If you are one of those people with fine taste, you will have noticed that a freshly harvested kohlrabi from your own garden tastes a lot better than frozen vegetables. If you haven’t noticed this before, then you should definitely give it a try, and healthier (and pollution-free) kohlrabi can’t be on your plate either. Here are the most important facts about preparing, caring for and harvesting kohlrabi.

Prefer kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is one of those vegetables that don’t have to be preferred here. Vegetables must be preferred that, in our climatic conditions, would not be able to ripen if they were grown in the garden, e.g. B. Tomatoes and peppers. On the contrary, kohlrabi even has a very short development time before it can be harvested, so it can simply be sown directly into the bed after the ice saints if you just want to harvest your own kohlrabi at some point.

If, however, you are planning intensive crop rotation management throughout the year in order to get the most out of the limited garden area and to increase soil quality and yield through balanced crop rotation, you want to place the kohlrabi in the bed in a state in which it only lasts for a very short time needs to harvest. Then it is preferred in a warm and sheltered environment, usually in a greenhouse. In a heated greenhouse, you could theoretically start pre-cultivating kohlrabi whenever you want, you could finish cultivating it here right away. The rule for moving forward is, however, the unheated greenhouse, which does not require any additional energy consumption. Here, the heat storage effect of the glazing is used when it is pulled forward. Plants can therefore be preferred

The exact time depends on the climate of the region in which the greenhouse is located and on the sensitivity of the plants that are to be grown here. Kohlrabi is not super sensitive, it even tolerates a nocturnal cold shock that is not too frequent and not too strong. Kohlrabi can therefore be sown early when the night temperature in the soil is on average higher than 5 degrees, which is guaranteed in most of Germany from around mid-April.

Moving forward has another advantage: if you don’t allow the birds, squirrels, mice and snails to have half of your young plants, you should give forward – and only put the plants in the garden when they are so big that the animals they love devour a few “sacrificial plants” and not the entire harvest.

Prefer kohlrabi in the smallest of spaces

If you don’t have a greenhouse, but have wonderfully wide window sills, you can start pulling kohlrabi a tad earlier: kohlrabi needs a good two months from sowing to harvest, in mid-May it can be put in the garden bed everywhere because none after the ice saints More frosts are to be expected.

So you could sow the kohlrabi as early as the end of March (earlier in the warmest areas of Germany) and let it grow quite large on the windowsill, then it only comes into the garden for the last few weeks to develop magnificent tubers. To do this, however, you need window sills that get a lot of light and where the temperatures are not too warm, temperatures not below 12 and not above 16 degrees would be ideal (in the long term, the kohlrabijung plants can withstand a few short deviations).

If the kohlrabi gets too little light, but at the same time is prompted to grow by excessively high temperatures, it will almost certainly develop horny growth, thin shoots that stretch towards the light. These shoots very often remain when the kohlrabi comes into the bed – it may still develop a lot of leaf mass, but only rarely a tuber (sometimes it does, it is worth trying before you throw away the cultivation).

For some balcony owners there is an interesting variant, especially for the kohlrabi and its pre-cultivation: If your balcony is so sheltered / sunny that the temperatures just described are guaranteed, you could prefer the kohlrabi on the balcony. So you don’t have to block your window boxes, where the first spring flowers are sure to grow, but you use an ingenious invention that simply extends the bedding area in the city vertically:

The lettuce tree that is sown or planted from the side, and that works just as well with kohlrabi as with lettuce. You can build a lettuce tree yourself, basically it is a matter of erecting a pipe with a diameter of at least 20 cm and fixing it vertically, providing it with many 4 cm holes on the side and filling it with soil on the inside Internet. Unfortunately, we cannot report on experiences with direct sowing in the holes of the lettuce tree, but it is actually not unimaginable, plants always grow in the direction of light … But you can also prefer seedlings on the windowsill, especially during germination the kohlrabi would like it yes, especially warm. The kohlrabi are then placed very carefully in the lettuce tree, by drilling a planting hole with your finger, carefully inserting the seedling and pressing the soil down with a delicate touch. Sometimes it is said that you can now grow the kohlrabi in the lettuce tree for good, but that could be difficult because the heavy tubers simply tip off to the side at some point … However, you can grow strong young plants here and put them in the bed later.

Beware, kohlrabi likes to shoot in the “cabbage”

The cold that the kohlrabi may have to endure when growing in the greenhouse should be limited to very brief temperature drops during germination. Because young kohlrabi want to be fairly warm, if they have to freeze, they often say thank you with the so-called “heartlessness”, so they simply no longer form any tubers.

The kohlrabijung plants do not tolerate frost under any circumstances, sometimes it is even reported that minimum temperatures of 14 degrees are required for the first cultivation. The ideal temperature during the germination stage should be 20 to 22 degrees, after the germination stage the kohlrabi should be satisfied with temperatures between 10 and 14.

