Purple Vienna Kohlrabi
Seed Count: Approx. 300 seeds
Days to Maturity: 60 days
Description: Purple Vienna is standard home garden and market kohlrabi variety with deep purple skin and crisp greenish-white flesh. Mild flesh is great cooked or fresh. Bulbs become fibrous as they mature, so for best quality, harvest at 2 to 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Named for a German word meaning "cabbage turnip," kohlrabi was developed first around the 16th century in northern Europe. This particular variety dates back to 1863.
How To Grow
Sowing: Though kohlrabi grows best in cool weather, a continuous crop from spring to fall will grow in most climates. Direct sow the seed in rich soil and full sun 2-3 months before the last spring frost, or when the average soil temperature reaches at least 50 degrees F. Plant the seeds 1/4 in. deep with 10 seeds per foot; thin plants to 5 inches apart in rows 1 ft. apart. For a continuous crop, plant new seed every few weeks until six weeks before the first frost of autumn. Companion plant with onions, beets, or cucumbers, but avoid planting it with strawberries or tomatoes.
Growing: Success with kohlrabi depends on adequate moisture and good soil; the best flavor and tenderness are achieved when kohlrabi is able to grow quickly. Keep the soil moist and control weeds by applying mulch. Watch out for aphids, maggots, and other pests that will damage the crop.
Harvesting: For best tenderness, harvest kohlrabi when their diameter reaches a size of 2-3 inches. Pull the whole plant and remove the leaves and roots. Kohlrabi keeps well in the refrigerator for up to a month. Kohlrabi leaves are edible, so don't waste those leaves. You can eat them like spinach or collards. Enjoy kohlrabi raw, roasted, steamed, or pureed in a soup. Since kohlrabi will cross pollinate with other members of the cabbage family such as broccoli or cauliflower, separate it to preserve genetic purity. Late in the fall, dig up the plants being saved for seed; remove the leaves and stem, and cut the root to 4-6" long. Keep the plants in moist sand at a temperature of about 40 degrees F. Replant the best plants 4-6 weeks before the last spring frost. The stem will grow about 4-5 feet tall, with many four petaled yellow flowers. Allow the flowers to mature; when the seed pods form, pick them from the plant when they're dry. Remove the seeds from the pods and store in a dry, cool place for up to five years.