Kohlrabi, Brassica oleracea, aka stem turnip
Before the revolution in Russia, both professional chefs and simple housewives were well acquainted with kohlrabi. And she enjoyed quite legitimate popularity for its delicate pulp and good taste. Now, it is not enough in what garden it is possible to meet her.
At the same time, kohlrabi is still very widely grown, for example, all in the same Europe (although, of course, there was no revolution of 1917, when all the good traditions that took place in different areas, including gardening, were "thrown into a landfill"). By the way, in Europe it has been cultivated since the 16th century (the exception is Southern Europe, where the ancient Romans grew kohlrabi). It was from Europe that she once penetrated into Russia.
Kohlrabi or "stalk cabbage" (as the Romans called it so) has many advantages. But the very first thing is, of course, taste. Few of us do not like ordinary cabbage stumps. Agree that they are much tastier than the most white cabbage. So, kohlrabi can be conditionally considered the same "cabbage stump", tk. to taste, stalk cabbage is very similar to it, only it is even more tender, tastier and sweeter.
True, the appearance of kohlrabi does not resemble any of the known cabbages... But this is not the main thing. Its serious advantage is also its unusual early maturity. Even in the conditions of the Urals, without problems, if desired, you can get two harvests of this crop. In addition, one should not forget about its super-usefulness, it is not for nothing that in Russia kohlrabi was nicknamed "the northern lemon". And why only do not cook from it!
In the first place, of course, are salads, because Kohlrabi is unusually tasty fresh. You can just take it and peel it, then grate it along with carrots and season with sour cream or mayonnaise - and it's already delicious (and, by the way, healthy). In general, salads, soups are prepared from it, it is stuffed, stewed and even stuffed for pies.
How is kohlrabi different from other cabbages?
Although it does not look like cabbage at all, it resembles more turnips, all the same, kohlrabi takes its rightful place in the cabbage environment. Unlike all other varieties of cabbage, this plant does not form a head or head. The fruit is formed as a result of the formation of a round or oval thickening in the lower part of the stem.
As a result, the fruit is called a stalk. It must be admitted that kohlrabi is very beautiful: depending on the variety, its leaves, as well as the stem-grower itself, can be from light green to dark purple in color (there are lilac and even crimson specimens). It is the earliest of all cabbages. The period from germination to the formation of a stem crop in early varieties is 60-70 days, in late varieties - 80-90 days. Therefore, it is of considerable value, first of all, for the northern regions.
Any cabbage is useful, but kohlrabi in particular!
First of all, kohlrabi stems are rich in carbohydrates, mineral salts, proteins, vitamins (especially vitamins C, B1, B2, B6, U, PP and carotene), and also contain fiber and enzymes necessary for the body. They contain a lot of calcium, and the amount of vitamin C is higher than in lemons and oranges (which is why kohlrabi is called "northern lemon").
In addition, stem turnip is capable of accumulating a large amount of sucrose in stem fruits. In terms of sugar content, it surpasses all other types of cabbage. It is on the amount of sugar that the unusually delicate taste of kohlrabi largely depends.
It contains sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, iron and iodine salts. By the way, potassium is most abundant in red cabbage and Brussels sprouts, as well as in kohlrabi. Therefore, eating kohlrabi has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, metabolism, the functioning of the digestive organs, especially the liver and gallbladder. If you are actively fighting cholesterol, then you will not find a better helper than kohlrabi. At the same time, like other types of cabbage, kohlrabi is low in calories, and for some this factor is of no small importance.
Despite the fact that kohlrabi is a fairly cold-resistant culture (and, according to a number of sources, very unpretentious), it will not grow "just like that" on our Ural land. Although, I admit that getting a good harvest of kohlrabi is easier than Savoy or cauliflower.
Therefore, I will try to formulate the main preferences of this culture.
1) Kohlrabi is quite cold-resistant, but less than White cabbage... And spring cold snaps in most cases lead to the appearance of peduncles. The quality of the products, of course, is significantly reduced. The stem turnip prefers a moderate air temperature: 15 ... 18 ° С during the day and 8 ... 10 ° С at night.
2) Stem cabbage is photophilous, but tolerates light shading (however, the yield, naturally, decreases). At the same time, it does not tolerate thickened plantings at all. When thickened, the stem grows, and its taste deteriorates. However, too sparse planting is also undesirable - this will lead to the formation of large, but coarse stems.
3) The plant is very demanding on moisture. Even a short-term lack of it is unacceptable. But excess moisture, in which the roots suffocate without oxygen, leads to disease black leg.
