Grow White and Purple Kohlrabi

Add color to your garden by growing both white and purple kohlrabi.

| October 2014

  • Both white kohlrabi and purple kohlrabi mature easily and are relatively problem-free.
    Photo by Fotolia/sad dogg design
  • “Made at Home Vegetables,” by Dick Strawbridge and James Strawbridge, provides instructions on planting your own plot for fresh garden produce all year round.
    Cover courtesy Mitchell Beazley

Made at Home Vegetables, by Dick Strawbridge and James Strawbridge (Mitchell Beazley, 2012), proves just how productively green you can be all year round. Whether you have a tiny urban plot, a terrace, a community garden allotment or plenty of space in your own garden, growing your own vegetables is one of the easiest ways to transform the way you eat. The following excerpt from the chapter “Autumn” teaches you how to grow and harvest white kohlrabi and purple kohlrabi.

Purchase this book from the GRIT store: Made at Home Vegetables.

Kohlrabi may look like a mutant vegetable from another planet but it is actually a fairly normal brassica that grows extremely easily. One of the great things about it is that it matures quickly and is relatively problem-free. There are two main varieties: white (or light green) and purple. Both taste great, so grow a single variety or a colourful combination in your garden.

You can sow your kohlrabi from late winter onwards if you are using a cloche or seed trays under cover. Sow seeds in small batches but often, to provide yourself with a steady supply of kohlrabi. Scatter the seed thinly in rows 30cm (1 foot) apart, covering them with 1cm (1/2 inch) of compost.

Thin out the seedlings when they are around 5cm (2 inches) tall and have formed proper leaves, to leave about 15cm (6 inches) between each plant. If you are transplanting them outside from trays, wait until early to mid spring and harden the seedlings off during the day — putting them outside and bring them back inside each evening.

Watering and weeding are important for young plants. If there hasn’t been much rain and you are worried about your kohlrabi drying out, try to keep them shaded from the sun by heaping grass cuttings or mulch around them. This will also prevent them becoming too woody in texture.



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