New Crops 2020 – Kohlrabi

For this gardening season, in addition to using my seed stock, I am growing crops from four new packets:

001 seeds 2020

I have grown Long White Tokyo scallions and summer savory before, as well as cherry tomatoes (although not golden), but kohlrabi is a totally new-to-me crop.  From the German forms Kohl – cabbage and Rübe – turnip, kohlrabi received this name because of its globular shape, resembling a turnip:

710px-Kohlrabi Wikipedia Commons
Kohlrabi plant growing in pot (this photo from Wikipedia Commons)

This vegetable is often confused for an actual cross between a cabbage and a turnip, but it is in fact a variety of the cabbage species Brassica oleracea, which includes many other common cultivars such as cabbage (savoy, green, etc.), cauliflower, collard greens, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.  Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea, Gongylodes Gp) was artificially created to produce swollen stems which grow above ground (as seen above.)

The name in Spanish is colinabo, with the same meaning, from the words col – cabbage, and nabo – turnip.  Causing even more confusion and trouble, in Mexico the name colinabo is often times also used to describe rutabaga (Brassica napus, Napobrassica Gp), a root vegetable which is, in fact, an actual cross between a cabbage and a turnip!  I have posted a recipe with rutabaga in the past, using the Spanish name nabo sueco (Swedish turnip), so not to vex the reader, in my posts, “rutabaga” will always be translated as “nabo sueco”, and “colinabo” will always refer to kohlrabi, the swollen stem of a cabbage variety.

A couple of weeks ago, I started my kohlrabi seed in a box indoors and sowed some seed directly in the ground outside.  The photo at the top of the post and below, left, show the seedlings indoors, already showing some leaf differentiation; the photo below, right, shows a lonely sprout from the outdoor batch, just poking above ground:

I will be transplanting the indoor seedlings to the ground very soon, and it will be interesting to observe how they grow, compared to the ones sowed directly.  Kohlrabi grows fast, looking kind of a radish top and then, as if by magic, swelling into an almost spherical shape in about 50-60 days, and the leaves are also edible.  I will come back to this alien-looking crop then, to show my results, and share some recipes.

I am linking to Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) challenge for April 25, 2020.

I hope it is not too candid to submit my photos to appear in Homegrown Harvest Photo Share – Cabbage.

I am also joining Classy Flamingos Blog Party #100 with Linda @

14 thoughts on “New Crops 2020 – Kohlrabi

  1. I’m 73 and have eaten kohlrabi all my life (well maybe not the first year!) I LOVE it, especially raw, but also cooked with butter added at the end. Mine are up about 1″ in the garden, just getting real leaves. Surprisingly, I still have the very last of last year’s crop in the refrigerator, and diced into slices or matchsticks, they are a welcome addition to salads during “the hungry gap.” I’ll be interested to see how they do for you, since you are in Mexico. They do not like heat. May your season be the most productive ever!


    1. All your suggestions sound yummy! I am actually in Canada (born and raised in Mexico, but Canadian resident since 1994 and citizen since 1999). I have tried kohlrabi raw and pickled, but never in a Mexican dish, so I hope to get a nice crop to try some recipes this summer. Happy gardening to you as well, Carolee!


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