Best type of swede

Which Is The Best Swede Variety To Grow? top 5 varieties characteristics

Swedes were first discovered growing in Sweden when a botanist called Gaspard Bauhin found them growing wild in 1620. They are also referred to as Rutabaga in US and Turnip in the UK, although they are much larger in size, take longer to grow, and have more yellow coloured flesh than turnips.

Are swedes grown for animal or human consumption?

Some varieties of swedes are bred with the main intention for livestock feed. These will grow large in size with less regard to taste or visual appeal. Other varieties are bred entirely for culinary use/ human consumption, these will be much tastier and more aesthetically pleasing.

Which are the top 5 swede varieties?

The most common swede varieties grown are:

Magres

  • Moderate yielding variety, dont like to grow too large – will crack if too big.
  • Winter hardy and actually tastes better after a hard frost as this converts more starches to sugars,
  • Good powdery mildew and clubroot resistance
  • Bred specifically for culinary use
  • Amazing taste, consistant shape and color
  • Appealing dark yellow coloured flesh
  • Sow April to June – Harvest September to February
  • Easier to peel and cut flesh as lower dry matter than some varieties.

Lomond

  • High yielding variety, can grow large.
  • very winter hardy due to high dry matter,
  • Good powdery mildew and clubroot resistance
  • Mainly used for animal feed but can be used for humans
  • Average taste with consistant shape and color –
  • Slightly creamy coloured flesh
  • Sow April to June – Harvest September to February
  • Can be a little hard to cut/ cook due to high dry matter
Lomond swedes in a ton bag for livestock
Lomond swedes can grow very large but can be quite unevenly shaped, they are not particularly flavourful for culinary use- much better suited for livestock feed.

Marian

  • Moderate yielding variety, uniform sized.
  • Moderate dry matter, winter hardy.
  • Good powdery mildew and clubroot resistance
  • Mainly used for animal feed but can be used for humans
  • Average taste with consistant shape and color –
  • Pale cream coloured flesh with purple top

Brora

  • A dark purple topped swede with a creamy flesh
  • High yielding variety, can grow large.
  • Attractive skin with few blemishes
  • RHS Award of Merit winner
  • Fast establishing variety
  • Low powdery mildew and moderate clubroot resistance
  • Bred as a culinary swede
  • Good taste with consistant shape and color –

Gowrie –

  • High yielding variety, can grow large.
  • very winter hardy due to high dry matter,
  • Good powdery mildew and clubroot resistance
  • Mainly used for animal feed but can be used for humans
  • Average taste with consistant shape and color –
  • Slightly creamy coloured flesh

Which is the best swede variety to grow?

When it comes to choosing the best swede variety for culinary use there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest and that is the variety Magres. Magres is the No.1 choice for professional growers supplying supermarkets. The main selling points of Magres are that it tastes delicious, it has an attractive purple top and a cream coloured base, and the crop grows uniformly in size and shape.

Magres is the No.1 variety of swede to grow.
Magres is the No.1 variety of swede to grow.

The flesh inside Magres is dark yellow in colour, and as it has medium dry matter there are no issues with it being difficult to peel or cut. Magres has quite good tolerance to powdery mildew and is hardy to winter frost.

A note for those who want very large turnips, Magres is not a good pick. As they grow very large Magres has a tendency to crack at the side, this can result in a badly misshaped swede and will eventually rot at the crack.

If you are interested in growing Magres swedes – take a look at these seeds from reputable supplier Thompson Morgan.

If you live in the US the best variety available to you would be American purple top rutabaga seeds. These are non-GMO certified seeds and can be delivered to your home address.

Further reading:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/stores/page/4A535804-7270-414C-90CC-7B28520C95F9/search?ref_=ast_bln&terms=swedes