Kohlrabi, sometimes referred to as German turnip, is a perennial plant member of the family cabbage. Kohlrabi isn’t just one of the toughest plants you can cultivate within your backyard; it’s also an excellent choice for those seeking to boost potassium, vitamin C, and fibre into their daily diet.
4 Types of Kohlrabi
A variety of Kohlrabi ( Brassica oleracea) are available in hybrid and heirloom varieties with distinct characteristics like flavour and colour, dimensions, growth rate and resistance to disease. The most well-known varieties of Kohlrabi include:
Early Purple Vienna
The plant will mature in 60 days. This heirloom variety is a cold-hardy plant that produces reliable yields. The skin is violet and will bring the most vibrant hue to your garden, and its sweet, turnip-like flesh is delicious cooked and raw.
Early white Vienna
Early white Vienna is smaller compared to its counterparts, with purple and maturing in just the 55-day period; this light green Kohlrabi is a cold-weather crop resistant to heat. It has a milder taste than turnips when cooked or eaten raw.
This healthy pale green variety can produce two crops in a season and thrives in all kinds of adverse conditions. Grand Duke kohlrabi is crisp, delicious, and mature in 45 to 50 days despite being among the biggest kohlrabi bulbs.
Kolibri is a beautiful purple hybrid among Kohlrabi’s top varieties that is suitable for the late-season harvest. It matures over 55 days. If eaten raw, it has an icy, juicy texture that resembles an apple and the light, sweet taste of cabbage.
How to Plant Kohlrabi in Your Garden
- Select a time to plant that is based on your climate zone of yours. In colder northern climates, it is possible to grow an early crop by sowing seeds outside shortly after the frost’s last day (or begin them indoors for three or four weeks before the final frost and then move them outdoors). In cooler climates, you can also plant Kohlrabi during the middle of summer for a harvest in autumn. If you live in warmer climates, you can plant it in the fall to harvest in winter. The kohlrabi plant thrives in temperatures between 40 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. They take between 45 and 60 days to grow; therefore, plan accordingly based on where you live.
- 2. Select a location that has sufficient sun. The kohlrabi plant should be in an area full of sun with at least six hours of sunlight per day. A partially shaded location is suitable if you plan to plant in the middle of summer for an autumn crop since the shade helps keep your seedlings cool in the summer heat.
- 3. Be sure to have the correct soil. The ideal pH for Kohlrabi is between 5.5 and 6.8, and slightly alkaline soil can help prevent the development of clubroot disease in Kohlrabi. Kohlrabi thrives in well-drained, fertile loamy soil high in organic material.
- 4. Enhance your soil by adding nutrients. Before planting your Kohlrabi enhance your soil by enriching it by adding aged manure or compost.
- 5. Be aware of the appropriate spacing and planting depth. Plant kohlrabi seeds in rows about a quarter-inch in-depth and spaced 9-12 inches apart. If transplanting seedlings indoors, place seedlings 5 to 8 inches apart. If you are planting more than one row, put rows about two feet from each other.
How to Grow and Care for Kohlrabi
After you’ve successfully established your Kohlrabi, ensure you follow the proper maintenance regimen to increase your crop yield.
- 1. Keep your soil moist. Kohlrabi plants must receive an evenly distributed amount of at minimum 1 1/2 inches of water each week. Be sure not to overwater.
- 2. Include a layer of organic soil. When your plants are 5 inches, apply a layer of organic mulch on top of the soil to stop the growth of weeds, retain moisture, and reduce the temperature of the soil.
- 3. Monitor for disease. Kohlrabi can be susceptible to downy mildew, as well as powdery mildew. Clubroot is a cause of yellowing and wilting of roots and leaves. It can also cause distorted roots and can be treated with lime added to your soil. Powdery mildew and downy mildew can cause yellow patches or white spots of powder, and both can be controlled with the right fungicide.