Square Foot Gardening Kohlrabi | How To Get Great Harvests

To harvest great kohlrabi using square-foot gardening, you’ll need to start with rich, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5. Choose a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sunlight daily.

Plant 3 to 4 kohlrabi seeds per square foot, 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep to ensure protection and proper growth. Keep the soil consistently moist, and maintain the pH for optimal nutrient absorption.

Regularly check for pests, and use organic control methods as needed. Harvest your kohlrabi once the bulbs swell to tennis ball size.

Understanding Square Foot Gardening

Square foot gardening is a highly efficient method of growing crops in limited space. It maximizes your garden’s yield by dividing the growing area into small square sections.

This technique, ideal for cultivating kohlrabi, among other vegetables, focuses on precise soil composition and watering techniques to ensure optimal growth.

The success of your kohlrabi hinges on the soil composition within each square. A balanced mix of peat moss, vermiculite, and compost provides a nutrient-rich environment, promoting strong root development and rapid growth.

This specific blend ensures your soil retains moisture while still offering excellent drainage, which is vital for kohlrabi’s health.

Watering techniques in square foot gardening are equally important. Unlike traditional methods that often lead to over- or underwatering, this approach advocates for a more controlled and efficient system.

You’re encouraged to water your plants at the root level, reducing evaporation and preventing leaf diseases. This method not only conserves water but also targets the plant’s roots directly, ensuring they receive the moisture needed without wastage.

Incorporating these strategies into your square foot garden will significantly enhance your kohlrabi harvests, making every square count.

Preparing Your Garden Space

First, ensure your soil composition is up to par. Kohlrabi thrives in rich, well-drained soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.5.

Incorporate plenty of organic matter, such as compost, to enhance soil fertility and structure. This step is key as it directly impacts root development and the overall health of your kohlrabi.

Next, consider the location. Kohlrabi requires full sun, so select a spot that receives at least six hours of sunlight daily. This ensures vigorous growth and helps prevent the plant from becoming leggy and weak.

Preparing for garden pests is equally essential. Before planting, inspect the area for signs of pests and diseases. Apply natural deterrents if necessary, and consider incorporating companion plants that repel pests naturally.

Marigolds, for instance, can deter some common garden pests that could threaten your kohlrabi.

Planting Kohlrabi Seeds

When planting your kohlrabi seeds, ensure they’re sown at the correct depth and spacing for optimal growth. The right conditions can make a significant difference in the success of your kohlrabi plants.

For successful germination, kohlrabi seeds require a specific range of temperatures. Ideally, the soil should be between 45°F and 85°F. This temperature range ensures the seeds wake up from their dormancy and start the growing process efficiently.

When planting:

  • Seed depth is important. Plant your kohlrabi seeds about 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep. This shallow planting depth allows for easy emergence but is deep enough to protect the seeds from the elements.
  • Spacing is key. In a square foot gardening layout, aim for about 3 to 4 seeds per square foot. This spacing gives each plant enough room to grow without overcrowding, which can lead to competition for nutrients and water.
  • Water gently but consistently. After planting, water your seeds gently to moisten the soil without displacing them. A consistent moisture level aids in uniform germination and early seedling growth.

Caring for Your Kohlrabi

To ensure a bountiful harvest, provide your kohlrabi plants with consistent care and attention throughout their growth cycle. Proper attention to soil pH and pest control is especially important to foster healthy, thriving plants.

Kohlrabi prefers slightly acidic to neutral soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. You’ll want to test your soil before planting and adjust accordingly.

If your soil is too acidic, you can add lime to raise the pH. Conversely, if it’s too alkaline, incorporating sulfur can help lower it. Keeping the soil pH within this range ensures your kohlrabi can absorb the nutrients it needs to grow strong and healthy.

Every three to four weeks, apply an all-purpose fertilizer to encourage growth and ensure its nutrient needs are met.

Pest control is another critical aspect of caring for your kohlrabi. Common pests like aphids and flea beetles can wreak havoc on your plants. Regularly inspect your kohlrabi for signs of pests, and take immediate action if you spot any.

Organic options such as neem oil or insecticidal soap can be effective remedies. Additionally, employing physical barriers like row covers can prevent pests from reaching your plants in the first place.

Harvesting and Enjoying Kohlrabi

When your kohlrabi bulbs swell to about the size of a tennis ball, it’s time to harvest them for a crisp, flavorful addition to your meals.

The process is straightforward: gently cut the bulbs at the base. Once harvested, the true joy begins as you explore the many ways to enjoy this versatile vegetable.

Kohlrabi, rich in nutrients, offers a variety of health benefits, including being a great source of vitamin C and fiber. Its unique flavor and texture make it a perfect candidate for both raw and cooked dishes.

Here are a few ways to incorporate kohlrabi into your diet:

  • Raw in Salads: Slice it thin and add it to your salads for a crunchy, peppery kick.
  • Roasted: Cubed and roasted, kohlrabi caramelizes beautifully, bringing out its inherent sweetness.
  • In Soups and Stews: Its ability to absorb flavors makes it a great addition to hearty winter meals.

Don’t forget about the kohlrabi leaves! These tender healthy greens are delicious when sauteed if you harvest them while they are relatively small. Large, mature leaves can be cooked as you would collards or mustard greens.

Experimenting with kohlrabi recipes not only diversifies your palate but also ensures you’re reaping the nutritional benefits of this remarkable vegetable.

From its ease of cultivation in square foot gardening to its versatility in the kitchen, kohlrabi is truly a gem worth exploring.