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Rutabaga: Biological Features, Growing Conditions
Rutabaga: Biological Features, Growing Conditions

Video: Rutabaga: Biological Features, Growing Conditions

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  • The meaning of rutabaga
  • Biological features of swede
  • Rutabaga's relationship to growing conditions

    • Heat requirements of swede
    • Light requirements for swede
    • Requirements of swede for soil moisture
    • Soil and nutrient requirements for swede
Swede
Swede

Rutabaga is a culture of northern European origin. Research by geneticists has established that rutabagas are a hybrid species resulting from the crossing of turnip or rape and cabbage. Rutabagas are widely cultivated as a vegetable in Europe, America (Canada, USA), less in Asia (India, Japan, China).

The rutabaga was brought to Russia from Western Europe. It is not excluded that the original forms of swede could be obtained by old Russian gardeners, who grew cabbage and turnips in common areas not only for food, but also for seeds. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, rutabaga was a widespread vegetable plant. Then its areas were reduced.

The reduction in table crops was caused by an increase in potato production, as well as an expansion of the range of vegetable crops. At present, rutabaga is most widespread in Russia in the Non-Black Earth Zone, in the Urals and in Siberia.

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The meaning of rutabaga

Rutabaga is superior in nutritional value to turnips. In its root crops, which have reached harvest ripeness, the dry matter content reaches 11-16.8%. Swede contains carbohydrates (5-10%), including quite a lot of fiber (up to 1.7%), pectin substances, protein (1.0-1.6%). Rutabaga contains vitamin C (24-50 mg per 100 g), and under favorable growing conditions in young rutabagas, its amount reaches 63-100 mg per 100 g. It should be noted that vitamin C in rutabagas is well preserved both during storage, and during cooking. There are vitamins in small quantities: B1 (0.05 mg per 100 g), B2 (0.05 mg per 100 g), B6 ​​(0.2 mg per 100 g), PP (1.05 mg per 100 g), R. Varieties with yellow flesh also have carotene.

Its content, depending on the color, is 0.05-0.2 mg per 100 g. In terms of the presence of vitamin B1, rutabaga is not inferior to tomatoes and surpasses beets, in terms of vitamin C content it significantly exceeds carrots, beets, tomatoes, onions and is close to fresh cabbage, but richer in minerals and sugar. Ash accumulates in rutabagas 0.7-1.6%.

It should be noted that the swede accumulates quite a lot of potassium - 238 mg per 100 g, calcium and phosphorus - 40 mg per 100 g, iron - 1.5 mg per 100 g, there are sulfur and some other elements. It contains a small amount of organic acids, mustard oil, rutin.

From the above, it follows that rutabagas are among the most valuable vegetable crops in terms of their nutritional qualities. Its value is especially great for the northern regions, where heat-demanding plants do not always yield a crop and therefore there are few vegetables and fruits rich in vitamins.

The specific "rutabaga" taste and smell inherent in root crops depend on the content of mustard oil in plants, which is characteristic of all plants of the cabbage family.

The leaves are also good animal feed. For those owners of summer cottages and individual gardens who do not have farm animals, turnip leaves should be placed in composts for the preparation of organic fertilizer.

Rutabaga roots are a valuable medicinal raw material. It is recommended as a vitamin, antimicrobial, pain reliever, thinning phlegm and, therefore, an expectorant for severe cold coughs, bronchial asthma. Rutabaga has a wound-healing, anti-sclerotic, anti-cancer effect. These properties are used for a variety of diseases. It is sometimes used as a diuretic for cardiac and renal edema, pyelonephritis, laryngitis, atherosclerosis, hypertension, insomnia, obesity. Due to its low calorie content and low amount of sugars, it is useful for diabetes and obesity. For the treatment of chronic diseases, a dietary food is recommended with the inclusion of fresh, boiled or stewed swede in the menu. Rutabed juice, taken instead of root vegetables, is very effective in preventing many diseases.

Biological features of swede

Swede
Swede

Rutabaga (Brassica napobrassica Mill.) Belongs to the cabbage family (Brassicaceae). It is a biennial cross-pollinated plant.

In the first year, a rosette of leaves and a root crop grow. From root crops, dug up in the fall, stored until the spring of next year and planted in the soil, branched stems are formed, on which seeds ripen after flowering.

Seedlings of rutabagas when sown with conditioned seeds in moist heated soil appear 5-6 days after sowing; with a lack of moisture and heat, as well as if the seeds are sown too deeply and a soil crust has formed, - on the 10th day or later.

The roots of a turnip grow very quickly. They go to a depth of more than 1 m, spreading in width from 7 to 70 cm. Moreover, the bulk of the suction roots is concentrated in the arable layer. The leaf blades are dissected, less often whole, covered with a waxy coating. Approximately on the 20-30th day after germination, the thickening of the root crop begins in the turnip. On the 80-90th day, the weight of root crops reaches 800-1000 g and more. In the future, the growth of the mass of the root crop continues, however, the pulp becomes coarser, although it still remains juicy. Root crops are flat-round, round or oval. In the lower part they have the same color as the pulp. In the aboveground part, depending on the variety, it is gray-green, bronze or purple. The bark of root crops is mesh or smooth, thick. The pulp is white or yellow, firm, juicy. Seeds are dark brown, almost black, viable for four to six years.

