaga in winter?

While you could try growing rutabaga in winter, I still don’t recommend it since you would have to grow rutabaga indoors and you would just not be able to provide as natural conditions for your plants as outdoors.

Consequently, also your yields tend to be much lower indoors.

Location & Climate

Will rutabaga grow in shade?

Even though rutabaga needs periods of cool weather to grow well and to develop healthy fruits, you will still have to provide some level of sunlight to your plants.

Consequently, never try to grow rutabaga in complete shade but rather assure at least a few hours of sunlight per day on average.

Will rutabaga grow in partial shade?

Partial shade is a great environment to grow rutabaga since your plants will get a healthy mix of sun and shade while still being protected from excessive sun exposure, radiation and heat.

Hence, make sure to choose a half-shady spot in your garden or on your balcony to grow rutabaga as well as possible.

Does rutabaga grow best in full sun?

While rutabaga plants like a certain amount of sunlight, they don’t grow that well in full sun.

Consequently, don’t choose a site where your plants get full sun all day long but rather choose a spot where rutabagas also get some shade so that they are protected from excessive sun exposure.

Will rutabaga tolerate frost?

While rutabaga plants like cool weather, they are still not resistant to frost and this means that you should never expose them to extremely cold weather outdoors.

Therefore, wait with growing rutabaga until you don’t expect frost anymore and also make sure that you harvest rutabagas in time before strong winter frost arrives.

Do you have to protect rutabaga from the sun?

While there is no need to actively protect rutabaga from the sun, you can do so in a natural manner by just growing them in partially shady environments where your plants get a good amount of sun while they are still being protected from excessive sun exposure.

How much space do you need to grow rutabaga?

You should plan at least 2 square feet of space for every rutabaga plant you want to grow so that your plants don’t have to compete for nutrients with each other and also get enough sunlight to grow in a solid manner.

Will rutabaga grow indoors?

Since rutabagas need cool weather to produce big crops, it is not a good idea to grow them indoors.

Moreover, your plants would also take away lots of space from you and I therefore recommend you rather grow rutabaga outdoors instead of inside your home.

Can you grow rutabaga without a garden or balcony?

In case you don’t have access to a garden or a balcony, your only option would be to grow rutabaga indoors.

However, this comes along with all sorts of problems, including pretty low yields, and I therefore suggest you wait with growing rutabaga until you move to a place where you have access to an outdoor space.

Can you grow rutabaga in small flats?

You should not try growing rutabaga in small flats since your plants would just take away too much space from you and you would also not be able to provide natural growing conditions to your plants indoors.

Consequently, wait with growing rutabaga until you move to a bigger place where you also have access to a balcony or a garden.

Can you grow rutabaga in an aquarium?

Instead of using conventional flower pots, you could also grow rutabaga in an aquarium.

However, you would run into the problem that water would not be able to run off properly and the roots of your plants would start to rot.

Thus, I suggest you don’t grow rutabaga in aquariums but rather use more conventional alternatives instead.

Can you grow rutabaga in a terrarium?

Growing rutabaga in aquariums is not a good idea since you would not be able to provide good growing conditions to your plants and you would also be quite inflexible since once you fill your terrarium with potting soil, it would become quite heavy and almost impossible to move.

Can you grow rutabaga in buckets?

Instead of using flower pots, you could also grow rutabaga in buckets.

In fact, buckets are a great alternative to flower pots as long as you make sure that water will be able to run off properly and that you also use big buckets so that your plants get enough space and nutrients to produce healthy crops.

Can you grow rutabaga in bags?

You could also just grow rutabaga in bags.

In case you want to do so, make sure to use fabric bags so that water can run off properly and that you also use big bags so that your plants have enough space to grow in a decent manner.

Can you grow rutabaga in hanging baskets?

Since rutabaga plants can get quite big and rutabaga crops can get heavy, you should not grow rutabaga in hanging baskets since it would just destabilize your growing project.

Instead, you should grow rutabaga in pots or in your garden to give your plants a better foundation.

Can you grow rutabaga in rainy climatic zones?

Since rutabaga grows well in cool weather, it is a great plant to grow in rainy climatic zones.

However, still make sure that your plants get sufficient sunlight and can utilize every precious hour of sunlight as best as possible.

Can you grow rutabaga in tropical climatic zones?

Since rutabaga needs cool climatic conditions to develop healthy crops, you should not try growing rutabaga in the tropics.

