The rutabaga or swede plant is a vine-like root vegetable, a member of the family Brassica family. It can be found in Europe, Asia, North America and South America. Other names for it are turnips, Swede and cabbage. However, in other regions the term "turnip" means the white cabbage. The common species Brassica napus originated as a cross between the cabbage and the common turnip. When it was cultivated in Japan, the common name for it was Ume.
Its flowers are large, round and dark green, having a glossy appearance. The petals have several pairs of short stamens that point to the distinctive pointed leaves of the plant. The leaves are short and rounded, with interspersed hairy arils.
The flowers are loaded with ripe fruits. The seed is enclosed within an orange-yellow pod which has black and white stripes going through it. The buds have several yellow petals and a white tip. The bloom is followed by a crescent shape and a red flower.
It grows up to three meters tall, but can be trained to grow up to seven meters. It prefers a fertile soil with lots of sunlight. The plant is tolerant of salt and will do well in acidic soil as well. Leaves will fall off in the winter, but then grow right back up. You can dig up the plant and freeze it, but it will produce new shoots in the spring.
You will find this variety of kale in markets as romaine lettuce. It is also available as romaine and kabot, with the name of the plant being spelled with a different spelling. Both the romaine and kabot varieties are used for salads. Romaine lettuce is more popular than the other one. It is also available frozen and dried.
When you get ready to start harvesting the leaves from your plants, it will be best to go with the ones that are firm. Firm up the buds so they are easy to pick up. Hold them upright in a wire cage or add some sand to the soil. Do not rinse the soil before you sprinkle it on the leaves. The roots will drain the water that has been applied to the buds.
Once the plants have been cleaned and everything intact, dig out the buds and leave them in a separate container. Hang the container in your garden with the plants on either side of it. This will protect the plant from birds and animals that may eat the leaves. You should also cover the container with a plastic bag so no pests or insects can get into the plant. Seal tightly and let it sit in the sun for a day.
After a couple of weeks, remove the bag and wipe the area clean with a cloth. Remove the leaves and stems from the pot and spread the leaves on a surface where they will be enjoyed. The young shoots will grow very fast and have beautiful flowers when they bloom. Once you enjoy the beauty of the flowers from your Swedish kalerne plant you will want to continue to grow and harvest it for its ultimate use.
Make sure to provide your plants with plenty of sunlight and water to keep them healthy. They will need a good drainage system to facilitate the growth of the plants. If the area you live in does not get enough sunlight or if you are located in a colder climate you may consider using an artificial light source.
You will also need to make sure that you fertilize your plants at least once each month. When growing plants, they will need extra nutrients just like any other plant. They also need to be protected from harsh weather conditions. Protect them from extreme temperatures by wrapping them in aluminum foil.
When the plants reach their flowering time, they will go into a state of dormancy. During this time they will produce fewer blooms than normal. However, after it blooms back up, the plants will produce a huge amount of flowers. When this happens the buds will open up and the plants will fill up with more leaves. These should all be removed from the pot before the plant blooms out again.