UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA
University of California
UC Master Gardeners, Santa Clara County, CA

Kohlrabi

Garden Help > Vegetables

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Photo: UC, Jack Kelly Clark
Photo: UC, Jack Kelly Clark
Pest management: Refer to the UC Integrated Pest Management website for pests of closely related crops including broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower.

The Basics

Kohlrabi is a member of the cole family (including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, etc.), and is grown for its edible, bulb-shaped, stem. Often mistaken for a root plant, the bulb sits just above the soil. The taste and texture are similar to the stems of broccoli but is fleshier and crisper.

When to plant: Direct seed or transplant Feb–Mar, Sept–Oct (maybe Aug). For transplants, allow 6 weeks from seeding to transplanting.

Harvest window: Harvest when young and tender. Kohlrabi left too long can become tough and develop off flavors. Kohlrabi leaves are also edible.

Care overview

  • Kohlrabi is a fast grower, usually ready to harvest within 8 weeks (variety and weather dependent). Use succession planting to space out your harvest.
  • An extended cool period followed by warmth can cause the plants to bolt (send up a flower stalk) which also causes them to get woody and tough.

Recommended Varieties for Santa Clara County*

Note: The external color of the bulb can be white or purple, but the flesh will still be white.

Kohlrabi Duo, Hybrid  The white flesh is deliciously sweet and juicy. Can be eaten raw or cooked. Mix of green Kongo and purple Kohlibri varieties. 8–10" tall. Plant 4–6" apart.

Other recommended varieties: Early Purple Vienna, Kohlibri, White Vienna

* Many other varieties may also do well here in Santa Clara County. This list is based on UC Master Gardener trials, taste tests, and feedback from local growers.

 
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