4) This plant has one very important feature: the stems must grow continuously. When the soil dries out, their growth stops, and the upper casing part hardens. If, after the soil dries out, the plant is watered abundantly, then it begins to grow rapidly again. As a result, the hardened integumentary part does not withstand, and the stem grower cracks. And this means that he can rot or he is actively attacked by slugs.
Therefore, not the slightest drying out of the soil should be allowed: it must be constantly moist. The stalks rotted and gnawed by slugs are unattractive and taste worse. Therefore, if cracking does occur, it is better to immediately use these stems for food.
5) Delicious kohlrabi cabbage grows only on light and well-fertilized, organic-rich neutral soils. On poor soils, she does not give a crop, but on sour, like all other cabbage, quickly falls ill with keel and dies.
6) The taste of kohlrabi stems is significantly improved with the introduction of a sufficient amount of ash and boron.
The subtleties of agricultural technology
Basically used both seedling and non-seedling methods of growing kohlrabi
- the harvest of stem crops can be obtained much earlier, which is very important, given our long autumn-winter-spring period, leading to vitamin deficiencies;
- in the greenhouse in a limited area, it is easier to create optimal conditions for plant development: it is easier to protect from low temperatures;
- less protective biological products and water are required.
As everyone knows, cabbage seedlings are not very fond of growing here. At the same time, unlike white cabbage seedlings, no one will provide you with kohlrabi seedlings. Therefore, you will have to do it on your own.
Seedlings in a greenhouse
To get some run in time, it is better to soak the first batch of seeds a week before planting in the greenhouse in the usual way in sawdust. I usually do this on April 7-10. To do this, in flat containers, you must first decompose wet sawdust a layer of half a centimeter, and gently spread the seeds on top of them. Then they should be covered again with a thin layer of wetted sawdust. Containers should be placed in slightly opened plastic bags and sent to a warm place.
At the same time, it is important not to forget to control the moisture level of the sawdust on a daily basis: they must be sufficiently moist, but, of course, water should not stand there. Usually, seeds begin to sprout for 2-3 days. When the first shoots appear, you must immediately transfer the containers to a bright place.
And in mid-April, you can go to the dacha and safely plant cabbage in the greenhouse. At the same time, it goes without saying that in the fall you filled the greenhouse ridges with a solid layer of biofuel, and in the spring you added manure layer, sawdust and lime and mixed everything thoroughly with a pitchfork. Then they covered this whole flaky cake with fertile earth and sprinkled it thickly with ashes. After that (a week before planting, i.e. April 7-10), the entire area of the greenhouse was covered with a film to warm the soil. Do not be afraid that the plants you are planting are so small. It's okay, they will tolerate the transplant well and take root, provided, of course, that the sawdust in the containers is well wetted, and you act very carefully.
With an interval of 12-15 days, you can plant two more batches of kohlrabi, but immediately with seeds in the greenhouse soil. You can, if you wish, plant a few more lots of seedlings, but in recent years I have been making do with only these three plantings for a number of reasons that are quite important for our family:
- by the middle of summer, a lot of other vegetables appear, and it's no longer up to kohlrabi: you want something else;
- kohlrabi very poorly tolerates high temperatures (although they are rare in our country), but during such periods the quality of grown stems is much worse (they quickly coarse).
I do not feed kohlrabi seedlings in the greenhouse, because the soil prepared in greenhouse ridges is already very fertile. The land between the plants must be covered with a layer of sawdust, which will ensure a more active development of plants.
Read the next part. Kohlrabi: planting seedlings and care →
Svetlana Shlyakhtina, Yekaterinburg
Direct sowing in open ground
Kohlrabi is grown not only through seedlings, but also by sowing seeds directly on the beds. The optimal time for this is the end of June, then the crop will be ready for harvest in early October.
For planting kohlrabi, a well-lit place, protected from cold and gusty winds, is chosen. The crop prefers loose, light and fertile soil, with good aeration, moisture permeability and low to medium acidity. The best option is loam.
Reference. In acidic and depleted soil, cabbage forms tough, with many coarse fibers.
Kohlrabi is not planted after cruciferous crops, the best predecessors are carrots, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, pumpkin, zucchini and legumes.
The site is prepared in the fall: the soil is cleaned of plant debris, nutrients are scattered over the surface (1 tbsp. Wood ash, 1 tbsp. L. Superphosphate, 1 tsp. Urea and 3-4 kg of rotted manure or humus per 1 sq. M. area) and dug onto the bayonet of the shovel.
To reduce acidity, lime or dolomite flour is additionally introduced into the soil at the rate of 1 kg per 1 sq. m.
