Pike “Turnip” Rutabaga - Sustainably Grown


Pike “Turnip” Rutabaga - Sustainably Grown

Brassica napus x Brassica rapa (pekinensis group)
(95 days) Open-pollinated. This special (and interspecial) root, a cross between Chinese cabbage and rutabaga, has very fine-grained tasty yellow flesh, with an exterior much like purple-crowned Laurentian. Frost tolerance and long storage are added benefits. Bred by Downeast Maine native Radcliffe Pike, UNH contemporary of Elwyn Meader, who sought to mellow the rutabaga taste and refine its texture. Grown around Lubec, Maine, locals surnamed it Turnip, to add to the genomic confusion. Pike, prolific and diverse in his expertise, bred rhododendrons and a “gasless” bean and was the expert on Acadian and Downeast flora. He served as naturalist for Campobello Island and preserved a piece of paradise along Cobscook Bay. Former Fedco staffer Heron Breen combined seed samples from Seed Savers Exchange and local sources to bring a genetically strong population back into existence. He dispersed that seed back to folks Downeast, and now to the wider Fedco community. Thanks, Heron!
ECOThis item is sustainably grown

2399 Pike “Turnip” - Sustainably Grown
Item Discounted
A: 1/16oz for $4.00   
B: 1/4oz for $5.75   
C: 1oz for $9.95   
D: 4oz for $19.50   

Additional Information

Turnips & Rutabagas

  • About 6,000-12,000 seeds/oz.
  • open-pollinated except where noted
  • Days to maturity are from emergence after direct seeding.

    Culture: Minimum germination temperature 40°, optimal range 60-85°. Direct seed at 1 seed per inch, sown in rows 1–2' apart. Thin to 2" apart for small salad turnips, and 3–4" for full-sized roots. Turnips have a shorter growing season and are not as cold-hardy or as good keepers as rutabagas. Turnips are best picked before they get large and fibrous. Rutabagas, also known as Swedish turnips or Swedes, form enlarged roots above ground with a finely branched system below.

    Disease: DM: Downy Mildew

    Note: Because of quarantine, we cannot ship rutabagas and turnips in packets greater than ½ oz. (14 grams) into the Willamette Valley of Oregon except those that have tested negative for Black Leg and Black Rot.

    Insect Pest: Adult Cabbage Fly, Delia spp., (AKA cabbage root fly, turnip fly) lay their eggs near the base of the main stem of brassica roots. The maggot can damage your root crop. Row cover can exclude the adult flies from laying eggs. Long crop rotation between brassica crops and thorough incorporation of all crop debris in fall reduces the overwintering maggots and interrupts the generational cycle. Old-timers in Maine always made the seed bed as clean as possible, with no visible organic matter, and avoided sowing fall turnips and rutabagas until after July 4. A late crop is better than a wormy one!

Germination Testing

For the latest results of our germination tests, please see the germination page.

Our Seeds are Non-GMO


All of our seeds are non-GMO, and free of neonicotinoids and fungicides. Fedco is one of the original companies to sign the Safe Seed Pledge.