**Rutabagas are slow-growing and can be difficult to cultivate, however, they are an excellent root vegetable for many recipes and for a fall/winter crop.
**If stored correctly, they will keep throughout the entire winter.
**Plant in an open, sunny spot in light soil that is low in nitrogen and has a pH no lower than 6.8. If possible, dig some well-rotted manure or compost into the soil at some point during the previous season.
**They take a long time to develop from seed to when they are ready to harvest, sometimes as long as 6 months. Therefore, start them by sowing at any time from early spring onward, as soon as the soil is warm enough to work in. If there is a danger of frost, protect the early seedlings.
**Sow the seeds thinly directly into the ground in shallow drills to a depth of about 1 inch. Rows should be at least 15 inches apart. Thin out plantlings to about 9 inches apart.
**Weed and water regularly, especially during droughts.
**Lift the rutabagas in fall or early winter, when they are about 4-6 inches in diameter. They can be left in the ground for longer, but if they are, they are in danger of becoming woody. In very cold weather, they will need to be protected with a covering of straw.
**Once harvested, rutabagas can be stored by packing them in sand in wooden boxes. They can also be stored in a dry, sheltered spot by spreading out an 8-inch layer of straw. Stack the rutabagas on top in a pyramid-style, with the necks facing outward. Cover with more straw and, if it is very cold, with a layer of soil as well.
Looking for some ways to eat your Rutabagas? Here are some amazing recipes: