Swedes are brassicas, and like other members of the family they need firm, non-acidic soil with reasonable drainage. Pick a sunny spot and dig in autumn, adding lime if necessary. In spring apply Growmore fertiliser, then prepare the seed bed about a week later. You may also wish to apply a nematode-based insecticide if cabbage root fly is a known problem.

Sowing time

May – June.


Crop care

Thin out the crop as soon as the seedlings are large enough to handle. Do this in stages until the plants are 9” apart. Keep the soil hoed, and remember to water in dry weather (failure to do so will result in small, woodier roots, and rain following a dry spell can cause roots to split).


Begin lifting swedes as soon as the roots are large enough to use. This will be from early autumn onwards, and there’s no need to wait until they reach their maximum size. You can also leave in the soil and harvest as required until spring.