Fall rutabaga staying in the garden until winter

Back in July I planted rutabaga seeds in anticipation of a fall crop. Well, fall has been here for a while and the rutabaga are ready to harvest.

Even though we’ve had overnight temperatures in the low twenties the past couple of weeks. The rutabaga are still happily growing out in the garden. The leaves lost their soft, succulent summer appearance — they look and feel tougher as the plants adapted to the cold.

These rutabaga range in size from three to six inches in diameter.

I plan to leave them in the garden right where they are until the weather really gets cold. Then, I’ll dig them, cut off the tops and put them down in the Michigan basement near the potatoes. There they should stay in great shape until spring.

There are many, many more rutabaga in the garden than we can eat. The rest will become a mid-winter treat for our flock of chickens.

Bob Dluzen
As a result of being a gardener for more than 40 years, 30 of those as a professional, Bob's gardening has become an integral part of his life. "It's the ever-changing seasons and the wide variety of plants and gardens that keeps me intrigued," he says. Bob lives and gardens in rural Monroe County.