Step-by-step instructions for disembarkation
The process of planting kohlrabi in the ground:
- On the prepared site, level the ground and outline the beds with a distance of 60-70 cm between them.
- Make planting furrows in them with a depth of 1.5-2 cm.
- Place seeds in them at a distance of 20-30 cm from each other.
- Sprinkle them with earth, tamp and water.
In the case of early sowing (in May), the beds are covered with foil or agrofibre.
When to plant cabbage seedlings in the Moscow region in 2021 according to the lunar calendar
Cabbage is one of the most popular vegetables that housewives often use in the kitchen for cooking. Without it, you will not be able to cook cabbage soup or make sauerkraut for the winter. Of course, it's easier to buy a ready-made one in a store. But what a pleasure it gives to grow it with your own hands on your site, which is what many gardeners do. A rich harvest begins with strong and healthy seedlings. Today in our article we will tell you how to sow white vegetable varieties for growing seedlings in 2021 according to the lunar calendar.
Proper planting care
Kohlrabi is considered an undemanding crop to care for, so such a vegetable can be recommended even for novice summer residents. Stalk formation usually begins at the stage of 7-8 leaves. A gardener, in order to get juicy and tender heads, should constantly loosen the ground, not forgetting about weeding, since weeds take food from this crop and can carry various infectious diseases.
Watering beds with freshly planted plants is performed every three days. As soon as the stem crop begins to form, watering is reduced to once a week. It is necessary to use exclusively settled warm water, gently wetting the soil from the watering can, without damaging the plants and their delicate root system located at the very surface. After each watering, it is imperative to loosen the soil, removing weeds and preventing the appearance of a surface crust.
Experienced gardeners recommend three feeding of these plants per season. When the first pair of leaves appears in the seedlings, the first fertilization is performed using complex mineral compositions for this. The second feeding is performed about a week before the transfer of seedlings to open ground. It is necessary to spray the leaves with a nutrient solution, for which one spoon of potassium sulfate and a similar amount of urea are dissolved in 10 liters of water. For the third time, kohlrabi is fed upon planting, putting a small amount of organic matter and mineral fertilizers into the holes.
Kohlrabi: features of culture, preparation of seedlings - garden and vegetable garden
It is impossible to imagine our table without vegetables and potatoes. They are the most important component of the diet of both the academician and the carpenter. Vegetables - a pantry of carbohydrates, protein, organic acids, vitamins, mineral salts, enzymes, and other essential nutrients. Of particular value are vitamins, which are either almost absent or present in small doses in other products. Do not rely solely on grocery stores and markets, start your own vegetable garden. Especially if you want to have fresh vegetables straight from the garden. The secrets of growing vegetables are not that difficult. Diligence, perseverance, curiosity, ingenuity will help you overcome all difficulties and become a real vegetable grower.
So, advice from specialists and experienced gardeners.
To extend the season for the consumption of fresh vegetables, early, medium and late varieties are planted. The earliest harvests in the open field can be obtained from the cultivation of perennial crops (sorrel, rhubarb, perennial types of onions), as well as from winter sowing of carrots, beets, parsley, radishes and planting onions. Early vegetables of annual crops (lettuce, cucumbers, radishes) and onions can be grown in small greenhouses in the garden.
They accelerate the development of shelters made of film or glass without artificial heating in early spring. You can grow radishes under them. They can cover sorrel, rhubarb, onions, winter crops of beets and carrots.
Vegetable plants according to biological, botanical and economic characteristics, they are classified into homogeneous groups.
Cabbage plants. There are several varieties of cabbage: white cabbage, cauliflower, red cabbage, Savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and leafy cabbage. Almost all types of cabbage are biennial plants. Only in the second year, the planted stalks with apical buds give seeds. Plants of this group are cold-resistant, require increased moisture supply, although they do not tolerate excessive moisture (especially long-term), they are demanding on soil fertility. Cauliflower, Chinese cabbage and broccoli under certain conditions form seeds in the first year of life and are annual.
Mid-season cabbage varieties are suitable for pickling, late varieties for pickling and long-term storage.Red cabbage is unsuitable for cooking, it is used fresh for salads. Cauliflower is good for boiling, roasting, and canning.
Roots. This group includes: carrots, parsnips, parsley, celery (umbelliferae family) beetroot (from the haze family) radish, turnips, turnips, rutabagas, radishes (cruciferous family) chicory (from the aster family). All root crops form seeds in the second year of life (when planted with an intact apical bud), with the exception of radishes and summer radishes, which give seeds in the first year. Without exception, all plants of this group are cold-resistant, require high soil fertility, moisture supply (especially in the period after sowing the seeds).
