Comprehensive Growing Guide for Kholrabi: Tips and Advice

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Comprehensive Growing Guide for Kholrabi: Tips and Advice

Are you considering growing kholrabi from seed? If so, you’ll want to know how to save seeds, what to expect from your crop, and how to care for your plants. Kholrabi is a cool-season crop that grows best in the spring and fall. It takes about 4-6 weeks from seed to crop maturity, and it can be harvested at any size.

Kholrabi is a member of the cabbage family and is known for its unique flavor and texture. It grows best in rich, well-drained soil, and requires full sun to thrive. The plants grow quickly, reaching a height of about 12 inches, so proper spacing is important. The seedlings should be thinned to 6-8 inches apart for optimal growth.

One important consideration when growing kholrabi is the risk of frost damage. Kholrabi is sensitive to frost, so it’s best to plant it a few weeks before the last expected frost date or wait until after the danger of frost has passed. If you live in an area with a short growing season, you may want to start your kholrabi seeds indoors and transplant the seedlings outdoors once the weather warms up.

When it comes to fertilizing your kholrabi plants, they don’t require a lot of special care. A general-purpose fertilizer with a balanced ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium will do the job. However, be careful not to over-fertilize, as this can lead to excessive leaf growth at the expense of root development.

One common pest that kholrabi plants may attract is aphids. These small insects are a nuisance and can cause damage to the plants if left untreated. To prevent an infestation, it’s best to regularly inspect your plants and take action at the first sign of aphids. In addition, planting kholrabi near aromatic plants like onions and garlic can help repel aphids.

Once your kholrabi is ripe and ready to harvest, it’s best to do a taste test before harvesting the entire crop. Kholrabi is at its peak flavor when it’s about 2-3 inches in diameter. If you like a milder taste, harvest your kholrabi earlier. If you prefer a stronger flavor, wait until it’s larger.

After harvesting, kholrabi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to several weeks. If you have a large crop and want to save some for later use, you can blanch and freeze it for longer storage. Kholrabi can be enjoyed raw in salads or cooked in soups and stir-fries. Its versatile flavor makes it a great addition to any meal.

Overall, kholrabi is an easy-to-grow vegetable that will reward you with a delicious and nutritious harvest. Whether you’re a new or experienced gardener, this growing guide will provide you with all the information you need to successfully grow kholrabi at home.

When and How to Harvest Kohlrabi Easy Tips

Harvesting kohlrabi at the right time ensures that you enjoy the best flavor and texture from this delicious vegetable. Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family and is known for its bulb-like stem that grows just above the ground. Here are some easy tips to help you determine when and how to harvest your kohlrabi plants.

1. Assessing maturity: Kohlrabi can be harvested when it reaches a size of about 2-3 inches in diameter. The stem should feel firm and the skin should be smooth. An easy way to test the maturity is by pressing your thumb against the stem. If it feels hard and solid, it is likely ready for harvest.

2. Timing: Kohlrabi can be harvested throughout the growing season, but it is best to harvest before the bulb becomes too large and woody. In most climates, kohlrabi can be harvested about 50-60 days after planting if seedlings were used.

3. Harvesting method: To harvest kohlrabi, use a sharp knife or garden shears to cut the stem about one-fourth inch above the ground. Be careful not to damage the surrounding leaves or other stems. It is recommended to harvest when the weather is dry to prevent disease spread, such as alternaria.

4. Cleaning and storage: After harvesting, remove any excess soil and trim off the roots. Kohlrabi can be stored for several weeks in the refrigerator. If you prefer to save the flavor for a longer period, you can also blanch and freeze it.

5. Beyond the bulb: Don’t forget that kohlrabi stems and leaves are also edible. These can be used in various dishes, including salads, stir-fries, and soups. The stems have a flavor similar to broccoli stems, while the leaves taste like a milder version of kale.

By following these easy tips, you can enjoy the delicious flavor of kohlrabi while also saving the harvest for later consumption. Harvesting at the right time and taking proper care will ensure that your kohlrabi plants grow and thrive in your home or outdoor gardens.

How Long After Planting Kohlrabi Can I Expect a Harvest

Growing kohlrabi can be a rewarding experience, as this unique vegetable belongs to the cabbage family and offers a delicious flavor that combines the best of cabbage, kale, and turnips. If you have recently planted kohlrabi seeds and are wondering when you can expect to harvest them, here are some tips to help you plan accordingly.

First, it is important to thin out the seedlings once they have grown a few inches tall. This is necessary to provide enough space for the remaining plants to grow and develop properly. Thin the seedlings to a distance of about 4-6 inches apart to ensure that they have enough room to mature.

To test the maturity of your kohlrabi, you can gently press on the bulb-like stems. If they feel solid and firm, they are ready to be harvested. Typically, kohlrabi takes about 60-70 days from the time it is planted to reach maturity, but this can vary depending on the specific type of kohlrabi you are growing and the climate conditions in your area.

For a continuous harvest, you can stagger the planting of your kohlrabi seeds by a few weeks. This way, you can have multiple crops at different stages of maturity, providing you with a steady supply of fresh kohlrabi throughout the growing season.

When harvesting kohlrabi, it is best to do it in the morning when the weather is cooler. Cut the stem about 1 inch above the soil level using a sharp knife or scissors. To store kohlrabi without the leaves, place them in a plastic bag and keep them in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If you want to save seeds from your kohlrabi plants for future use, make sure to let the plants fully mature and bolt, which is when they produce flowers and seed pods. Allow the pods to dry on the plant before collecting the seeds.

