Grow your own swedes from seed
Swedes are root vegetables belonging to the cabbage family. They are often confused with turnips as both vegetables share so many similarities and people often question whether it's a swede or turnip so to clarify this matter, swedes are generally larger, rounder in shape and have tough pink, purple, or white shades of skin.
The flesh of a swede is generally white or yellow in colour, and becomes more yellow when cooked. Swede and turnips are so closely related that some regard them as the same vegetable, as in Scotland, for example, where they are known as neeps. Sometimes swedes are known by other names including swede-turnips or Swedish turnips.
You will find that growing swedes from seed in your garden is one of the easiest things possible and providing you have pre-dug your soil then all you need to do is to make small holes about 1/2 an inch deep, pop in a seed and re-cover with soil. The seeds will germinate in 7 to 21 days depending on the outside temperature.
It is important to give your plants plenty of space because, with these veg the top leaves spread like crazy and if planted too closely the leaves will turn yellow and rot. For this reason we tend to plant about 18 inches apart and pop a handful of well rotted manure in the hole under the seed.
When your plants are growing we advise that you spread some anti slug pellets down as they attack both the bulbs and the leaves, leaving them looking as though they have been shot!
You may also find that the leaves make excellent hiding places for the Cabbage White Butterfly to lay it's eggs. These pests will destroy your crop so we advise putting fine insect netting over the top of your swedes.
Swede Health Benefits, Vitamins and Nutrition
This vegetables provide many health benefits as they are a good source of vitamins and nutrients. These healthy vegetables provide vitamins A and vitamin C, and the nutritional value of swede is great as this smooth tasting, mild and sweet flavoured vegetable provides a rich source of fibre, calcium and potassium.
In common with the turnip, the tops (universally known as 'greens') also make very fine eating. They're rarely available on the market, but if you're growing them yourself treat them as a cut-and-come-again resource but don't take more than half the total at any one time and leave the growing tip alone.
Lift roots from September to November once large enough to use, or leave in the ground until Christmas. Cover with straw before the onset of cold weather and in cold regions store in containers of soil or potting compost or vermiculite in sheds or garages.