Instead, you should grow bananas, papayas or other plants that are more used to those extremely hot and humid conditions.

Can you grow rutabaga in regions with permafrost?

While rutabaga plants like cool weather, it is still not a good idea to grow them in regions with permafrost outdoors since your plants would just decay pretty soon.

Instead, if you want to grow rutabaga in those cold regions, you should use a greenhouse to protect your plants from the cold as best as possible.

Does rutabaga grow on vines?

Rutabaga doesn’t grow on vines but rather grows on a plant that can get quite big. If you haven’t seen rutabaga plants before, I suggest you check out one of the videos in this article to get a better idea of what rutabaga plants look like.

Does rutabaga grow underground?

While the plant material grows above the soil surface, the actual rutabaga crops will develop below the ground and you will therefore have to watch your plants closely to find the optimal harvesting time.

What is the best orientation for growing rutabagas?

Since rutabagas grow best with a healthy mix of sun and shade, you should grow rutabaga in either west or east orientation.

South orientation is fine if you want to provide your plants with more sunlight.

Don’t grow rutabaga in north orientation since your plants would just not get enough sunlight to grow well.

Can you grow rutabaga with indirect sunlight?

Instead of growing rutabaga outdoors in your garden or on your balcony, you could also grow them in greenhouses with indirect sunlight.

However, from my experience, you get the best results by just growing rutabaga with direct sunlight outdoors instead of relying on a greenhouse.

Where does rutabaga grow best?

Rutabaga grows best if you provide your plants with cool climatic conditions and also make sure to grow rutabaga in your garden so that your plants get the most natural growth conditions.

Moreover, also make sure that you provide enough space to your plants so that they don’t have to compete for nutrients with each other.

Where to grow rutabaga in pots?

Growing rutabagas in pots is perfectly fine as long as you make sure to place those pots outdoors on your porch or your balcony on a spot where your plants get a decent mix of sunlight and shade so that they are able to grow well and to develop healthy crops.

Where to grow rutabaga indoors?

If you want to grow rutabaga indoors, you should choose a spot where your plants get as much sunlight as possible.

You should also make sure that you choose a rather cool room so that rutabaga plants will provide you with decent yields at the end of the growing season.

Can you grow rutabaga in water?

Growing rutabaga in pure water is not a good idea at all since your plants would just not get sufficient nutrients and would decay sooner or later.

Instead, make sure to grow rutabaga in high-quality soil so that your plants get everything they need to produce great yields.

Can you grow rutabaga with LED lights?

If you grow rutabaga indoors, you could also use LEDs or other artificial lighting sources to speed up the growth process of your plants.

However, this would be a huge waste of energy and money and I therefore suggest you rather utilize natural sunlight that is even free to use and also better for our planet ;).

Can you grow rutabaga in dark rooms?

Growing rutabaga in dark rooms is a pretty bad idea since your plants would just not get sufficient sunlight.

Hence, instead of growing rutabaga in dark rooms, make sure to grow them in a sunny location inside your home or even better outdoors in your garden or on your balcony.

Soil Requirements

Can you reuse soil for growing rutabaga the next year?

While many people dispose of used soil, you can reuse soil for growing rutabaga and other plants for many years if you loosen the soil after each growing season and also make sure to add some nutrients to the soil so that your plants get everything they need.

Does rutabaga grow well in waterlogged soil?

Rutabaga doesn’t grow well in waterlogged soil. Consequently, make sure that water can run off properly since the roots of your plants might start to rot otherwise.

This is crucial so that your plants stay healthy in the long run and provide you with great yields at the end of the growing season.

Does rutabaga grow best in acidic, neutral or alkaline soil?

Rutabaga grows best in slightly acidic or neutral soil with an optimal soil pH between 6.3 and 7.

However, as long as you rely on a decent soil mix from the garden center, you will not have to worry that much about those technicalities and will still be able to grow rutabaga in a decent manner.

Will rutabaga grow in sandy soil?

Sandy soil is not a great environment to grow rutabagas since it will often be low in nutrients and will also not provide a stable foundation for your plants.

Thus, instead of growing rutabaga in sandy soil, make sure to get a rather balanced soil mix from the garden center.

Will rutabaga grow well in clay soil?

Clay soil is just too solid for growing rutabagas.

