Kohlrabi 'Superschmelz' - Seed
Food that we eat today - Kohlrabi!
Kohlrabi seed requires no prior treatment although an overnight soak in lukewarm water will encourage germination.
This is a fast growing vegetable that will thrive in water retaining soil that was well fertilised in the winter.
Sow under glass: March-April.
Sow in the garden for autumn harvesting: June
Be aware that kohlrabi seeds are a favourite with the birds. Starting off in the cold frame is therefore best. Then plant the somewhat larger seedlings in the garden. You must otherwise definitely take protective measures against the birds.
There are two ways to sow:
- Early - from the end of February already up to April (or in August if you want to harvest in the autumn), indoors. Use small pots, one seed per pot. Cover with soil, press lightly down and sprinkle immediately. Stand the pots in the cold frame (indoors is just too warm). Keep them moist and give them plenty of room - the plants should not touch each other. Plant out from the end of April at 70 cm intervals, in rows 70 cm apart.
- Sow directly in the garden, in full sun, from June if you want to harvest in the autumn. Fork the soil loose to about 30 cm deep. Draw a straight furrow approx. 1 cm deep and sprinkle the seed between thumb and forefinger along the row, as thinly as you can manage. Cover the seeds with half a centimetre of soil, press carefully down and sprinkle with water. Label the row. Extra rows should be at 20 cm intervals. A chicken wire tunnel will help keep the birds off. Thin the seedlings out along the rows (or in pots) once there are four leaves to a plant and don't forget about keeping those birds at bay.
All cabbages are classified as Brassicaceae or Cruciferea and although there are many varieties, they are genetically very close.
Brassica oleracea covers many cabbages. They have been grown, crossed and cultivated again for 5,000 years already. Big headed cabbage are given the name Brassica oleracea convar. capitata and kohlrabi specifically Brassica oleracea convar. acephela alef. var. gongylodes.
There are so many types of cabbage and kohlrabi too - both earlies and lates for sowing throughout the year and vary in their tolerance to cold. Keep to the sowing time advised to minimise the risk of problems (fast growers are usually less hardy so are best not harvested in frosty months).
Brassica oleracea convar. acephela alef. var. gongylodes is a bi-annual plant that will principally flower and set seed in its 2nd year.
The fresher the kohlrabi, the better the taste. Freeze it in, either raw or cooked. A freshly picked kohlrabi will easily last for several weeks in the fridge or pantry.
Cut raw kohlrabi julienne style for using in salads. Or blanche it (large pieces) and add to various recipes. Great in the wok too. Delicious in a rice dish or in a creamy sauce with bacon.
Only water extra in periods of drought. Kohlrabi (German turnip) will appreciate lots of fertiliser all season through. Keep the bed free of weed and your kohlrabi will thrive.Harvesting:
- planted for spring and summer - May to July
- planted for the autumn - August-October
Harvest your kohlrabi just before it's fully grown. Use a rake to tilt the plant free of the soil before using a sharp knife to cut the head free from the stem, directly under the head. The leaves are also edible.
Dig up the roots immediately.
Rabbits like kohllrabi and kohlrabi leaves too!