If you’re looking for a fun and unique vegetable to grow in your square-foot garden, Kohlrabi is a great option.
This unusual-looking root vegetable is a member of the cabbage family, and it has a crisp, slightly sweet flavor that’s perfect for fresh eating.
Growing Kohlrabi in square-foot gardening is easy and can provide a bountiful harvest of this tasty veggie.
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Understanding What Square Gardening Entails
If you’re new to gardening, you may be wondering what square-foot gardening is all about. Essentially, it’s a method of gardening that allows you to maximize space and yield by growing vegetables in raised beds divided into one-foot squares.
This type of gardening is perfect for small spaces, such as patios or balconies, and it’s also a great way to reduce the amount of work involved in maintaining a garden.
One of the best things about square-foot gardening is that it’s very simple to start. All you need is a raised bed (which can be made from any material, including wood, stone, or metal), good-quality soil, and some plants or seeds.
Once you have your bed and soil, you can start planting. Here are more benefits of gardening kohlrabi in square feet.
If you do it well, square-foot gardening helps you maximize yields. The reason is that you can plant more densely in a smaller space.
In addition, when plants are grown close together, they compete for resources, which forces them to grow larger and produce more fruit or vegetables.
You can get twice as much produce from a square-foot garden as you would from a traditional garden.
With traditional gardens, you have to till the soil several times throughout the growing season to keep weeds from taking over.
You also have to weed by hand regularly. With square-foot gardening, you don’t have to till because the soil is loose and well-aerated. Weeding is also much easier because the plants are closer, so weeds have less space to take hold.
Since square-foot gardening allows you to plant more densely, you have more control over the environment in which your plants are grown.
This feature is especially beneficial if you live in an area with unpredictable weather patterns. Growing plants together can create a microclimate that protects them from strong winds, heavy rains, and other extreme weather conditions.
When plants are close together, they shade the ground and help to retain moisture. As a result, you won’t have to water as often, saving you time and money.
Square foot gardens tend to drain well, so you won’t have to worry about waterlogged soil or root rot.
One of the great things about gardening in raised beds is that it’s easier to keep pests away from your plants. If you use a material impervious to pests, such as metal or plastic, you can create a barrier that will keep most pests out.
You can also use pest-resistant plants to deter pests further.
Now that you know some of the benefits of square-foot gardening, here is a look at how to grow Kohlrabi in this garden.
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How To Grow Kohlrabi in Square Foot Gardening
Kohlrabi is a cool-weather crop, so it’s best to plant it in the spring.
In most cases, you can direct seed kohlrabi into your square-foot garden, but starting seeds indoors will give you a head start on the growing season. Here are steps to take when growing Kohlrabi in square-foot gardening.
Choose the Right Location
Kohlrabi prefers full sun, but it will also tolerate partial shade. If you live in an area with hot summers, you may want to choose a location that gets some afternoon shade to prevent the leaves from wilting.
Additionally, Kohlrabi does best in well-drained soil. If your soil is heavy or clay-like, you may want to amend it with some compost or sand to improve drainage.
Prepare the Soil
As with any garden, it’s important to start with good-quality soil. If you’re using a raised bed, fill it with a mix of topsoil, compost, and sand.
You can add some organic matter, such as manure or coffee grounds. Once you’ve prepared the soil, it’s time to plant your kohlrabi seeds or seedlings.
Select the Right Variety
There are two main types of Kohlrabi: early-maturing and late-maturing. Early-maturing varieties take about 50 days to reach maturity, while late-maturing varieties can take up to 70 days. The common varieties include:
Azur Star is an early-maturing variety that produces 2-3 inch round bulbs. The flesh is white with a crisp texture. This seed is ideal if you want to grow Kohlrabi for eating raw or in salads.
Purple Vienna is a late-maturing variety that produces 3-4 inch round bulbs. The flesh is purple with a crisp texture. This seed is ideal if you want to grow Kohlrabi for pickling or other cooking uses.
Konan Hybrid is an early-maturing variety that produces 2-3 inch oval bulbs. The flesh is white with a crisp texture.
The Konan hybrid is a good option if you are a beginner or want all-purpose kohlrabi.
Grand Duke is a late-maturing variety that produces 3-4 inch round bulbs. The flesh is white with a crisp texture. This Kohlrabi is good for storage and can be eaten raw or cooked.
Here is a table with more information about these varieties:
|Variety||Days to Maturity||Shape||Color|
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Plant the Seeds or Seedlings
If you’re starting with seeds, plant them in rows that are 12 inches apart. Then, place the seeds about 1 inch deep and 2-3 inches apart; once the seedlings emerge, thin them so they are 6 inches apart.
If you’re using seedlings, plant them in rows 12 inches apart. Then, transplant the seedlings so they are 6 inches apart.
Water and Fertilize Regularly
Kohlrabi requires regular watering, especially during dry spells. Water the plants deeply so the roots grow strong. Kohlrabi is a heavy feeder, so you’ll need to fertilize it every few weeks. A general-purpose fertilizer will work fine.
Harvest When Ready
Depending on the variety, you can harvest Kohlrabi when the bulbs are 2-3 inches in diameter. To harvest, cut the stem about an inch above the bulb. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw or cooked.
It’s also tasty pickled or shredded and added to salads.
How Do You Determine the Suitable Spacing For Square Foot Gardening Kohlrabi?
The answer to this question depends on the type of Kohlrabi you are growing. For early-maturing varieties, you will want to space the seeds or seedlings 2-3 inches apart.