Bulbous plants. In this group, onions, leeks, perennial varieties of onions (multi-tiered shallots, batun onions) coexist. All these plants are cold-resistant. Onions and garlic contain many nutrients and vitamins. Onions are grown by seeds (nigella), sevkom (small bulbs 1.5-2.5 cm, usually obtained from nigella) and a sample (3-4 cm or more).
Fruit vegetables. Cucumbers, zucchini, squash, pumpkin, watermelons, melons (pumpkin family) tomatoes, peppers, eggplants (nightshade family). All these plants are very thermophilic and require highly fertile soils. Almost every year, in our conditions, to obtain these vegetables, it is necessary to use protective agents against frost and low temperatures.
Peas, beans and beans (legume family) also belong to the group of fruit vegetables. Unlike their neighbors, they can withstand low temperatures. Beans are somewhat more thermophilic than peas and beans.
Green vegetables. These are the familiar salad, dill, parsley, celery, watercress, coriander (do not be confused that we also included some of them in the group of root vegetables - remember the sayings about tops and roots), as well as other cultures that we almost not familiar and not cultivated in the middle lane. All of these crops are cold-resistant annuals, they are mainly sown with seeds.
Perennial vegetables. It is somehow unusual to call sorrel, rhubarb, asparagus, horseradish vegetables - but it is so. All these plants are frost-resistant, in one place they can grow from two to five years. Propagated by seeds and vegetatively.
Potatoes. Among vegetables it takes a special place, it is bred to obtain tubers. Potatoes belong to the nightshade family. Potato bushes are easily damaged by frost. Propagated mainly by tubers, but you can also propagate it by eyes, sprouts, dividing a bush and even seeds (this laborious work does not give the same effect as propagation by tubers).
Part garden plot that you allocate for vegetable crops should not be shaded. If possible, you should choose a free, well-lit area with the most fertile soil (if the soil is not very fertile, you need to patiently start creating it for many years). A common mistake of novice vegetable growers is the desire for a combined arrangement of crops, when vegetables and strawberries are placed among young apple and pear trees. As long as the trees are young, everything seems to be going well: the crowns do not shade the beds too much, there is enough light and food for vegetables. But trees quickly gain strength, grow, and then the intermediate crops fall into the shade, their yield decreases from year to year. Indeed, most vegetable crops and potatoes do not tolerate strong shading and the presence of roots of woody plants in the soil. Therefore, one of the main rules for complex gardening and horticulture - provide a place for each crop and take into account the need to subsequently carry out a competent change (alternation) of vegetables and berries. After all, a certain culture should be returned to its original place not earlier than after three years, and even better - after four or five years. To do this, you need to draw up a clear plan for the placement and rotation of crops.
The timing of the return of crops to their original place is roughly the following: cabbage - 3 - 4 years, carrots - 3, peas - 4 - 5, celery - 3, tomatoes - 3 - 4, cucumbers - 3, lettuce - 1-2, onions - 4 - 5 years.
The yield decreases especially sharply and the quality deteriorates with permanent cultivation of cabbage, beets, peas, tomatoes, cucumbers, and potatoes.
When plants are re-grown on the same soil, a decrease in yield occurs as a result of the release of physiologically active substances into the soil, which subsequently inhibit the same culture.
The most appropriate width of the beds is 1.2 m. Between the beds, paths 0.3 m wide are left. The creation of narrower beds is a waste of the land of the garden plot, wider ones - it makes it difficult to cultivate the soil, care for plants and harvest.
Kohlrabi cabbage is rich in vitamins C, E, F, U, provitamin A, biotin, as well as mineral salts, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, fluorine, selenium and calcium. The pulp contains fructose, glucose, potassium salts, which are beneficial for cardiovascular diseases.
The use of a vegetable contributes to:
- strengthening immunity and improving overall well-being
- bowel cleansing
- improving metabolic processes
- lowering blood cholesterol
- restoration of the digestive system, in particular the functions of the liver and gallbladder
- lowering blood pressure
- removal of inflammatory processes in the stomach and intestines
- normalization of the digestive tract
- restoration of the nervous system
- excretion of excess fluid, regulates kidney function.
It is recommended to eat the vegetable raw, as well as stewed, fried, baked and boiled. 100 g of the plant contains 48 kcal. The nutritional value of the leaves is much higher than that of the plant stem. Nutritionists advise to include the kohlrabi diet for people who are overweight, the elderly who have undergone a major operation.
Unlike white cabbage, kohlrabi does not taste bitter, the root vegetable tastes sweet, juicy and tender. Kohlrabi does not contain allergens and is safe for children.