Planting Kohl Rabi
- Kohl Rabi likes a light, fertile loamy soil but will grow in most soils. If your soil is very clay-heavy, dig in plenty of compost.
- Choose a nice sunny site.
- Raised beds or planting into the ground works best for kohl rabi.
- Plant 30-40cm apart and firm in well
- It is good to cover plants with horticultural fleece - this will help to keep many pests off your plants (see below!) - just prop the fleece up with a few bamboo stakes topped with upturned jam jars and secure at sides and corners with heavy stones.
- Keep well watered during dry spells, trying to avoid periods of drought and very dry soil.
- Keep weeds down - an onion hoe is good for getting in between plants - be careful not to disturb the crown of the kohl rabi
- Watch out for slugs and snails while plants are young
Problems & Pests:
Kohl Rabi is part of the brassica family, and suffer from the same pests/diseases:
- Flea Beetle – lots of tiny pin-prick holes in the leaves is a sure sign of flea beetle. Try to keep plants well watered to avoid the soil becoming dry, and keep plants covered with fleece/mesh.
- Cabbage root fly – these flies often lay their eggs at the base of brassica plants. When the maggots hatch they burrow into the roots and eat through your beloved plants! Keep plants covered with horticultural fleece to avoid this.
- Caterpillars - cabbage butterflies will lay their eggs on the leaves of brassicas. When they hatch, the caterpillars will rapidly eat the leaves. It is best to cover turnip plants with fleece/mesh netting to prevent this. If you do find caterpillars or eggs, wipe them off asap.
- Pigeons - pigeons love brassica leaves - it is best to net your crops!
- Slugs & Snails - these will happily chew through turnips. Be sure to protect crops with slug traps, grit etc.
- If planted in spring/summer, they should be ready to harvest in late autumn
- You can store kohl rabi in a hessian sack in a cool, dry place for several weeks, although they are best eaten fresh!