Kohlrabi is full of nutrients that you certainly don’t want to miss out on.
Harvesting them at the right time is important if you wish to get the most out of this vegetable.
When to harvest kohlrabi? When you plant kohlrabi, you need to pay attention to the size of its bulb. As soon as it reaches two to three inches wide, that’s a clear indication that it’s ready for harvest.
How Do You Know When Your Kohlrabi Is Ready to Harvest?
Garden vegetables usually take 70 to 90 days before you can harvest their crops.
You may even have to wait four to six months with some vegetables to enjoy their benefits.
On the other hand, the kohlrabi plant only takes two months, sometimes even shorter, before you can harvest the bulb.
This growth is significantly faster than your average garden vegetable.
Furthermore, you can start harvesting a few leaves even before the bulb is at the right size.
This makes the kohlrabi one of the best vegetables to grow in your garden, especially if you want to see results in a short time.
The speed of a kohlrabi’s growth depends on their environment.
If you want them to grow as fast as possible, make sure that you plant them in temperatures around 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
If these conditions are met, your kohlrabi will be ready to harvest within 50 to 70 days.
On the other hand, kohlrabi plants may take significantly longer to mature if they don’t receive proper care.
To know which ones are fully mature, observe the size of the bulb.
If it’s between two to three inches or about the size of a tennis ball, you can start harvesting them.
Kohlrabi plants with diameters below two inches are still too young.
Make sure that you harvest them at the perfect size to get the most flavor out of them.
What Happens If You Don’t Harvest Kohlrabi?
Your kohlrabi plants can keep on growing if you don’t harvest them.
However, keep in mind that they do not tolerate extremely cold temperatures.
This means that even if you don’t harvest them, they might eventually wither and die during the winter season.
Additionally, letting them grow too big will not be beneficial to you.
Left in the garden for far too long, these vegetables will soon rot or not be as soft as you want them to be.
Furthermore, all the good flavor will be gone, causing it to taste unpleasant.
How to Harvest Kohlrabi
The kohlrabi plant can be an extremely useful crop for any home gardener.
You can harvest only the kohlrabi leaves and keep the bulb growing or harvest kohlrabi stems along with the leaves.
Those are the two methods of harvesting kohlrabi, and we’ll show you how to do them properly.
Harvesting Kohlrabi Stems
Generally, you have two options when harvesting the stem of the kohlrabi.
One is by pulling, and the other is through cutting.
The pulling method is pretty straightforward.
You simply have to grip the stem tightly and pull the plant out of the ground.
After doing so, grab a pair of garden scissors and cut the narrow stem below the bulb along with the roots.
If you want to keep your kohlrabi plant growing and just want to get the bulb, you need to learn the cutting method.
To do this, grab a pair of garden scissors and look for the thinnest part of the stem.
More often than not, you will see this just above the soil.
Cut the stem from the base of the plant and gather the bulb.
This should allow your kohlrabi to grow another bulb after a month or so.
Harvesting Kohlrabi Leaves
As a member of the cabbage family, a kohlrabi’s leaf is an excellent substitute for collard or kale.
For this reason, many home gardeners only harvest the leaves when they don’t have use for the bulb yet.
This harvesting method is pretty effortless to do. You just need to pluck the leaves from the plant, and you’re good to go.
However, you want to make sure that you don’t harvest all the leaves. Otherwise, it will be harder for the plant to gather energy, prolonging its growth.
Should You Wash Kohlrabi After Harvesting?
It’s unusual for a kohlrabi plant to invite bugs and critters on the bulb.
Instead, you are more likely to find them on the leaves.
That said, make sure that you remove the leaf stems after harvesting your kohlrabi.
Additionally, it’s still and always will be a good idea to wash the bulb thoroughly.
Doing this will get rid of dirt and other contaminants that may have stuck to the plant’s surface.
Can You Eat Kohlrabi Immediately After Harvesting?
Kohlrabi is often used as an ingredient for various recipes. Nonetheless, you can also eat them after harvesting.
If you plan to do this, make sure that you have thoroughly rinsed the plant so that you don’t ingest dirt or other contaminants.
Additionally, eating raw kohlrabi requires you to remove the outer skin. This part is usually thick and might have an unpleasant taste.
Removing the outer skin allows you to enjoy fresher and more flavorful kohlrabi.
All parts, except the root, of the kohlrabi plant are safe to eat.
The leaves, bulb, and plant material do not pose any health risk, as long as you clean and wash them thoroughly.
However, it’s not often that you will see people eating the plant material.
Instead, they focus mainly on the bulb or the leaves because the plant material is not as flavorful as the other parts.
How to Store Kohlrabi
If you harvested your kohlrabi plants in bulk and wish to store them for future use, you have a few options.
Here are some of the most common storage methods for your kohlrabi.
Storing the Bulb
The very first thing you need to do, whichever method you’re using, is to remove the leaves from the bulb.
Grab a kitchen towel and make sure it’s moist before wrapping it around the bulb.
Then, place the wrapped bulb inside the fridge.
You can also place the bulb in a plastic bag and store it in your fridge’s vegetable drawer.
Keep in mind that your kohlrabi will only stay fresh and crunchy for a week when using this method.
Storing Chopped Kohlrabi
Your next option would be to cut the kohlrabi into smaller pieces.
After doing so, place them inside an airtight container.
Alternatively, you can also cut the kohlrabi into two if you can’t consume the whole plant in one go.
Doing so will allow you to use one part immediately and store the other half.
All you have to do is grab a plastic wrap and cover the cut surface of the bulb, preventing the kohlrabi from drying out.
Keep in mind that cutting the kohlrabi in half or into smaller pieces will only keep the plant fresh for three to four days.
Using the freezing method allows you to store the kohlrabi for weeks.
To do this, start by cutting the bulb into chunks.
Then, dip the chunks in boiling water for about three minutes and transfer them to a container full of ice immediately after.
Once the cooking stops, transfer the kohlrabi chunks to a strainer.
Grab a clean towel and blot dry each chunk before placing them inside an airtight container.
Place the container inside the freezer to preserve its color and texture.
Storing the Leaves
No matter which method you use, the leaves have a shorter lifespan than the bulb or the stem.
They are only safe to consume for a few days.
If you wish to store the kohlrabi leaves, ensure that you don’t wash them after harvesting.
Instead, place them inside a plastic bag and keep them inside the refrigerator to prevent moisture from rotting the leaves.
You only need to wash the leaves when you’re ready to consume them.
Can You Save Seeds from Kohlrabi?
You can save the seeds for growing kohlrabi the following season, but they are not easy to acquire.
Kohlrabi seeds only come from the plant’s flowers. The problem with that is not all kohlrabi will produce flowers.
If you really want to get seeds from your kohlrabi, you need to grow them in temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit or seven degrees Celsius.
The cold temperature will encourage the growth of flowers, but it will take a significantly longer time for the plant to mature.
Growing a garden brings numerous benefits, and this is particularly true for green thumbs who prefer planting vegetables.
Not only do they get to enjoy the advantages of gardening, but they also get a continuous supply of healthy nutrients.
Tending to kohlrabi plants doesn’t require too much time and effort.
Yet, they will provide you with the best-tasting recipes and generally improve your health in return.
Just make sure that you know when to harvest them to maximize their potential.