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Kohlrabi

Brassica oleracea (Gongylodes Group)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Half-hardy

7a-9b

USDA zone

-18°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

40cm

Max

50cm

20cm

Min

20cm

2 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a strong fragrance

Kohlrabi Overview

Kohlrabi from the German for cabbage turnip is a low growing cultivar of the wild cabbage. This artificially selected subspecies has been grown for its round swollen stem that has the texture and taste of broccoli but with less skin and more flesh. The green varieties are grown from mid-spring for summer crops, with the hardier purple varieties grown from mid-summer for autumn and winter crops. Spring cultivars are best harvested before they get over 5cm with summer grown varieties harvested before they reach 10cm in diameter. Commonly available green varieties are 'Kossak', 'Korist', 'White Vienna', 'Olivia', 'Quickstar', 'Terek', 'Winner' and the extra large variety 'Gigant'. Purple varieties are 'Kolibri', 'Azur Star', 'Purple Vienna', and 'Modrava'

Common problems with Kohlrabi

Birds can also damage young plants - netting crops to protect young plants.

Kohlrabi Companion Plants

How to harvest Kohlrabi

Harvest when young (within 8 - 10 weeks) from Summer through until late Autumn. Cut from the base of the plant and remove the swollen stem. Cut the leafy tops off and discard them. Two distinct fibrous layers surround the stems. These are peeled away, revealing the more palatable inner heart that can be eaten raw or cooked. The leaves can also be harvested and eaten like collard greens and kale. To collect seeds, leave a plant to overwinter and produce a flower stem in its second year.

How to propagate Kohlrabi

Seed

Direct sow 1cm (0.5") deep, in rows 30cm (12") apart. Thin seedlings when the first true leaves appear or they are 2.5cm (1"). In cooler areas, seeds can be sown into modules undercover and planted out once the ground has warmed up. Space plants 15cm (6") apart. Make sowings every 3 weeks throughout the growing seasons to ensure a continuous crop.

Special features of Kohlrabi

Crop rotation

Crop in different locations each year to help prevent the build-up of P&D's Grow with other Brassicas the year after legumes and follow with potatoes.

Other uses of Kohlrabi

Culinary

Edible

The swollen basal stem is edible raw or cooked and has a sweetness to it.

Edibles to Sow Outdoors in June

Now the soil has warmed up, sow direct into prepared beds.

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Edible to Sow Under Cover in May

Successional sow small batches on a sunny windowsill or in a heated propagator, ready to plant out later in the month.

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