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  • Andrea

Growing Kohlrabi

In an effort to document my successes and failures as a young farmer I wanted to begin to record my process and methods here. Growing in the high desert certainly isn't easy but I'm thankful to not have to deal with freezing cold winters. However, apparently we do get hurricanes (news to me). So today was spent cleaning up anything that could possibly blow away, fixing shelter roofs, and harvesting what I could before the rain came. On that list were the kohlrabis for our CSA boxes.

Kolibri - trimmed and ready to pack

Beginning a CSA this fall meant taking on growing some varieties that were new to me. I wanted to challenge myself but also my members to try something new and get out of their comfort zone. The added color and otherwise lack of availability made Kohlrabi a must grow for me.


Kohlrabi Stats:

Family: Brassica

Climate Preference: Cool

Arizona Grown: Fall-Early Spring

Days to Maturity: Approx 45 for 3" bulbs

Spacing: 4"


Planting out in the summer was something that had me biting my nails a bit. Knowing it was a cool weather crop I wasn't the most confident that it would turn out but I'm glad I gave it a try.

For the most part the plants held up extremely well even in the heat and after being attacked by cabbage worms (they went for the leaves mostly). Poorly packed seedling soil led to some of the roots pulling away and causing stress and therefore loss of those seedlings.

Kohlrabi seedling with pest damage

Brassicas are heavy feeders. We fertilized before planting with a custom mix of organic amendments. Then, I sprayed monthly with a mix of kelp and fish emulsion.

Some improvements are on the way though and I've finally gotten my seed starting methods dialed in. I've been researching ways of preventing cabbage loopers besides hand picking leaf by leaf (I know, I know that sounds like a blast). So I have a game plan, let's see how it goes. A second crop was just transplanted out a few weeks ago in the south side garden so I should have another crop ready in late fall.

Have any other questions or tips, post them below!


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