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Why Grow It

Kohlrabi is gaining in popularity and little wonder – it’s quick-growing, relatively easy to grow and tastes great (like a very mild turnip), cooked or raw. Not to mention they are beautiful looking plants.

Available as green, white or purple varieties, kohlrabi stems grow above the ground. It’s a brassica, so include it in your crop rotation.

  • Kohlrabi will grow in most reasonably fertile soil, but grows best in a fertile soil with compost and a general fertiliser added. Try adding some a week or two before sowing/transplanting.
  • Do not grow kohlrabi anywhere that you have grown any member of the cabbage family the previous year (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, collards and kale). The best way to manage all these veg is to create a crop rotation scheme prior to growing. Find out how to create your own plan here.
  • Kohlrabi can be sown in modules at 1cm depth for later transplanting. But the easiest way to grow them is directly into the soil.
  • If sowing direct, sow seeds thinly, at 1cm depth, in rows 30cm apart from April to July.
  • If sowing in module trays, sow a couple (2-3) seeds per module in a module tray and remove weaker seedlings.
  • Seedlings will be ready to transplant about a month later.
  • Transplant (or thin) when plants are about 10cm tall to a spacing of 25cm between plants.
  • Water if the soil dries out as they go woody if grown with too little available water.
  • Kohlrabi will be ready for harvest from as little as three months from sowing.
  • Lift when they are tennis-ball size.
  • Later sowings can be left in the soil over autumn and early winter, but lift before heavy frosts.
  • Kohlrabi are in the cabbage family – they are generally fairly robust compared to crops like cauliflower.
  • Make sure the ground is clear and slug free when transplanting – use a less toxic slug killer like iron phosphate if slugs seem to be a problem.
  • Use an insect mesh net to keep out cabbage fly, butterflies, aphids and pigeons.
  • Kohlrabi is delicious in coleslaw.
  • Kohlrabi does not store well, so harvest as required.