In clay soil, waterlogging would often become an issue and also rutabaga crops would not be able to develop in a healthy manner and I therefore recommend you rather grow rutabaga in a looser soil mix instead.

Will rutabaga grow in compost?

While compost is loose enough to grow rutabaga and also contains lots of nutrients, you should still add some potting soil from the store to compost to get a more balanced soil mix in which rutabaga plants will feel perfectly fine.

Plant Care

Do rutabaga plants need a lot of water?

Since you will often grow rutabaga in cool climatic zones, your plants will also not need that much water.

Hence, rutabagas are great plants if you don’t want to bother with watering your plants every day but rather want to have to make as little effort as possible in this regard.

Do you have to water rutabaga on a regular basis?

How much you have to water rutabaga plants greatly depends on the overall growing setup.

For instance, if you grow rutabaga in your garden and your plants have access to rainwater, you will have to water them much less often compared to growing them in pots where they don’t have access to rainwater.

Hence, make sure to adjust your watering schedule according to those factors and also adjust it to changing climatic conditions outdoors.

Should you use filtered or unfiltered water to water rutabaga?

Filtering water for rutabaga plants is just a waste of time as long as you don’t live in a region where excessive amounts of lime are in your tap water.

In most regions, you will be perfectly fine to water rutabaga with unfiltered tap water and you will not have to make any efforts in this regard.

Should you use rainwater to water rutabaga?

Rainwater is the most natural water you could provide to rutabaga plants.

It is also great since it is free and you can supply yourself with almost unlimited amounts of rainwater by collecting it in a rainwater barrel and use it for dry periods of the year.

When to stake rutabaga plants?

While you don’t have to stake rutabaga plants at all, you can still do so to stabilize your plants as soon as your plants reach at least 3 inches in height and are also in the soil for a few weeks so that they had enough time to accommodate to conditions outdoors.

What to stake rutabaga with?

One simple but yet effective way to stake rutabaga plants is to just place some sticks next to each plant and to tie rutabaga plants with cord to those sticks so that they will become less vulnerable to heavy winds or other adverse conditions outdoors.

What to do when rutabaga turns yellow?

Yellow rutabaga leaves usually indicate that you water your plants too often or too little.

Hence, make sure to adjust your watering schedule.

You should also add some fertilizer and also check your plants for pests and take measures to remove them in case pests are present on your plants.

How to protect rutabaga against wind?

You can simply protect rutabaga plants from heavy winds and storms by tying them with cord to sticks.

With this simple measure, you can make sure that your plants withstand most harsh conditions outdoors and can grow as well as possible.

How to protect rutabaga against heavy rain?

While there is no need to actively protect rutabaga plants from heavy rain, you can still do so by growing rutabaga seedlings indoors and only transplanting them outdoors once they reach a certain size at which heavy rain will not hurt your plants anymore.

How to protect rutabaga against hail?

If you grow rutabaga in your garden, you could use a foil cover to protect your plants from hail.

If you grow rutabaga in pots or containers, you could just move them to a safe place in case you expect hail in your region until the danger is over.

Should you pinch out rutabaga?

There is no urgent need to pinch rutabaga plants. In fact, you can do more harm than good to your plants if you don’t know what you are doing and I therefore recommend you don’t pinch out rutabaga plants but rather let them grow in a completely natural manner instead.

Where to pinch rutabaga?

Since pinching out rutabaga inside your four walls is not a good idea since you would just mess up your home and may also introduce pests, you should rather pinch rutabaga plants outdoors in your garden or on your balcony to avoid those issues.

Can you grow rutabaga without fertilizer?

The better the soil you provide for your plants, the more likely it is that you will be able to grow rutabaga without any additional fertilizer.

However, if you really want to maximize your yields, you may still want to add some fertilizer to get the most out of your gardening project.

Should you cover rutabaga plants to protect them against frost?

Instead of covering rutabaga plants to protect them from frost, you should rather wait with growing rutabaga outdoors until you don’t expect frost anymore since covering your plants would alter lighting conditions and might hurt the growth of your plants in the long run.

How to get rid of moss when growing rutabaga?

If you see moss near rutabaga plants, you can be pretty sure that you water your plants too often.

Consequently, make sure to slow down your watering schedule a little bit until moss will vanish in a completely natural manner.

Pests & Diseases

Can you grow rutabaga without using pesticides?

The better the conditions you provide to your plants, the more likely it is that you will not have to use any pesticides to protect rutabaga plants.

