Crop Profile: Kohlrabi

This alien-looking brassica crop is a fun addition to any garden.

by Samantha Johnson
Courtesy Hemera/Thinkstock

What’s somewhat turnip-like, somewhat cabbage-like and noted for its apple-like texture? You guessed it: kohlrabi. This unusual-looking brassica is remarkably hardy, but plants are cold-sensitive, bolting with even brief exposures to freezing temps. Popular as a winter storage crop, kohlrabi is found in red, white and king-sized varieties.

Kohlrabi is easy to grow in a variety of climates. It prefers full sun and well-drained soil and is tolerant of cool temperatures. Succession-plant kohlrabi because it produces in only a short window of time. If you continue to replant over a period of several weeks, you’ll be able to eat kohlrabi for the entire summer.

Kohlrabi can be started indoors or out. It can even be started outdoors weeks before your average last-frost date. Sow seeds 3 to 6 inches apart, 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep, with 12 inches between rows.

Read more about growing other brassicas.

About the Author: Samantha Johnson is the author of several books, including a forthcoming book on gardening for children. She raises purebred Welsh Mountain Ponies in northern Wisconsin.

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