Hamilton College Community Farm

Plant: Kohlrabi

Family: Brassica

Seed Varieties:

Kohlrabi has been selected for the stem, which is bulbous, resting half in the ground, half out. It has a crisp texture similar to a radish or turnip, although it has no bite, but instead is almost sweet. There are two main varieties of Kohlrabi: white and purple. They taste very similar, only differing in the coloration of their skin. In the past, a purple hybrid variety available from Johnny’s Selected Seeds has been grown with great success.

Indoor Start Date and Cell Size:

First Spring Planting- 3/14 in open 200s
Second Spring Planting- 3/20 in open 200s
Fall Planting-7/20 in open 200s

Greenhouse Transplant Date and Cell Size:

Transplant two weeks after planting into 38s.

Outdoor Transplant Date and Bed Specifications:

Plant the kohlrabi seedlings outside another two weeks after the greenhouse transplant, when the soil can be worked in mid April. The fall planting should be transplanted outside in mid-August. Plant the seedlings in beds with three rows, six inches apart. Be sure to plant the seedlings deep enough that the soil reaches the first true leaves. This will help with the plant health as it grows, and the development of roots.

Plant Needs:

Kohlrabi is a cool weather crop and thrives in late spring and early fall. The dry heat of the summer can cause the kohlrabi to become woody and tough. Usually there is enough rain in the spring and fall, but if it is particularly dry, irrigation is necessary. Also, as with all plants, frequent cultivation is always beneficial. Use a coliniar or small stirrup hoe to cultivate when the seedlings are quite small, and switch over to hand weeding when using tools becomes too cumbersome. As the plants get bigger, they will begin to shade out most competition and will not need to be cultivated as frequently.

Harvest Techniques:

Kohlrabi takes about 80 days to mature from seed, and so the two successions should be ready to harvest in early June and early October. They should be picked when the stem base is about fist sized; if they get much bigger, they become tough and flavorless. Gripping the leaves of the plant firmly, gently pull the plant up until the roots are reachable then cut the kohlrabi free of the roots.


Wash kohlrabi before refrigerating it for storage. Kohlrabi keeps quite well in the refrigerator. However, remove the leaves if storing for more than a night as they will wilt and cause the kohlrabi to become soft.


For retail, sell kohlrabi at $2.50 for a bunch of two, or $1.25 each. If there is interest in wholesale, sell for $1.00 each.