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Rutabaga's relationship to growing conditions

Heat requirements of swede

Rutabaga is the least heat demanding and the most cold-resistant vegetable plant. Seeds in moist soil start to grow at a temperature of + 1 … + 3 ° C, but before the average daily air temperature above + 5 … + 6 ° C, seedlings develop slowly. The optimum temperature for swede is considered to be + 15 … + 18 ° C (provided there is sufficient moisture supply). A temperature above + 20 ° С inhibits the growth of root crops, and under the influence of a low temperature (0 … + 10 ° С), flowers can form within one or two months.

In autumn, when the average daily temperature reaches + 5 … + 6 ° С, the growth of root crops decreases. After freezing, the taste of root crops deteriorates, they lose their ability to be stored for a long time in winter. It has been noticed that a sudden sharp drop in temperature to minus zero is more painful for plants than a gradual one.

Light requirements for swede

Different varieties of rutabagas differ in the length of the day and night. Our domestic and some Western European varieties are adapted for cultivation in the northern regions. Varieties of southern origin on a long day in the northern regions in the first year of life form a flower. Sunny weather promotes better growth, development and increased vitamin content in rutabagas.

Requirements of swede for soil moisture

Rutabaga is a moisture-loving plant. To obtain a high yield of good quality, it is necessary that it grows during the entire growing season in moderately moist soil and at a sufficiently high air humidity. The best areas for her are low, but not waterlogged. Rutabaga does not tolerate soil drought well.

The critical periods in her life in relation to soil moisture are the first month until the roots penetrate deeply into the soil, and also the last one before harvesting. She has a decline in growth with the onset of dry weather, as a rule, is observed after a while.

With excessively abundant watering and in a rainy summer, the rutabaga becomes watery. With a lot of moisture, when the water stagnates in the upper layers of the soil, and the horses of the plants have no access to air, the normal growth of the turnip stops, and the roots suffer from bacteriosis.

Swede
Swede

Soil and nutrient requirements for swede

Rutabaga can give a good harvest on soils of various textures, but loamy ones, rich in humus and calcium, are more suitable for it, especially those lying in the floodplains of small rivers. It grows well in heavy clay soils and is able to thrive in well-cultivated peatlands. Unsuitable for her uncultivated, very acidic, poor dry sandy and gravelly soils.

In the peasant farms near St. Petersburg at the end of the 19th century, the Krasnoselskaya rutabaga worked best on clay soils located in the valley of the Ligovka River floodplain, which is annually flooded with spring waters. The permanent cultivation of swede was widely used on these soils. At the same time, she almost did not get sick with keel here, while on sandy loam soils it was often affected by this disease even in the first year of cultivation.

Rutabaga requires all basic nutrients in the soil for good growth. It absorbs a lot of calcium from the soil, which is necessary for building root cells and is one of the main nutrients. In addition, liming increases the resistance of plants to keel.

Nitrogen is a part of organic compounds that are especially important for plants - proteins, chlorophyll and others, it is necessary for the turnip from the beginning of its life, as it contributes to the formation of leaves and obtaining a good harvest of root crops. It provides a high yield in a shorter period of time, increases the protein content. However, when it is introduced in excessive quantities in the root crops, the content of dry matter, sugars, vitamin C decreases, the keeping quality of root crops worsens, the growth of the head increases, the resistance to rot decreases, and more hollow root crops are formed.

Phosphorus is part of the proteins of the cell nucleus, regulates metabolism and increases the sugar content of root crops. It begins to be absorbed by the roots of the swede from the very beginning of seed germination. Therefore, it is necessary to provide rutabagas with this nutrient in abundance already during the main filling of the soil with fertilizer.

Potassium is of great importance in plant photosynthesis, it influences the outflow of carbohydrates from leaves into root crops, therefore, just like phosphorus, it promotes the accumulation of sugar in root crops, which increases resistance to many diseases.

Rutabaga is able to actively accumulate potassium from its reserves in the soil. However, it has been noticed that the increased filling of the soil with potash fertilizers can contribute to the greater development of the keel.

Rutabaga, like turnip, responds positively to sodium fertilization, and gives a higher yield when potassium and sodium are added together. According to experiments with rutabagas in England, when potassium was applied in a large dose, large root crops were formed, but with bitter and tough pulp, and with the simultaneous enrichment of the soil with potassium and sodium in large quantities, the rutabaga was large with soft, sweet pulp.

Rutabaga belongs to the number of crops especially in need of boron. It is part of the cell walls, participates in various biochemical and physiological processes of plant life. Together with calcium, it suppresses the development of the keel in certain doses. Boron contributes to a better preservation of vitamin C in root crops during storage. With a lack of digestible boron in the soil, root crops, like turnips, lose their commercial qualities. Their flesh first becomes glassy, ​​as if slightly frozen, then brown, unpleasant taste, poorly nutritious, during storage the roots rot.

Often the first signs of disturbances in plant development go unnoticed, and damage to the pulp is detected when the roots are cut. The use of high doses of basic mineral fertilizers increases the need of plants for boron.

Copper and magnesium are also essential for plant life. They are involved in the metabolism of plant cells, contribute to an increase in the content of chlorophyll, magnesium is part of it, copper delays the aging of plants. Rutabaga reacts painfully to the lack of nutrition of these microelements. However, large rates of boron and copper fertilization inhibit plants and negatively affect their growth.

Read the second part of the article: Growing turnip: soil preparation, fertilization, sowing seeds →

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