I planted some swede seedlings in my no-dig, richly manured bed this spring. Most are now very large(15cm in diameter) and look the right size to eat – but it’s summer and who wants winter root vegetables now!
Do I have to harvest these now – the leaves are beginning to deteriorate – or can I leave them in the ground?
Wow you could have some monster swede. They should just carry on growing if there is enough room and as long as moisture is present. They do like damp soil so leaves dying off is more to do with drought than maturity, and I expect they will resume healthy growth when it rains again, right up to Christmas if it stays mild.
I sowed swedes here in early June in modules and planted them out after clearing some early salads, so they are still small. Whereas my parsnips, sown in March, are already pretty large and could be eaten (but like you I don’t want to, so they can grow some more). The beauty of these winter vegetables is that they can stay in the ground a long time until you need them.