Most Underrated Cold Weather Crop
The Purple Vienna and White Vienna Kohlrabi are two varieties of Kohlrabi that have productive yields and are the most underrated cold weather staple crops to grow during the cooler seasons. During the Fall and Winter months, Kohlrabi takes 45 days to maturity which works great for succession planting because you are able to get a continuous harvest and they typically grow up to 12 inches tall with edible greens and bulbs. When Kohlrabi bulbs reach about 3 inches in diameter that’s when it’s time to harvest. The Purple Vienna Kohlrabi is a productive heirloom variety that contains purple bulbs. While the White Vienna Kohlrabi is similar to the Purple Vienna, instead of purple it has light green bulbs and leaves. When preparing Kohlrabi to eat raw in slaw or salad, you should peel the bulb due to the outside being tough and not pleasant to taste.
What is Kohlrabi?
On this week’s episode, Travis talks about the most underrated cold weather crop that we grow in the vegetable garden. Kohlrabi is becoming one of Travis’s favorite cool weather crops to grow in the vegetable garden. Known as a Brassica, kohlrabi is related to crops like Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and collards. The two edible parts of kohlrabi are the leaves and the bulb. Once you peel away the purple flesh of the bulb it will be white on the inside and have a texture similar to turnip roots. The flavor is similar to cabbage and some people even say it taste like a raw cucumber. To cook them you can cut them up and stir-fry them, but Travis likes to just eat them raw. For example, you can make coleslaw or salad out of them or just add salt and pepper to eat them raw. To plant kohlrabi you can either direct seed or transplant them. When direct seeding we use the Hoss Garden Seeder to make planting quick and easy in the vegetable garden. The garden seeder comes with 6 seed plates that have already been drilled out to fit the various vegetable seed sizes. The #1 seed plate has a modified hole size to fit the Kohlrabi seeds perfectly. Travis prefers to transplant them because they seem to do much better in the garden that way and it allows us to get a jumpstart on the growing season. When transplanting Kohlrabi we recommend planting 3 to 4 weeks before the desired planting date. Similar to other cool weather crops, Travis plants the Kohlrabi transplants on double rows with drip irrigation in the middle. To lay the drip irrigation, he uses our Double Wheel Hoe with the Drip Tape Layer Attachment and Plow Set. This attachment helps turn normally a two-person job into a one-person job and makes it easier to lay straight rows of drip tape in the garden area. We use the drip tape system to ensure that crops are accurately getting all the water they need directly to the plant roots. Another advantage of having buried drip tape is we conserve water and reduce pest, disease, and weed pressures, unlike overhead watering and hand watering in the vegetable garden. Kohlrabi plants do not need a lot of space to grow so Travis typically plants them 8 to 10 inches apart along the row. As the most underrated cool weather crop with little space to grow Kohlrabi is perfect to grow if you have a smaller garden area with not a lot of room to grow plants. If you want to try growing the most underrated cold weather crop, Kohlrabi would be a great crop to add a unique vegetable to try out in the vegetable garden this season.