Growing Kohl Rabi

Growing Kohl Rabi in Your Backyard

As you become more confident in vegetable gardening you find yourself wanting to start growing the A to Z of different vegetables one of which could be growing kohl rabi.

Growing kohl rabi is actually fairly easy crop to grow – kohl rabi is quite a fast growing crop. It’s not widely grown just because people don’t really see it being available in the supermarket.

Kohl rabi is a popular vegetable in Europe which is quite surprising as kohl rabi is a delicious vegetable – it gets a swollen part on the stem which is the kohl rabi.

Growing Kohl Rabi – Soil Conditions

growing kohl rabiIt’s best to start growing kohl rabi in a sunny spot in your garden. Dig the soil in autumn and add plenty of well rotted manure or compost.

In spring a couple of weeks before sowing or planting apply a scattering of chicken pellets and sprinkle some Bromophos on your soil this is especially useful if you know you have cabbage root fly problems. A week later rake the soil and make a fine tilth seedbed.

Growing Kohl Rabi – Seeds and Plants

You can actually direct sow kohl rabi into a well-prepared seedbed. If you are going to direct sow then make a drill in the soil about 1 to 2cm deep and sow the kohl rabi seed very thinly along the seed drill. Cover the seeds lightly and water the seed drill.

Alternatively you can sow kohl rabi in an individual module seed-tray. Fill the tray with multi-purpose compost and firm down and water. Then take your kohl rabi seed and put 1 or 2 seeds in each module. Cover very thinly with some compost.

It takes around 10 to 14 days for the kohl rabi to germinate. When the kohl rabi plants are 4 weeks old you can then transplant them into your garden.

Kohl rabi is unusual as it can tolerate cooler growing conditions, so you can plant them out earlier and just put a cloche over the plants or some other type of protection.

Growing Kohl Rabi - looking after the crop

If you direct sow you will need to thin the kohl rabi plants to about 4” apart. You also need to hoe between the plant on a regular basis and water often especially in dry periods.

To stop moisture loss you can add some mulch around the plants such as: grass clippings or compost to help keep the soil moist whilst providing some instant nutrients for this crop.

Because kohl rabi matures very quickly – it takes around 8 to 12 weeks between sowing and lifting – it doesn’t seem to be affected by many pests or diseases.

But here are some that they could be affected by:

Pigeons:  will attack the leaves and strip them back until the veins are only left. Put up a bird scarer to stop them.

Caterpillars: if you have caterpillars on your plants you can just take them off from your kohl rabi plants.

Slugs and snails: young plants are susceptible to slugs and these can eat a plant overnight. Use natural slug pellets around the plants.

I hope you will start growing kohl rabi in your garden – happy gardening.

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