How and When to Harvest Kohlrabi

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Kohlrabi is not commonly grown in the United States, but is very popular in many European countries.

With that said, it is gaining more interest in the U.S. due to its unusual look and exceptional taste, which is very similar to a turnip.

If you are new to growing kohlrabi, then you may be a bit confused on harvesting it.

Here is an easy guide you can follow on know when and how to harvest kohlrabi in your vegetable garden.

When to Harvest Kohlrabi

A Raised Bed of Kohlrabi Ready for HarvestKohlrabi forms an interesting bulb that sits just above the soil surface.

The bulbs have several stems that jut out forming the leaves of the plant.

It is grown for the delicious bulb and its leaves.

If you are just interested in eating the leaves, you can harvest kohlrabi at any time that the leaves reach a desirable size.

If you want the bulb as well, you should harvest kohlrabi once the bulb reaches a diameter of two to four inches in size. You do not want the bulb to become too large, because then it becomes woody and less desirable in taste.

The picture below shows a Purple Vienna kohlrabi bulb that is an ideal size for harvesting.

This Kohlrabi Is Perfect Size for Harvesting

How to Harvest Kohlrabi

Harvesting kohlrabi is very straightforward. Once you have the kohlrabi at the desired size, you simply pull the entire plant up.

I usually let all the kohlrabi get about the same size, but some will be a bit larger while some are smaller. It really depends on how many plants you are growing, and how you intend to use them.

If you want to add some to a stew, then you can just pull a couple plants, and leave the rest for a later harvesting.

The picture below shows my kohlrabi harvest of nine plants.

Kohlrabi Plants After Harvesting

Once you harvest the kohlrabi plants, remove the roots from the bottom of the bulbs, and trim off the stems and leaves. You will now have a nice bulbs and leaves for cooking.

Kohlrabi Bulbs With Stems and Roots Removed

The purple skin (the skin can also be white or green depending on variety) should be peeled to expose the yummy white flesh to be used in cooking. The leaves should be stripped from the stems, and can be cooked in a variety of ways. I mostly cook them much the same way turnip greens, or collards are prepared.

If this is your first time growing kohlrabi I am sure you will thoroughly enjoy them. They are fun to grow and very delicious!

Purple Vienna, Early White Vienna, and Sweet Vienna are all excellent choices of kohlrabi.

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Comments

  1. Hi Tee – Your article on kohlrabi was so timely! I was just looking at my kohlrabi in the garden and wondering when I should harvest it – and it looks like NOW. Thanks!

  2. this is so interesting.. i don’t harvest kohlrabi.. i’ve actually never heard of it til i read this article

    how would you cook it?

  3. Great article!! I’m growing the purple vienna and so glad I did. They’re starting to get bulbish and I can’t wait to try them, especially since my turnips were very disappointing (small and the greens were bitter).
    Thank you for the tips:)

  4. Hi Marilee, just to be clear, as soon as the top of the bulb appears, that is the moment to pluck it out of the ground? Thank you in advance for responding.

    • ooops, I think I assigned the wrong author to the article, sorry about that…

    • Hi Howard – You want to harvest kohlrabi once the bulb reaches a size of 1-1/2 to about 3 inches in diameter. You don’t want the bulb to get too large because it can become woody and not so tasty.

  5. Just wanted to add my 2 cents. My dad has planted Kohlrabi for as long as I can remember, as have I after getting my own place. This is my favorite summertime veggie! I pick when they are around baseball size.

    Favorite way to eat? Peeled, then sliced about 1/4-1/2 in. thick, sprinkle just a smidge of salt on the slice and enjoy! I have never actually tried to cook it. It is too good raw! Crunchy like an apple. They all taste the same to me also, nothing different but the color of the skin that I can tell, all yummy!

  6. Larry Starnes says:

    Thanks so much for giving advice on Kohlrabi. This is my first time to grow it and I had no idea when to harvest and how to prepare it. From reading your site and others I have learned there are many ways to enjoy this vegetable.

  7. For hottest information you have to visit world-wide-web and on web I found this web page as a finest site for most up-to-date updates.

  8. This is my first try of kohlrabi. It was fun to watch grow. Since I did not know what to expect I thank you for helping me know more about it. I think I will try it cooked as well as raw.
    So fun!!!
    Will my goats and chickens like the greens?

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