Growing Kohlrabi is not only easy but also very rewarding. Kohlrabi’s tastes like a mild version of turnip and have a very unique flavor. Today, we have five tips to grow the best kohlrabi’s in your home garden.
1. Use high quality seeds
It’s vital to use good quality seeds to get good yield. In this video, we are growing two varieties of Kohlrabi, Terek and Kosak which are great varieties to grow in your home garden. Kohlrabi’s grow better when started from seeds than when directly sowed, so start the seeds 4-6 weeks before transplanting. Use sterile seed starting mix in seed starting kits to start your seeds, and once you’ve sowed them keep them moist by watering the bottom layer. Keep them in a humid environment so the seeds germinate faster. Alternatively, you can also start your plants from transplants that you can buy at your local gardening store. Five days from sowing you will notice seedlings emerge, and in around 20 days from sowing, you can transplant the seedlings in raised beds or containers.
2. Space plants 4 inches apart when transplanting
We planted our seedlings in raised beds which contains a good mix of organic matter and worm castings which creates a conducive environment for the plants to thrive. It is important to separate each seedling carefully and space them out at least 4 inches apart when planting. Do not crowd them or plant multiple varieties together as they won’t have space to make big-sized bulbs. Kohlrabi’s can easily grow in containers provided you space them at least 4 inches apart. Ensure that you water them well after transplanting.
3. Amend soil with rich organic matter and worm castings
Add organic matter and worm castings to create the perfect growing environment for Kohlrabi. VermiSterra sells good quality worm casting, we regularly use their worm castings to replenish the soil in our garden. It has made a huge difference, our plant’s look healthy, minimal insect damage without use of pesticides, and the yield almost doubled. Kohlrabi loves a good mix of micronutrients in the soil for producing good sized bulbs.
4. Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizers
Avoid using high nitrogen fertilizer or an all-purpose fertilizers with high nitrogen content, using high nitrogen fertilizer the plant focusses all its energy in producing new leaves than the bulb, thereby resulting in smaller bulbs. You don’t need to add any additional fertilizer for Kohlrabi’s if your growing medium is rich and amended with worm castings, unless you are using sterile soil. Sterile soil does not contain any nutrients, and adding vegetable fertilizer with high phosphorus content will benefit the plants. While we noticed insect damage on the Kohlrabi leaves, we did not spray the plants as we do not consume the Kohlrabi leaves. You can use Neem Oil, or BT which are both organic insect control methods to keep the butterfiles from laying eggs and forming into caterpillars which eat up all the leaves.
5. Grow in the cooler months
Kohlrabi’s grow best in the cooler months of fall and spring in areas like southern California. While you can grow them year round, they tend to grow best in the cooler months. You will also less insect damage if you grow Kohlrabi’s in cooler months, than summer.
Watch the video here 5 Tips to Grow BIG Kohlrabi’s