Brassica oleracea (Gongylodes Group)
Also known as
Knol-Kohl, Kohl Rabi, Su Hào, Ol Kopi, Monj-Hakh, Nol Khol, Knolkhol, நோல்கோல், κουλούμπρα, Kedlubna, Kaleráb, Gulie, Cărălabă, Kalarepa, Karalábé, Navilu Kosu, Navalkol, Nool Kol, Kouloumpra
2 years to reach maturity
This plant has a strong fragrance
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's
Birds can also damage young plants - netting crops to protect young plants.
Kohlrabi's Companion Plants
How to harvest Kohlrabi's
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's
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's
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's
The swollen basal stem is edible raw or cooked and has a sweetness to it.
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and turnip are all part of the same veggie family! Check here on planting times and tips.
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.