Care tips for growing kohlrabi include providing them with full sunlight for at least 6 hours a day, ensuring they receive adequate water and drainage, and applying a balanced fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.

It is important to note that kohlrabi is a cool-season crop and can tolerate light frosts. However, it does not grow well in extreme heat, so it is best to plant it in early spring or late summer for fall harvest in areas with hot climates.

In terms of pest control, kohlrabi can be susceptible to aphids and cabbage worms. To prevent infestations, you can use floating row covers to create a physical barrier, or apply organic insecticides if necessary.

To ensure that your kohlrabi seeds are true to type, it is recommended to practice isolation when planting different varieties. This involves keeping the different types of kohlrabi a certain distance apart to avoid cross-pollination and maintain the purity of the seed.

In conclusion, kohlrabi can be harvested approximately 60-70 days after planting, but this can vary depending on the type and climate conditions. Staggering the planting can provide a continuous harvest, and proper care can help ensure a successful crop. Enjoy your homegrown, flavorful kohlrabi in salads, soups, or as a delicious side dish!

Growing Kohlrabi in Fall vs Growing Kohlrabi in Spring

When it comes to growing kohlrabi, you have the option of planting it either in the fall or in the spring. Both seasons have their advantages and challenges, so it’s important to assess your gardening goals and the conditions in your area before making a decision.

Fall Planting:

  • Gardens that have been cleared of other crops by fall can be utilized to grow kohlrabi.
  • Kohlrabi matures faster in cooler temperatures, resulting in a crop that can be harvested sooner.
  • Fall debris from other crops can act as mulch and help retain moisture in the soil.
  • Planting kohlrabi in the fall gives it a head start, and it is usually ready for harvest before frosts arrive.
  • However, there is a risk of diseases affecting the crop, such as clubroot or powdery mildew.

Spring Planting:

  • In climates with milder winters, kohlrabi can be planted in the spring.
  • If you want to grow large-sized bulbs, spring planting is the way to go.
  • Kohlrabi grown in the spring has a longer growing season and more time to develop.
  • Some gardeners prefer spring planting as it allows them to assess the viability of the crop after winter.
  • However, spring-planted kohlrabi may take longer to reach maturity compared to fall-planted varieties.

Regardless of when you choose to plant kohlrabi, it requires similar care and attention. The vegetable grows best in well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 and 7.5. Adequate spacing between plants is necessary to allow for proper bulb development. Thin out the plants if they become crowded, leaving only the strongest stems.

After harvesting, you can use kohlrabi in various dishes. It can be eaten raw or cooked and is often used as a substitute for cabbage or broccoli. Kohlrabi has a mild, sweet flavor that works well in salads, stir-fries, soups, and even as a snack.

Another benefit of growing kohlrabi is its storage life. The vegetable can be stored for several weeks in a cool and moist environment, making it an easy homegrown crop to enjoy even after the growing season ends.

To start growing kohlrabi outdoors, plant the seeds or seedlings in early spring or early fall, depending on your chosen season. The seeds should be sown about one-fourth inch deep, and 4-6 weeks later, you’ll have young kohlrabi plants ready to be transplanted into your garden.

Whether you decide to grow kohlrabi in the fall or spring, make sure to isolate the plants from other brassica types like kale to prevent cross-pollination. This is particularly important for saving seeds if you want to grow kohlrabi from your own plants.

Overall, both fall and spring planting have their advantages and challenges when it comes to growing kohlrabi. Consider your specific climate, gardening goals, and available resources to determine the best time to grow this flavorful and versatile vegetable.

When Is Kohlrabi Ripe

Knowing when kohlrabi is ripe is essential for a successful harvest. Kohlrabi is a cool-season crop that can be grown either in the spring or fall. The time it takes for kohlrabi to reach maturity depends on the variety and growing conditions.

Kohlrabi bulbs are typically ready to harvest when they reach about three inches in diameter. The skin of the bulb should be smooth and firm. If the bulb becomes too large, it may become woody and lose its tender and sweet flavor.

A good way to determine if your kohlrabi is ready for harvest is by checking the number of days until maturity. This information can usually be found on the seed packet or in the growing guide for your specific variety. Keep in mind that these numbers can be an estimate and may vary depending on the specific growing conditions.

In addition to size, the color of the bulb can also indicate its maturity. Most kohlrabi varieties have a pale green or purple skin, and a vibrant color can be a sign that the bulb is ready to be harvested.

If you are unsure if your kohlrabi is ripe, you can also do a taste test. Harvest one or two bulbs and taste them to see if they have the desired flavor. If they are sweet and crispy, the rest of the crop is likely ready for harvest. If the flavor is bitter or the texture is tough, you may need to wait a little longer.

It’s important to note that kohlrabi is a fast-growing vegetable, and the bulbs can reach their full size in as little as 4-6 weeks. However, the time it takes for kohlrabi to mature can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions.

Once your kohlrabi is ready for harvest, you can either pull the entire plant out of the ground or cut the bulb from the stem. If you prefer a continuous harvest, you can start harvesting the larger bulbs while leaving the smaller ones to grow a little longer.

After harvesting, it’s important to handle your kohlrabi with care. Remove any debris from the bulbs and trim the stems and tips. Store the harvested kohlrabi in a cool, dark, and dry place to prolong its shelf life. Kohlrabi can be stored for several weeks when stored properly.

In conclusion, knowing when kohlrabi is ripe is crucial for a successful harvest. Consider the size, color, and taste to determine the maturity of the bulbs. Harvest them when they are at their optimal size and flavor. Proper care and storage will help you enjoy your kohlrabi for an extended period of time.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.