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Swede is easy to grow once you get the soil conditions right.
The Swede originated in Scandinavia and the botanical name is Brassica napobrassica.
The seeds I use every year are Purple Swede. Each packet has 100 seeds in it so it is great value as they last for three years. This is an old variety that has large round roots of purple flesh colour. It is easy to grow and gives a good crop yield.
Plant the seeds from late May to early July, which is our late spring here in Ireland. This vegetable likes cool moist climates so it is ideal to grow in most of Europe. This vegetable does not like to be grown in waterlogged soil. So make sure it is well drained.
It is also necessary to keep them watered so the soil does not dry out. This will cause the plants to wither and the roots to split. It is a fine balancing act but once you get it right, the swede will flourish. Plant in a sunny position and shelter away from the wind.
If possible it would be a good idea to protect the plants from birds and butterflies by erecting netting above the growing area. Pigeons especially love to eat the leaves. Butterflies will lay their eggs and then the caterpillars with cause a lot of damage to the leaves. This will stop the roots from growing.
Check out my other guides on how to grow:
Question: Can I cut back the leaves on swedes?
Answer: If you cut the leaves from swede or turnips, it will stunt the growth of the vegetable. If the leaves are overshadowing other plants to the degree that their growth is hampered then cut some back.