Kohlrabi is another name for our not-so-popular Knolkhol. It belongs to the same family as Cabbage and Cauliflower (Brassicaceae). The Whole plant is edible however, it is mostly used for its bulged swollen stem. It can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Though it prefers a cold weather, it does moderately well for our Bangalore weather.
Botanical Name: Brassica caulorapa L.
Common name: Kohl Rabi, Knol Khol
Height: 10-40 cm
Difficulty level: Easy
Planting & Care
When thinking about how to plant your kohlrabi, you have a choice to start it outside or inside. If you start it inside, wait until the baby plants are four to six weeks old before transplanting them into your prepared garden soil outside.
Sunlight: Full Sun / Half Shade
Soil: Rich fertile soil
Water: As stated the seedlings, after transplanting, should be watered for four to five days. Irrigation should be given an interval of 6 to 7 days. But the field may be irrigated when soil is deficient inn moisture.
Fertilizer: Mix 15 -20 tones of FYM to soil at the time its preparation. At the time of transplanting add 75 kg n, P and 50 kg K/ ha, second dose of 50 kg N should be given 1 ½ months after transplanting.
- Climate: Knol- Knol is a cool season crop and thrives in a relatively cool moist climate.
- It can withstand extreme cold and frost better than other cool season crop.
- Seeds of knol- knol germinate well at 15 0 C to 30 0 C.
- Kohlrabi is actually somewhat easy to grow.
- You want to start your plants indoors about four to six weeks before you plant to put them outside.
- After four to six weeks, plant the baby plants outdoors in well drained, rich soil.
- Growing kohlrabi is most successful in cooler weather.
- The early crops started indoors and then transplanted outdoors will provide you with a nice crop.
- Kohlrabi is a member of the cabbage family.
- There are white, reddish and purple varieties, some which will mature early and some which mature late.
- The Eder variety is a faster maturing variety which takes about 38 days to mature while the Gigante matures in about 80 days.
- The Gigante is best for fall.
- Soil and its Preparation: Knol- Knol is successfully grown on all types of soil.
- But the sandyloam and clay loam soils are best suited for knol-knol crops.
- The land should be well prepared and of good tilth for sowing of Knol- Knol, 5- 6 ploughing should be given to prepare a good tilth.
- After ploughing, planking is essential to make soil puverised and leveled.
- Harmful weeds and stubbles of previous crop should be removed before the transplanting of this crop.
- Aldrin or Heftaf or Heptachlor 5 % or BEC 10 % should be applied @ 10 – 15 kg percent with the last preparatory tillage to check the infestation of termites and cutworm.
- Time of Sowing: Knol-knol is normally propagated by seeds.
- It can also be propagated by cuttings such as tip cutting and leaf cutting.
- The seeds are sown in lots from the end of August to the end of November for a continuous crop.
- Time of sowing of seeds varies according to the variety viz.
- Transplanting: 3 to 4 week old seedlings become ready for transplanting.
- Ridges and furrow type of layout is used.
- The seedling is transplanted at a distance of about 30 cm.
- from row to row and 20 cm.
- from plant to plant.
- Closer spacing of this vegetable increases the yield.
- After transplanting, the seedlings should be watered and protection may be given from sun rays for 4 – 5 days.
Harvesting: Knol-khol should be harvested when swollen stem reach a diameter of 5 to 7 cm and before it becomes tough and woody. The plants are pulled out from the land. It is generally marketed after removing both leaves and roots.
Mildly sweet, succulent kohlrabi is notably rich in vitamins and dietary fiber; however, it has only 27 calories per 100 g, a negligible amount of fat, and zero cholesterol.
Fresh kohlrabi stem is rich source of vitamin-C; provide 62 mg per 100 g weight that is about 102% of RDA. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin and powerful anti-oxidant.
It helps the body maintain healthy connective tissue, teeth, and gum.
Its anti-oxidant property helps the human body protect from diseases and cancers by scavenging harmful free radicals from the body. Kohlrabi, like other members of the Brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals such as isothiocyanates, sulforaphane, and indole-3-carbinol that are supposed to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
It especially contains good amounts of many B-complex groups of vitamins such as niacin, vitamin B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc., that acts as co-factors to enzymes during various metabolism inside the body.
Knol-knol notably has good levels of minerals; copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, iron, and phosphorus are especially available in the stem.
Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium.
Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
In addition, its creamy color flesh contains small amounts of vitamin A and carotenes.
Kohlrabi leaves or tops, like turnip greens, are also very nutritious greens abundant in carotenes, vitamin A, vitamin K, minerals, and B-complex group of vitamins.
- Leaves are cooked.
- Used as a vegetable, though the quality is not as good as cabbage.
- The young leaves can also be added to salads, though some people find them difficult to digest.
- A nutritional analysis is available.
Stem - raw or cooked.
- The plant produces a swollen stem just above ground level, and this is often used as a root vegetable.
- It has a mild cabbage flavour, when finely grated it makes a good addition to mixed salads and, when cooked, is an excellent vegetable.
- It is best eaten whilst fairly small and tender, between golf ball and tennis ball size.
- It becomes coarse with age.
- A nutritional analysis is available.