Saturday, 17 January 2015

Swedes - a disappointing result

I can't claim to be very proud of my efforts at growing Swedes. They haven't been a total washout, but not far off it. For reasons of lack of space, I only grew four of them. One turned out reasonably well (I wrote about it HERE), but the others have been a disappointment. Seen without anything to give it scale, this one doesn't look too bad:

In all honesty though, it is tiny. Here it is on a plate:

Let's not beat about the bush here: that is a 21cm (just over 8") plate! It will be OK to eat I reckon, just not big.

When I harvested that one, I also pulled up the remaining two Swedes. I don't think I can count it as "harvesting" them, because they yielded nothing useable:

That little one at the left is really weird. I don't know what went wrong with it, but as you can see better in the next photo it produced two crowns and practically no root:

I think I will not bother with growing Swedes again. They have a very low VSR. They take a long time to develop, use a fair bit of space, and are very cheap to buy in the shops. I have explained VSR before, but here's a reminder for you:-

That's a photo of a page from Joy Larkcom's book "Vegetables for Small Gardens", to which I used to refer a lot when I was new to veg-gardening.

I'm not sure whether this is significant, but my records (i.e. this blog) reveal that these Swedes were grown in exactly the same place as where I previously tried growing Celeriac - with equally pathetic results!


  1. It was worth a go. We enjoy swede, especially in a stew or casserole so I may give them a go myself this year. I have Joy Larkcom's Grow Your Own Vegetables which is a good book.

  2. If we applied VSR too strictly then I guess we'd be down at Aldi for most of our veg? My swedes were a bit of an after thought as I didn't thin them enough,but the few good ones were sweet and delicious and ,in terms of flavour ,would knock spots of the monsters sitting on the supermarket shelves.

    1. Yes, I think the taste (and texture) of a freshly-harvested home-grown vegetable is normally an awful lot better than one which has been hanging around in a shop for days / weeks / months, and this often outweighs the other aspects of VSR.

  3. We. Need to make more effort with swede as we tend to forget and be too late in sowing.

  4. That's too bad about the swedes. But one semi-flop (you did get one edible one!) isn't bad at all considering all of the successes in your garden this year.

  5. I had to poke around to learn that what you call a swede we would call a rutabaga.


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