For late-maturing varieties, you will want to space the seeds or seedlings 3-4 inches apart. Then, once the seedlings have emerged, thin them so they are 6 inches apart.
Also, the ideal space depends on how big you want the kohlrabi bulbs to be. If you want small bulbs, you can space the plants closer together. If you want large bulbs, you can space the plants further apart.
If you are unsure how to space your Kohlrabi, you can check online guidelines or seek help from a gardener or local gardening center.
Read: Square Foot Gardening Fertilizer [All about to know]
Which Is the Best Season To Plant Square Foot Gardening Kohlrabi?
Kohlrabi can be planted in the spring or fall. The best time to plant in most regions is spring, after the last frost date. In warmer regions, you can also plant in the fall.
For example, if you live in zone 9 states, such as California, you can plant Kohlrabi in October.
If you want a head start on the growing season, you can start the seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date.
Plant the seeds in a seed-starting mix and keep them moist. When the seedlings are about 4 inches tall, transplant them outdoors.
What Are the Soil Requirements for Square Foot Gardening Kohlrabi?
Kohlrabi grows best in rich, well-drained soil. The ideal pH range is 6.0 to 7.0. If your soil is too sandy or clayey, you can amend it with compost or other organic matter.
How Much Sunlight Does Square Foot Gardening Kohlrabi Need?
Kohlrabi needs full sun to grow well. It will also tolerate partial shade but won’t produce as large bulbs.
How Often Should You Water Square Foot Gardening Kohlrabi?
Kohlrabi needs regular watering, especially during dry spells.
Water the plants deeply so the roots grow strong. Kohlrabi is a heavy feeder, so you’ll need to fertilize it every few weeks. A general-purpose fertilizer will work fine.
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What Are Some Challenges You Might Face When Square Foot Gardening Kohlrabi?
One major challenge you might face with Kohlrabi is keeping the plants well-watered. Kohlrabi is a heavy feeder, so you’ll need to fertilize it every few weeks. A general-purpose fertilizer will work fine. You can also use compost or other organic matter to amend the soil.
Another challenge you might face is dealing with pests and diseases. Common pests include;
These green worms are the caterpillars of moths and butterflies. They can decimate a kohlrabi crop in a short period.
Hand-pick the caterpillars from the plants and drop them into soapy water to kill them. You can also use floating row covers to keep the caterpillars from getting to the plants.
Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects that suck the sap from plants. They can cause stunted growth and distorted leaves. Aphids also transmit viruses from plant to plant.
To control aphids, you can use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. You can also attract beneficial insects, such as ladybugs, which feed on aphids.
Cabbage loopers are the caterpillars of moths. They can cause serious damage to kohlrabi plants, including holes in the leaves and stunted growth.
To control cabbage loopers, you can use Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), a bacterium that kills caterpillars. You can also use floating row covers to keep the caterpillars from getting to the plants.
You also have to help your plants fight against common diseases:
Clubroot is a soilborne disease affecting Kohlrabi and other cabbage family members. It causes the roots of the plants to swell and deform.
The effect leads to yellowing leaves and stunted growth. Unfortunately, there is no cure for clubroot, but you can prevent it by rotating your crops and avoiding planting kohlrabi in areas where the disease has been found.
Black rot is a fungal disease affecting Kohlrabi and other cabbage family members. It causes the leaves of the plants to turn yellow and blacken. The plant may also produce small, black fruits instead of Kohlrabi. Black rot can be controlled with fungicides, but planting disease-resistant varieties of Kohlrabi is best to avoid it.
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Can You Plant Kohlrabi With Companion Plants?
Yes, Kohlrabi can be planted with companion plants. Some good companions for Kohlrabi include;
- Bush beans
Some plants don’t go well with Kohlrabi. For instance, don’t plant any plants in the cabbage family with Kohlrabi because they will compete for nutrients. Such plants may also attract the same pests and diseases. Tomatoes and corn can also stunt the growth of Kohlrabi.
When Should You Harvest Kohlrabi?
You can harvest Kohlrabi when the bulbs are 2-3 inches in diameter. The bulbs will become tough and woody if you wait too long to harvest. You may also notice that the plant leaves turn yellow and die back.
In California, Kohlrabi is typically harvested from May to October.
How Do You Store Kohlrabi?
Kohlrabi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. The best way to store it is to cut the leaves off the bulb and wrap it in a damp paper towel. You can also store Kohlrabi in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator.
If you want to store Kohlrabi for longer than two weeks, you can place the bulbs in a root cellar or other cool, dark place. Be sure to check on the bulbs every few weeks and remove any that have started to rot.
Furthermore, you may like some more gardening articles:
- Square Foot Gardening for Swiss Chard
- Square Foot Gardening Rosemary [Growing Tips]
- Marigold Square Foot Gardening [3 Easy Steps to Plant]
- How to Grow Turnips in a Square-Foot Garden
- Square Foot Gardening Squash [Most 7 Benefits]
- Square Foot Gardening Zucchini
- Beets Square-Foot Gardening [All about Beets]
Kohlrabi is a versatile vegetable that can be used in various dishes. And thanks to the plant’s ease of cultivation, it’s a great choice for both beginner and experienced gardeners. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy a bountiful kohlrabi crop in no time.
I’m Elsa, and I love gardening. I started GardeningElsa.com as a resource for other gardeners, and I offer expert advice on gardening topics such as plants, flowers, herbs, and vegetable gardening. On my website, I share my latest tips and tricks for creating beautiful gardens. When I’m not working on my website, you can find me in my own garden, tending to my plants and flowers. Read more about me.