Hence, make sure to optimize growing conditions by selecting a perfect site and use a high-quality soil mix so that your plants get resistant to pests in a natural manner.

Should you use natural or chemical pesticides for rutabaga plants?

In case rutabaga plants are not able to deter pests on their own, you may want to use some natural fertilizer to get rid of those annoying companions.

Never use chemical pesticides since those substances are pretty bad for our environment and would also make your gardening project less organic.

What are the most common rutabaga pests?

Caterpillars, nematodes, aphids and cutworms are just some of the pests you will have to deal with when growing rutabaga at home.

Fortunately, there are easy ways to get rid of those annoying little friends to protect your plants.

How to protect rutabaga against pests?

If you want to know how to get rid of all sorts of pests and plant diseases in a simple but yet effective manner, you should definitely have a look at how to get rid of rutabaga pests and diseases and also at my pest removal articles.

Growing Difficulty

Should you grow rutabaga with children?

Since rutabaga will not take that long to grow and will also produce big crops, it is a great plant to grow with kids since your kids will see results quickly and will therefore likely not lose interest in your gardening project.

Is rutabaga a good plant for a school project?

Rutabaga can also be a great plant to grow with school kids since you can grow it relatively fast and you can also show school kids how much work it takes to produce our food.

Consequently, those kids will appreciate their food much more and will also become more conscious about our environmental problems.

Is growing rutabaga difficult?

Even though growing rutabaga is not difficult, you still need to know many little things to get decent yields and you should therefore make sure to check out all the tips and tricks in this article to be able to grow rutabaga at home as best as possible.

Harvest

What color does ripe rutabaga have?

While the plant material will still have a green color when rutabagas are ready to harvest, the crops will have a white or slightly green color.

You should also wait with harvesting rutabagas until they reach a size that is worth it to harvest them.

Can you save seeds from rutabaga plants?

Most of the time, you will not see rutabaga plants flower if you harvest them in time and this means that you will not be able to harvest any seeds.

Consequently, if you urgently want to save seeds, you should not harvest rutabagas after a few months but rather let them grow until they flower.

Can rutabaga get overripe?

If you leave rutabaga in the ground for too long, crops can get overripe and will lose precious nutrients and flavor.

Consequently, make sure to harvest rutabaga in time to get the most out of your gardening project.

What parts of a rutabaga plant can you eat?

Not only will you be able to eat the actual rutabaga bulb, but you will also be able to eat the leaves of rutabaga plants.

In fact, these leaves can be quite delicious and will make a nice salad or can also be used for making pesto.

Additional Questions

Is growing rutabaga expensive?

Growing rutabaga at home is not expensive at all. All you need are a few seeds and you will be good to go if you have a garden.

If you don’t have a garden, you would also need to get some flower pots and some soil.

However, this would still not cost you a fortune and growing rutabaga at home is therefore a pretty cheap hobby.

Is growing rutabaga fun?

Growing rutabaga at home is not only quite a lot of fun since you will see progress of your plants every day, but it can also be quite relaxing.

In fact, I really like sitting next to my plants after a stressful workday since it helps me unwind from those things for a while.

Does rutabaga grow on trees?

Rutabaga doesn’t grow on trees but rather grows on plants that can get quite bushy.

While the leaf material will grow above the soil surface, the actual rutabaga crop will be produced underground and you will therefore have to frequently check whether your plants are ready to harvest or not.

Does rutabaga grow from flowers?

While rutabaga plants may flower, rutabaga doesn’t grow from flowers.

Consequently, you can get decent rutabaga yields even if you never see any flower son your plants and if you don’t want to save rutabaga seeds, you will not have to care about the flowering behavior of your plants at all.

How many rutabaga plants should you grow per pot?

Since both rutabaga plants and crops can get quite big, you should never grow more than one rutabaga plant per pot.

You should also make sure to use pretty big posts so that your plants get enough space and nutrients to grow well.

Which animals feed on rutabaga?

Rodents like mice, squirrels and rabbits are well-known to feed on rutabaga plants.

Hence, make sure to install a fence or other protective devices so that your plants can grow without having to fear any harm from those hungry intruders.

Will your pets eat turnip plants?

If you keep rabbits or other rodents as pets, your pets may try to feed on rutabaga plants sooner or later.

Consequently, make sure to keep away your pets from your plants so that you don’t wake up one day and wonder where your plants may have gone ;).

