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View Full Version : Success with Rutabagas?


sandbur
07-19-2012, 09:12 PM
Has anyone ahd success in growing rutabagas?

They can make a decent foodplot, but I am more interested in growing some for my venison vegetable soup. I have grown a few at times that reach edible size, but I have not figured out why so many do not amount to anything.

Old timers say you need to have "new" ground to grow rutabagas. What nutrient in the new ground allows them to grow?

paleopoint
07-21-2012, 09:37 AM
S ......

I've got 1-1/2 seasons of experience. 3 acres total in 3 plots.

I put a combo of Kale & Rutabagas (Swedes) onto a 1acre plot last year, 2011. I was so pleased with the results that I put in two acres on two farms this past May. One is doing fabulous ..on good moisture bottomland ground...absolutely fabuolous; the other is a total failure....on fairly poor upland ground hard hit by our drought.

The pluses are that both the kale & the swedes are long season brassicas that allow me to 'fill' a spot from mid-spring, thru summer, and into late fall. So not only is there food availability over a longer term but they do a pretty good job of suppressing weed growth. They are nitrogen-hungry so though the relative seed cost is cheap (it only takes 2-3 lbs of seed per acre)....your fertilizing costs can be substantial.

Kale is the more aggressive grower with big tough leaves.....like a big radish leaf but more 'leathery'. The 'bagas' also have big 'brassica-type leaves and will produce a rock hard bulb that the deer will gnaw and gnaw on. It lasts a long time but on my ground all were eaten up last year by the end of December. Use of both forages really stepped up in October after some frosts vs. the earlier part of the growing season, tho there was some usage prior to the frosts.

I'm trying to avoid 'bulb'-type or tuber-type forages .....so for the future will likely just stick with Kale as my 'long-growing-season' brassica, and forgo the bagas.
Of course, I'll continue to use the favorite, Dwarf Essex Rape, as my short term brassica.


ps.....did cook up some of last year's bagas ----in stews and as mashed into mashed potatoes ----they worked & tasted just fine.

ps2......had a neighbor request to harvest some dinner kale for she & her hubby. So she got a bunch and served it..........then reported, heck, they BOTH reported....... that it caused so much methane that evening they each had to sleep in seperate bedrooms.
They didn't ask for a second cutting.

foggy
07-21-2012, 10:03 AM
^^ Funny stuff right there. :) Good post.

sandbur
07-22-2012, 06:46 AM
S ......

I've got 1-1/2 seasons of experience. 3 acres total in 3 plots.

I put a combo of Kale & Rutabagas (Swedes) onto a 1acre plot last year, 2011. I was so pleased with the results that I put in two acres on two farms this past May. One is doing fabulous ..on good moisture bottomland ground...absolutely fabuolous; the other is a total failure....on fairly poor upland ground hard hit by our drought.

The pluses are that both the kale & the swedes are long season brassicas that allow me to 'fill' a spot from mid-spring, thru summer, and into late fall. So not only is there food availability over a longer term but they do a pretty good job of suppressing weed growth. They are nitrogen-hungry so though the relative seed cost is cheap (it only takes 2-3 lbs of seed per acre)....your fertilizing costs can be substantial.

Kale is the more aggressive grower with big tough leaves.....like a big radish leaf but more 'leathery'. The 'bagas' also have big 'brassica-type leaves and will produce a rock hard bulb that the deer will gnaw and gnaw on. It lasts a long time but on my ground all were eaten up last year by the end of December. Use of both forages really stepped up in October after some frosts vs. the earlier part of the growing season, tho there was some usage prior to the frosts.

I'm trying to avoid 'bulb'-type or tuber-type forages .....so for the future will likely just stick with Kale as my 'long-growing-season' brassica, and forgo the bagas.
Of course, I'll continue to use the favorite, Dwarf Essex Rape, as my short term brassica.


ps.....did cook up some of last year's bagas ----in stews and as mashed into mashed potatoes ----they worked & tasted just fine.

ps2......had a neighbor request to harvest some dinner kale for she & her hubby. So she got a bunch and served it..........then reported, heck, they BOTH reported....... that it caused so much methane that evening they each had to sleep in seperate bedrooms.
They didn't ask for a second cutting.

We learn so much on this forum. Kale works for birth control!;)

sandbur
07-22-2012, 02:12 PM
paleo-Were the successful rutabagas on ground that had been out of production for a bit-New ground so to speak?

paleopoint
07-22-2012, 10:33 PM
"New ground?"

Oh, heck no. Last year's acre was a spot we've been plotting on since spring of 2002. The year before ---2010 ---it was in Eagle Manager Mix soys with a September overseeding of wheat.

On the acre where I am experiencing fabulous growth this year ...... that was a split plot last year with half in DER and half in the Eagle soys. It was all soys the year before that.

The spot that is failing this year was in Ground Hog radish with an overseed of wheat in 2011. Buckwheat in 2010.

sandbur
07-23-2012, 10:00 AM
"New ground?"

Oh, heck no. Last year's acre was a spot we've been plotting on since spring of 2002. The year before ---2010 ---it was in Eagle Manager Mix soys with a September overseeding of wheat.

On the acre where I am experiencing fabulous growth this year ...... that was a split plot last year with half in DER and half in the Eagle soys. It was all soys the year before that.

The spot that is failing this year was in Ground Hog radish with an overseed of wheat in 2011. Buckwheat in 2010.

Do you think pH is a factor in the success?

paleopoint
07-23-2012, 01:36 PM
pH an issue in the failure?
...............................................

Well, it could be. Haven't tested that spot since 2008. Anything is possible when you don't know for sure.

But, my betting money would be on the 'droughty' nature of the soil vs. a pH issue. We, like much of the midwest, are suffering through the worst drought in anyone's memory. (I've had failures of two clover plots so far, and lost so many new spruce, apple, pear, and oaks.........that I'll grieve until next spring's plantings.)

This failed plot consists of gravelly glacial till overlying a wide & deep sand seam. It does well enough in high moisture years but gets droughty fast during most Augusts. To the best of my knowledge that spot has never ever been tilled for agriculture. It was grown over with prickly ash, walnut, and spicebush when I cleared it in 2008.

I sprayed it down last evening and will likely put Delar Small Burnett on it within a week or so. That, supposedly, handles droughty ground. I will get a pH reading also.

sandbur
07-23-2012, 04:44 PM
Our rain patterns have shifted a bit further south. I hope that makes a change for you.

Some are too wet, some are to dry.We caught some nice rains last week and things are just right. While 10 miles away, they had 4.5 inches in 36 hours.