All About Growing Kohlrabi

Growing kohlrabi quickly becomes habit-forming among organic gardeners, because this crunchy treat is so good to eat. Fast-maturing kohlrabi plants can be grown in spring and in fall, while the weather is cool. Storage varieties take longer to grow, but produce excellent crops. This guide includes recommended kohlrabi varieties and tips for growing, harvesting, storing and more.

| January 10, 2014

Kohlrabi Illustration

With a crisp texture and sweet yet savory flavor, some people refer to kohlrabi as the apple of the vegetable crops. You won’t regret adding some to your garden plans.

Illustration by Keith Ward

(For details on growing many other vegetables and fruits, visit our Crop at a Glance collection page.)

One of the newest members to join the cabbage family crops, kohlrabi was bred in Germany in the 1500s. Instead of growing a head like cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, closely related kohlrabi develops a rounded “bulb” in its stem, just above the soil line.

Growing kohlrabi is easy as long as you use the best planting dates for your climate. In most areas, you can grow spring and fall crops of fast-maturing kohlrabi varieties, and end the season with a few storage-type kohlrabi, which grow unusually large.

Types of Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi varieties vary in growth rate and color. The earliest-maturing varieties are mostly classically bred hybrids (noted by “F1” below), while the best storage varieties are open-pollinated.

Green kohlrabi varieties such as ‘Korridor’ (F1; 50 days) and ‘Winner’ (F1; 45 days) are fast growers that thrive in a wide range of climates. You can plant green and purple kohlrabi together to create a beautiful bed.

Purple kohlrabi varieties such as ‘Azur Star’ (58 days) and’ Kolibri’ (45 days) are even easier to grow than green kohlrabi, because cabbage worms and other insects avoid the purple leaves.

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