Care – this is how you grow magnificent kohlrabi tubers

When you have grown strong young plants, put them in the garden bed – which you should have prepared with plenty of compost in late autumn. The compost (preferably mixed with a little cow dung) should be worked well into the soil, the bed is simply left fallow over the winter.

For planting the young plants grown in advance or for direct sowing, it is best to use the rake to make a small groove in the vegetable patch, for direct sowing around one centimeter deep, for planting only for marking. You should set around 15 pieces per square meter for the early varieties, only 8 to 10 pieces of the later varieties, which are usually larger. The next row is drawn at a distance of approx. 20 or 30 cm, you then keep the same distance from young plants to young plants. It is simply sown along the row, here you thin out later by pulling out the weaker plants.

When the kohlrabi is in the bed, it does not want to experience any major fluctuations in soil moisture, otherwise the tubers usually burst. Nevertheless, the kohlrabi naturally needs sufficient moisture, and you should water it every dry day. If you can adjust the soil moisture fairly evenly, you will avoid lignifying the kohlrabi.

That’s it with the care of the kohlrabi, if the soil is prepared accordingly, it does not need any fertilizer, on the contrary, too much nitrogen could even lead to an increased nitrate content.

Crop rotation in kohlrabi

If you are growing the kohlrabi in crop rotation, you should aim for a longer period of cultivation after every other crucifer. So to a lot of other popular vegetables, because cruciferous vegetables include cauliflower and broccoli, Chinese cabbage and horseradish, pak choi and radishes, radish and Brussels sprouts, red and white cabbage, turnip and turnip (among others, there are more).

If you keep your crop rotations too short, you will be giving rise to soil-borne diseases. Above all, this includes the dreaded coal hernia, a parasite that can contaminate the soil for up to 20 years and cannot be combated directly, but only through these and other preventive measures. But those are the only demands of the kohlrabi on the crop rotation, otherwise it gets along with every neighbor.

Kohlrabi varieties

You can grow a whole bunch of different types of kohlrabi: around 40 white kohlrabi and 14 blue kohlrabi.

If you are after records: “Gigant” and “Superschmelz” should deliver the largest tubers, otherwise the selection is e.g. B. yield, tendency to lignify and rapid growth. There are varieties for every growing season; if you are in a hurry, always choose white kohlrabi, which are faster than the blue ones.

Diseases and pests

You don’t have to worry about large quantities of kohlrabi, it simply grows too quickly. Tomatoes as neighbors or tomato extracts as organic pesticides help against a few cheeky cabbage whites.

Harvesting the kohlrabi

Depending on the variety, the kohlrabi ripens into a fruit that is ready to be harvested in two to three months. Treat yourself to the luxury of harvesting the kohlrabis quite small (most varieties with a diameter of around 10 cm), they simply taste unrivaled tender and nutty.

If you cannot consume the harvest immediately, early varieties of kohlrabi can be stored in the refrigerator for a good two weeks; there is no sensitivity to certain neighbors. Fall kohlrabi can even be stored in a cool place for several months if you remove the foliage.

Things worth knowing about kohlrabi
The kohlrabi is one of the innumerable cultivated forms of the vegetable cabbage and is also known under the names over-turnip, over-turn cabbage, stalk turnip or turnip cabbage. The “Ober” in the name alludes to the use, the above-ground tuber is used, the “rabi” comes from the Latin “rapa, rupum” = turnip.

The kohlrabi we are so familiar with has some not so well known features to offer: kohlrabi grows every two years or over two vegetation seasons. In the first year, the thick tuber emerges, which we harvest, after a prolonged cold stimulus, the kohlrabi then begins to reproduce in the second year – it develops an inflorescence up to a meter high, strongly branched in width, the flower panicles with numerous small yellow flowers are occupied. The kohlrabi tuber, which grows in the first year, can take on interesting sizes, and many gardeners have already been confronted with a kohlrabi the size of a football. Which, by the way, does not mean that the giant vegetables are no longer edible, on the contrary, the inside can even be particularly tender because of the rapid growth.

It is also noteworthy for such an everyday vegetable that it is not exactly known where the kohlrabi actually comes from and approximately when it was grown – speculations here range from the Mediterranean region to Central Asia. The kohlrabi appeared in Europe in the 16th century and had such a career, especially in Germany up to the 19th century, that our neighbors consider it an “original German” vegetable. The English, the Russians and the Japanese have even adopted the name 1: 1 in their languages, so in the context of international understanding it would actually be appropriate not to refer to incomprehensible babble as “rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb”, but with a hearty ” Kohlrabi, kohlrabi, kohlrabi ”.

Kohlrabi is delicious and healthy and easy to grow, with a little planning even several times in one season. You could say: Kohlrabi is an essential part of every home garden.

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