How To Grow Swedes: A Step-By-Step Guide for Beginners
Before you start planting, knowing the basics of swede cultivation is crucial. Swedes are best sown directly in the ground, where they will grow, rather than being transplanted. They prefer cool weather and do well in full sun or partial shade. With the right soil preparation, planting technique, and care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of swedes in no time.
Choosing the Right Site
Before planting your swedes, it is important to choose the right site. Swedes are a long-season crop, meaning they take a long time to develop fully, up to six months for some varieties. So make sure you are aware of this when planting them.
Preparing the Soil
Before planting anything, it is important to prepare the soil properly.
Remove any weeds or debris from the planting area.
Add organic matter such as compost, well-rotted manure, or leaf mould to the soil to improve its structure and nutrient content.
Once you have prepared the soil, you can start sowing your swede seeds. Swedes prefer a soil temperature of around 10-15°C (50-59°F) for germination, so it is best to sow them in late spring to early summer when the soil has warmed up sufficiently.
Planting swedes isn’t too tough, most people will direct sow them into shallow drills, I talk through this below.
Sowing the seeds directly into the soil where they are to grow is recommended, rather than starting them off indoors and transplanting them later. This is because swedes have a long taproot that can be easily damaged during transplanting, leading to stunted growth and poor yields.
When sowing your swede seeds, make a shallow drill about 2cm (¾in) deep and sow the seeds thinly. Space rows 38cm (15in) apart to allow enough room for the plants to grow.
If you prefer to start your swedes indoors, you can transplant the seedlings into the ground once they are big enough. You need to use something like a root trainer so you can transplant them without damaging the long tap root.