Kohlrabi-QR - Manning's Greenhouse

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The Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi, scientifically known as Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes, is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which includes cabbage, broccoli, and kale. Its origins can be traced back to northern Europe, particularly Germany, where it has been cultivated since the 16th century. Kohlrabi derives its name from the German words "kohl" meaning cabbage and "rabi" meaning turnip, aptly describing its appearance as a swollen stem resembling a turnip with cabbage-like leaves. Over time, this versatile vegetable has gained popularity worldwide for its mild, sweet flavor and culinary versatility.

Cultivating kohlrabi requires attention to specific growing conditions and practices. It thrives in cool climates and prefers well-drained, fertile soil enriched with organic matter.
Scientific Name - Brassica oleracea var. gongylodes

The following are key planting and gardening practices for successful kohlrabi cultivation:
  • Choose a location with full sun to partial shade and good air circulation.

  • Prior to planting, amend the soil with compost or aged manure to improve fertility and drainage.

  • Directly sow seeds in the garden bed, spacing them 4-6 inches apart in rows spaced 12-18 inches apart.

  • Plant seeds at a depth of ¼ to ½ inch in moist soil.

  • Once seedlings emerge, thin them to maintain proper spacing, leaving the healthiest plants in place.

  • Keep the soil consistently moist, providing about 1 inch of water per week, especially during dry periods.

  • Apply a layer of organic mulch around plants to retain soil moisture, suppress weeds, and regulate soil temperature.

  • Side-dress plants with a balanced fertilizer when they reach about 4-6 inches in height to support healthy growth.

  • Monitor for common pests such as aphids, cabbage worms, and flea beetles, using organic methods like hand-picking and row covers for protection. Rotate crops annually to prevent disease buildup.

  • Kohlrabi is ready for harvest when the swollen stem reaches 2-3 inches in diameter, typically 6-8 weeks after planting. Use a sharp knife to cut the stem just above ground level.

By following these planting and gardening practices, enthusiasts can enjoy a bountiful harvest of this nutritious and flavorful vegetable.
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