UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA


Garden Help > Vegetables

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Pest management: Similar to turnips

The Basics

Rutabagas are grown for their large round roots. They are similar to turnips but are larger, slightly sweeter, and take longer to mature. They have yellow skin and flesh. Like other vegetables in the brassica family, they develop their best flavor in cool weather.

When to plant

  • Direct seed in August–September; thin to 6–10 inches apart.
  • Transplant in September–October, 6–10 inches apart.
  • Start in pots in August–September for transplanting. Ready to transplant in 4–5 weeks.

Harvest window

  • Harvest when roots reach desired size, typically 3–5 inches, in 3–4 months.
  • Flavor is best if there have been some light frosts, but protect from hard freezes.
  • The shoulders frequently push out of the soil and may be tinted reddish-purple. This is normal and not a problem.

Fertilization: Excess nitrogen may cause misshapen roots.

More links

Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County

There are no specific variety recommendations for Santa Clara County yet.

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