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Kohlrabi

The tasty kohlrabi is usually an uncomplicated spring and summer vegetable. Since the tuber, which is available in various colors from white, green or purple, can be used as a pre- and post-culture, it does not necessarily have to be used in early spring but can also be cultivated in summer. Therefore, the harvest and ripening time also varies here, because this always depends on the time of planting.

Kohlrabi Varieties

The tasty kohlrabi form large, spreading green leaves during growth, but unlike many other types of cabbage, these are not necessarily used in the kitchen. However, the tubers, which grow above ground and from which the leaves develop, are a popular vegetable in the kitchen and can be prepared in a variety of ways. It is important to determine the right time for the harvest so that the leaves neither shoot, which is also known from salads, or the tuber becomes woody. Because then the vegetables are useless for the kitchen. The following varieties are particularly popular in local gardens.

Red-Blue Blaro

  • also suitable for autumn

White delicacy

  • tends to lignify

White Lanro

  • tends neither to lignify nor to shoot

Knauf's early white

  • good for early cultivation

super melt

  • develops large tubers weighing up to 8 kg

Most of these kohlrabi plants are suitable for early summer or summer cultivation, some can even be planted well into the fall and harvested once they have reached the right size.

harvest time

As a rule, kohlrabi cannot be tied to a specific harvest time, this always depends on the time of planting. If these were therefore cultivated early in the year, directly after winter, the hobby gardener can harvest the tasty tubers before Easter. If the plants were planted later, then of course they will also ripen later. So if you plant accordingly and with foresight, you can enjoy and harvest the delicious tubers all year round from spring to late autumn. When harvesting the cabbage at the right time, the following must be observed above all.

  • six to twelve weeks after planting
  • an above-ground tuber has formed
  • this is oval, round or flat round
  • the leaves are rich green
  • wilted leaves indicate that maturity has passed
  • blue tubers grow slower than white ones
  • white tubers become woody faster
  • if the tuber has burst, it should be harvested immediately
  • it is important to harvest before the first frost
  • Variety Supermelt tolerates light frost

Every hobby gardener should decide for themselves when the right harvest time is for their own kohlrabi. After six weeks, the tubers are still quite small but also very tender and can then be eaten raw. If they stay longer in the bed and are only harvested after ten to twelve weeks, they have grown correspondingly larger. However, there is always the danger that they are lignified, at least in part. Then, however, the non-lignified part can still be used in the kitchen.

tool

Since the kohlrabi plants should not be pulled out of the ground with the roots, as new plants will form here next spring and the roots can overwinter underground, appropriate tools must be used for harvesting. A sharp, smooth kitchen knife is ideal for this. However, this should be disinfected before use so that no germs and bacteria can get into the roots and damage them. But even the tubers that are still to be kept could be damaged by a dirty knife and begin to rot at the cutting point. Pure alcohol from the pharmacy or a disinfectant from a well-stocked specialist shop are suitable for disinfection. Alcohol has the advantage that it dissipates quickly and therefore does not cause any changes in the taste of the vegetables.

Harvest right

When the tasty tubers reach the size of a tennis ball, they are ready to be harvested. Only the Super Schmelz variety grows significantly larger. The tender leaves of the small, tender tubers are also edible and can also be used in the kitchen.

When harvesting, proceed as follows:

  • Plants are biennial
  • therefore always cut off the tuber directly above the stalk
  • Remove leaves and set aside
  • can also be used

If you think about sowing beforehand, not all plants will be ready for harvest at the same time. So it makes more sense to spread the sowing over several weeks. In this way, the kohlrabi also become ready for harvest over several weeks and can thus be harvested fresher.

storage

Post-harvest storage

If more kohlrabi plants had to be harvested than can be eaten, then these can also be stored for some time. To do this, the procedure should be as follows so that the tubers do not lose their freshness and tenderness.

  • remove all leaves
  • Wrap the kohlrabi in a damp cloth
  • store in the vegetable drawer of the fridge
  • keeps in this way up to two weeks without a cloth, the tubers only stay fresh for two to six days in the refrigerator
  • The super melt variety can be stored in a cold cellar for several months

If you have a rich harvest, you can also prepare the kohlrabi for the winter. To do this, the tubers are cut into strips or slices and placed in portions in freezer bags, sealed airtight and frozen. So there are always tasty kohlrabi available for use as vegetables, even in winter. Old-school hobby gardeners who also cultivate other vegetables in their own garden bed mix the cut kohlrabi bulbs with cut carrots, leeks and celery to taste before freezing. These frozen vegetable portions are well suited as soup vegetables for the cold season.

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