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SWEDE  (Brassica napus)

This is the turnip-like yellow fleshed vegetable which is harvested in the winter and is Winter hardy. This is the one to use for “Haggis, tatties and neeps”. Much maligned as only suitable for sheep fodder, but it is in fact a tasty vegetable with a sweet flavour. It may have been introduced to this country from Sweden. Easy to sow in situ, it is best to cover the plants over the Winter with netting to keep the pigeons away.


Sow the seed in fertile ground in May, 1 cm deep and spaced at 20 cm, with rows 30 cm apart. Keep the ground moist and well weeded. Cover the plants with anti-bird netting before the Winter.


Harvest as required through Autumn and Winter. They can be kept for several weeks in a fridge crispator.


Pests and diseases. As they are brassicas, they are susceptible to all the pests and diseases of them. Particularly protect them from slugs and snails, cabbage whites and their caterpillars and birds.


Suggested varieties of Swedes.

Marian. Has a good sweet flavour and texture and some resistance to club root and mildew.

Ruby. A sweeter flavour and some resistance to mildew.

SWEDE