Is rutabaga toxic for pets?

If you grow turnip at home, you don’t have to worry about problems for the health of most pets.

However, you can never be 100% sure in this regard and you should therefore still make sure that your pets don’t feed on your plants, not only to protect your pets but also to protect your rutabagas.

Why rutabaga grows small?

If rutabaga grows small, this usually indicates that you haven’t provided your plants with the right climatic conditions and that your plants haven’t got enough nutrients.

Consequently, you should choose a better site and also add some fertilizer to the soil to get better results in future years.

What to grow with rutabaga?

If you grow rutabaga, you should also know the best plants to grow with them. Hence, make sure to check out what to grow with rutabaga in my rutabaga companion plant article.

Can you grow rutabaga from rutabaga?

While it might be possible to grow rutabaga from rutabaga, I still don’t recommend you do so since it would just be a huge waste of food.

Instead, just rely on seeds from the garden center or from an internet vendor to make your growing project much more efficient.

Can you grow rutabaga from rotten fruits?

If you have rutabaga crops at home that start to rot, you don’t necessarily have to dispose of them.

Instead, you can just use them for growing purposes, plant them into the soil and harvest fresh rutabaga after a few months or also just save seeds from your plants for future growing projects.

Can you grow rutabaga without seeds?

Instead of growing rutabaga from seed, you could also grow it from seedlings which you could get from the garden center.

While this might be more convenient, it would also take away part of the gardening experience and I therefore suggest you rather grow rutabaga from seeds yourself.

Do you have to pollinate rutabaga by hand?

Since rutabaga will not grow from flowers, there will be no need to pollinate rutabaga plants by hand, at least if you don’t want to save seeds from your plants.

Hence, if you just want to harvest decent rutabaga crops, you don’t have to worry about pollination issues at all.

How to grow big rutabaga?

The bigger you expect rutabaga yields to be, the more effort you have to put in to optimize the growing conditions.

Consequently, if you want to grow big rutabaga, you should make sure to use high-quality soil and that you also fertilize your plants on a regular basis so that they get everything they need to grow as fast as possible.

Moreover, you should also make sure to optimize your watering schedule and also to keep away pests and plant diseases so that your plants can focus on producing great yields.

Can you grow rutabaga commercially?

Growing rutabaga commercially is usually not a good idea since you would have to spend lots of money upfront on equipment, machinery and land and competition in this market will also be fierce.

Thus, instead of growing rutabaga commercially, you should rather grow it for fun in my opinion.

Can you grow rutabaga from fresh seeds?

While fresh seeds can be great to grow rutabaga, you will still often not have access to those fresh seeds and due to a lack of availability of those fresh seeds, you may rather have to rely on seeds from the garden center or from an internet vendor instead.

Can you grow rutabaga from dried seeds?

Growing rutabaga from dried seeds is the standard in the gardening world and it is also pretty convenient since you can store those dried seeds for a quite long period of time and will have them ready once you want to start a new gardening project.

Can you grow rutabaga from cuttings?

You can also try growing rutabaga from cuttings. However, this is pretty advanced stuff and if you are relatively new to gardening and don’t have any experience with growing cuttings, you should rather rely on growing turnips from seed instead.

Should you use a rutabaga growing kit for growing rutabaga?

While you could use a growing kit for growing rutabaga, I still recommend you just get proper gardening equipment that you can use for many different plants and that is also much more durable in the long run.

Does rutabaga grow in the wild?

While some rutabaga varieties grow in the wild, they often just look quite different from the crops you know from the grocery store.

Hence, it is also not a good idea to harvest those wild varieties since you might collect plants that look similar but may actually be toxic.

Should you talk to rutabaga plants?

While some people claim that talking to rutabaga plants can improve their growth, I highly recommend using your time for things that will have a much bigger impact on the overall results of your gardening project.

Should you plant rutabaga at half moon or full moon?

The moon phase in which you start growing rutabaga doesn’t have any noticeable effect on the outcome of your gardening project at all.

Thus, don’t worry in this regard at all and rather do what’s best for your plants from a climatic perspective instead.

I hope you found all the answers you were looking for.

If you want to get even more information on how to grow rutabaga at home, also make sure to have a look at my rutabaga grower’s guide on how to grow rutabaga from seed to harvest step-by-step.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rutabaga

Own research and experience.

About the Author

My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.

In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.

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