Everything You Need To Know for Starting And Growing Kohlrabi Successfully

Kohlrabi is one of the weird looking vegetables in the garden.

It can be grown rather easily if you follow a few simple guidelines. The first is that this is a very greedy feeder and will really benefit from adding a ton of compost to the soil where you intend to grow it. Feed every two weeks with a compost tea or fish emulsion to keep it growing strong. It also likes to grow steadily (like cauliflower does) so avoid dry spells if possible by getting out the hose. Actually, you'll find it you do stress it, the roots will become woody and you won't want to eat them. So water and feed this plant for decent edible crops or don't bother.

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Start Indoors

You can start it indoors if you want a really early crop. Sow the first two weeks in March for a late April transplanting date outdoors.

It will require a soil temperature of 70F to germinate and then a much cooler 55-60F growing on temperature to prevent leggy growth.

Sow the seed approximately one quarter inch deep. Each seed should be transplanted into its own small pot after it has three true leaves and grown on until transplanting outdoors.

With direct sowing, you can put it into the ground from early May until July (again one quarter inch deep) and it is often recommended that you sow several crops several weeks apart to get tender roots on an ongoing basis.

Sow seeds at one to the inch, when they start to grow and get a little crowded, thin to one plant every four inches. Harvest the small roots (eat them) and thin out as the plants get larger to one every foot.

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Harvesting Kohlrabi

Harvest all roots when they are smaller than a baseball (2 to 3 inches diameter) as the larger roots can get woody. And do harvest the roots before fall nights get too frosty; this plant doesn't like cold temperatures in the fall.

You might see some flea beetles on kohlrabi but they are easily controlled by techniques listed on the organic controls pages.

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