By Kathee Mierzejewski
Growing kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes) is not the hardest thing in the world. Kohlrabi is actually somewhat easy to grow. You want to start your plants indoors about four to six weeks before you plant to put them outside.
How to Grow Kohlrabi
After four to six weeks, plant the baby plants outdoors in well drained, rich soil. Growing kohlrabi is most successful in cooler weather. The early crops started indoors and then transplanted outdoors will provide you with a nice crop.
When you think about how to plant kohlrabi, remember that there are many different types. Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family. There are white, reddish and purple varieties, some which will mature early and some which mature late. The Eder variety is a faster maturing variety which takes about 38 days to mature while the Gigante matures in about 80 days. The Gigante is best for fall.
How Does Kohlrabi Grow?
When growing kohlrabi, remember that most of the growth occurs in spring or in fall. It definitely prefers cool weather, so if you can only grow one crop a season, fall is preferred. It will taste best if it matures in the fall.
Kohlrabi is not a root plant. The bulb is the stem of the plant and it should sit just above the level of the soil. This part of the root will swell and be a sweet, tender vegetable you can cook or eat raw.
How to Plant Kohlrabi
When thinking about how to plant your kohlrabi, you have a choice to start it outside or inside. If you start it inside, wait until the baby plants are four to six weeks old before transplanting them into your prepared garden soil outside.
First, fertilize your soil and then plant the kohlrabi. You can have a continuous crop if you plant your kohlrabi every two to three weeks. Make sure to place the seeds ¼ to ½ inch deep into the soil about two to five inches apart if planting seeds directly outside. Also, when growing kohlrabi, you want to make sure to keep the soil well watered or you will end up with woody stemmed plants that are too tough.
When to Harvest Kohlrabi
When to harvest kohlrabi is when the first stem is one inch in diameter. Kohlrabi can be continuously harvested, up until the stems are two to three inches in diameter. After that, your plants will be too old and too tough. So long as you know best when to harvest kohlrabi, you should have plants with a milder, sweeter flavor.