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swedes

West Yorkshire, United Kingdom Gb

we planted swedes in march and they are huge, the leafs are going yellow and they are getting flowers on top, the swedes are purple, we have never grown them before and wonder how do we know if they are ready, we expected to have them in the autumn. they are coming out of the ground, will they be suitable for eating now.




Answers

 

Hi Yorkshire you can eat swedes any time from now onwards, we tend to prefer ours when they aren't too big...

28 Jul, 2009

 

Many thanks for your help moon grower, will now go and try one.

28 Jul, 2009

 

Hi Yorkshire..... If you have grown the the purple winter swede - keep some of them in the ground until the first frosts.....when the flavour is definitely improved. No self respecting Scot eats a swede before then - and in this instance - size doesn't matter! Just cut the flowers off. Up here they are called "neeps" and yes - the English think we only feed them to cattle - but they do make a lovely "mash" with pepper and a bit of cream. If you find swede a bit strong on its own - do a half and half mash with carrot ..or even a potato/ carrot and swede mash - a lovely accompaniment to any meat or fish dish! If you look on the chiller shelves in supermarkets - you will find that they are actually selling boxes of these mashes nowadays - ready to heat 'n eat!! Bon appetit!!

30 Jul, 2009

 

Thanks for that Alzheimer we will keep them in the ground as you say and cook them the ways you suggest, they are the purple winter swede, mant thanks.

30 Jul, 2009

 

Hi there - no problem! Many people get confused between purple topped turnips and swedes. The turnip ones you DO eat any time now and before they sprout and go very fibrous. They are usually white fleshed inside and are delicious cooked whole with a white sauce. The swede is a different thing altogether and yellow fleshed - but be warned - they all have one after effect...similar to a can of Heinz Beans!!! Enjoy!

30 Jul, 2009

 

Thanks for the warning!!!! they are definately swede, just checked the ticket, says Swede Acme Improved and definately purple.and it says harvest in winter but they are getting the size of a football, just scarred they will get to tough to eat.

30 Jul, 2009

 

Oh no they don't....they WILL get bigger than any football and just use a carving knife to half them - then quarter - depending how much you want to cook. Wrap the rest in cling film or foil until needed
Peeling is a sod - it takes a SHARP knife to peel off the very thick skin - but all the effort is worth it ....then just chop it into chunks in a pan - cover with water and a bit of salt and cook like potatoes....then drain and mash etc. If you really can't wait until the frosts - you can try one now - but I'll bet you will find it sweeter later in the year!

30 Jul, 2009

 

Our goats used to love them when we had a croft back in the 70s

30 Jul, 2009

 

Alzheimer and moon grower, what do you both suggest I grow next, had some great replys from you and appreciate your comments and recipes, its so good of you to keep in touch, and your opinions would be greatly appreciated, KEEP THEM COMING.!!!!!!!

30 Jul, 2009

 

Do you mean sow now to harvest later this year? Spinach beet will produce a crop in around 4 - 6 weeks. You can still sow runner beans for a late crop if you live far enough south. Salad crops obviously. Late autumn you can sow broad beans for an early start next year. Turnips to harvest in about 3 months time, before the frost...

30 Jul, 2009

 

Hi again Yorkshire and with that name - I am guessing you are in that area? If so - it can be mighty chilly come winter...I know the feeling as I am on the east coast of Scotland!
Having said which I go along with Moon grower on the spinach beet - not spinach itself but the perpetual or New Zealand all year round and the Swiss Chard varieties - the stalks of which can be eaten as a veg on their own - taste like asparagus...very nice too! I used to grow the red stalked one in between plants in the herbaceous border...looked ever so pretty as well as being edible! You can get onion sets that overwinter and give you an earlier crop next year and of course - stick some potatoes in one of these potato bags you get in the garden centre and when the frost threatens - pop it into the greenhouse or wherever is sheltered and you will have some lovely "new" potatoes for Xmas!! I do it regularly and last year tried one of the salad potato varieties called "Pink Fir Apple" - you can even use the ones from the supermarket.. and they were delicious at New Year with a knob of butter and some smoked salmon - a welcome change from the turkey!
The Aquadulce broad beans are supposed to be winter hardy - but not with me - perhaps a cloche or some agri-fleece would help. The salad things of course are all quite speedy and the cut and come again lettuce is very handy. I even sowed some little carrots very late one year and they were very successful - not the usual long ones but the little ball shaped ones ..I think it is called Paris Market or Parmex...I will need to check up....memory ain't what it used to be! Anyway - that should keep you going for a start - and of course never forget to keep a herb pot or two near the back door...lots of goodies there for all year round interest in the kitchen!

30 Jul, 2009

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