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Rutabaga: How to Grow and When to Plant in Your Backyard or Patio Garden!

Rutabaga blog post
Rutabaga is a great addition to a cold weather garden! It is commonly mistaken for turnips since they look and are grown very similar!

How to Grow:

Rutabaga is planted 4-6 weeks before your last spring frost and 3 months before first fall frost. It does not do well in warm temperatures and should only be planted in the spring and fall with cooler temperatures. You can see specific dates for your location using our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App.

Plant rutabaga seeds 1/4-1/2 inch deep, 4 per square foot, in full sun. Take care to notice what plants are around the area as well, see the companion plant section below. Seeds should sprout within 4-7 days. Keep constant moisture on your rutabaga plant.

Companion Plants:

Companion planting is a vital part of organic gardening. Companion plants assist in the growth of others by attracting beneficial insects, repelling pests, or providing nutrients, shade, or support. There are also plants that do not like being next to each other. Some plants get too tall and can provide too much shade for your plant. Sometimes certain plants attract the same pests, so it is important to try and separate these. Herbs are especially great companion plants because they help to repel pests from your other plants!


Pests can be one of the most difficult challenges you face in the garden. We strive to grow food without the use of pesticide and luckily there are natural solutions for most of these nasty pests! The pests listed below are common pests for rutabaga:

Learn more about how to manage pests and attract beneficial insects in our FREE iOS, Android, and Universal Web App!


Rutabaga should be ready to harvest within 60-100 days depending upon the variety. Harvest rutabaga roots when they are 3-5 inches in diameter and before the ground freezes. The smaller the rutabaga the sweeter it will be. Simply hand pick the rutabaga and cut tops above the roots.

Cooking & Eating!

All parts of rutabaga can be eaten! Try adding the leaves to salads. Rutabaga roots will taste best when they are not too large and it is chilly outside. These will store in the refrigerator in a storage bag for a few months. Rutabaga can be eaten pretty much any way! Try it roasted, sauteed, fried, or baked!

Learn more about growing over 100 different foods, including how to manage various pests in our FREE iOS, Android, or Universal Web App

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