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How to Grow Kohlrabi Microgreens


How To Grow Kohlrabi Microgreens

Among the extensive family of microgreens, Kohlrabi microgreens hold a special place.


Kohlrabi, a member of the Brassica family, is a cool-season vegetable known for its above-ground "bulb" and edible leaves.


When harvested as a microgreen, kohlrabi exhibits its own unique set of qualities that make it an exciting addition to your indoor garden.


Kohlrabi microgreens are appreciated for their rich, slightly sweet, and mild cabbage-like flavour.


Their tender, crunchy texture makes them a delightful addition to any dish, whether used as a garnish or a primary ingredient.


Nutritionally, kohlrabi microgreens are exceptional. They are packed with essential nutrients such as vitamins A, C, and K, along with several B-vitamins. They are also rich in minerals like iron, manganese, and calcium. These microgreens contain high levels of antioxidants, which are vital for maintaining good health and preventing diseases.


Aesthetically, kohlrabi microgreens have a delicate beauty. Their slender, pale stems, topped with two rounded leaves, often exhibit a deep green or sometimes even a purple hue.


Whether you're garnishing a dish or simply growing them on your windowsill, these microgreens add a splash of color and life to your surroundings.


As we move further into the article, we'll delve into the specifics of growing kohlrabi microgreens at home.


We'll provide a step-by-step guide, troubleshooting tips, and even some exciting ways to use your homegrown kohlrabi microgreens in your kitchen.


So let's delve deeper into the world of kohlrabi microgreens.


How To Grow Kohlrabi Microgreens

How To Grow Kohlrabi Microgreens


Before starting your journey of growing kohlrabi microgreens, it's crucial to understand their basic needs.


Kohlrabi microgreens, like all microgreens, need a few key things to grow: light, water, a growing medium, and of course, kohlrabi seeds.


Light: While kohlrabi microgreens do not require direct sunlight, they do need bright, indirect light to thrive. A north-facing windowsill or a place under grow lights could provide the necessary illumination for your tiny greens.


Water: Keeping the growing medium moist but not soaked is important. Microgreens, being shallow-rooted, need regular watering but are prone to damping off (a fungal disease) if overwatered.


Temperature: The ideal temperature range for kohlrabi microgreens is between 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. They can tolerate cooler temperatures, but growth may be slower outside of the ideal range.


Growing Medium: The growing medium should be nutrient-rich and well-draining. A good quality organic potting mix or a specifically designed microgreen growing medium can work well.


Gathering the Necessary Materials and Seeds


To start your kohlrabi microgreens, you'll need:


Kohlrabi seeds: Look for seeds specifically meant for sprouting or growing microgreens. They should be untreated, as you'll be eating the plants quite young.


Growing medium: As mentioned before, coco coir or a microgreen-specific growing medium will do.


A growing tray: This can be a shallow container with drainage holes. You can find trays designed specifically for microgreens, or you can reuse containers such as clear plastic salad boxes.


A spray bottle: This will come in handy for watering your microgreens without disturbing the seeds or young plants.


Light source: If you don't have a bright windowsill, a simple fluorescent or LED grow light can serve your purpose.


Now that we have our materials and seeds, let's move on to the actual sowing process.


Step 1: Preparing the Growing Tray


To embark on the exciting journey of growing delicious kohlrabi microgreens, begin by preparing your grow trays.


This project will require two microgreen trays. The lower tray, with no drainage holes, will act as a water reservoir, facilitating moisture absorption by the growing medium.


The upper tray, equipped with drainage holes, will house the growing medium and seeds, allowing water from the lower tray to reach the microgreen roots without fostering mold growth.


If the bottom tray does not have drainage holes, you will need to manually make them by using a sharp knife or drill.


Commence by filling the non-draining tray with coco coir, creating a smooth surface.


Using a spray bottle, thoroughly mist the coco coir until it is sufficiently moistened.


If you don't possess a spray bottle, gently sprinkle water over the coco coir until it is thoroughly hydrated.


Step 2: Add The Seeds


With the growing medium properly hydrated, evenly distribute the kohlrabi seeds atop the coco coir.


To prevent overcrowding, which may lead to uneven growth, wilting, or even mold, avoid over-seeding.


Aim for a substantial crop but ensure that seeds are adequately spaced.


Step 3: Cover The Seeds


Once the seeds are in place, mist them lightly but do not bury them in soil.


Instead, secure a cover over the seeds using another tray, thus creating a blackout effect for 2-3 days.


Maintain a moist environment for both the seeds and the growing medium during this crucial germination phase.


Around day 3, assess the sprouting progress. If the kohlrabi seeds have sprouted uniformly, revealing tiny, folded leaves, it's time to permanently remove the cover tray.


Step 4: Uncover And Give Light


By day 3 or 4, your kohlrabi microgreens will be ready for their first taste of light.


A minimum of 12 hours of light exposure daily will facilitate their growth and turn them a beautiful shade of green.


For optimal growth, consider using LED grow lights, although direct sunlight and fluorescent lights are effective alternatives.


To ensure even growth, rotate the tray occasionally, especially if the microgreens start leaning toward the light source.


Step 5: Check Daily


From this point forward, it's crucial to maintain a balanced water supply until harvest time.


Rather than spraying, consider adding water to the lower tray, allowing the coco coir to soak it up.


It's advisable to avoid wetting the leaves as this might promote mold growth.


Conduct daily checks on your microgreens to ensure healthy growth.


Relish in the delightful process of nurturing your very own nutritious and flavorsome kohlrabi microgreens!



Troubleshooting Common Kohlrabi Microgreens Growing Challenges


Growing kohlrabi microgreens is a relatively straightforward process.


However, like with any indoor gardening venture, you may occasionally face some challenges.


Let's identify a few potential problems you might encounter during the growing process, such as mold, poor germination, and leggy growth, and provide some detailed solutions and prevention strategies for each issue.


Mold:


This is a common issue when growing microgreens, especially in environments with high humidity or inadequate air circulation.


If you notice a fuzzy white growth on your microgreens, you're likely dealing with mold.

Solution: Increase air circulation in the growing area with a small fan, and avoid overwatering your microgreens.

Prevention: Plant your seeds less densely to ensure they have ample space to breathe, and always ensure your growing medium is clean and sterile.


Poor Germination:


This issue is often a result of improper planting or an unfavorable growing environment. If your seeds aren't sprouting as they should, you might be dealing with poor germination.

Solution: Make sure your seeds are not planted too deeply - they should be scattered evenly on the surface of your growing medium. Also, ensure your growing medium remains consistently moist during the germination phase.

Prevention: Use high-quality seeds from a reputable source, and make sure your growing environment maintains a temperature between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for germination.


Leggy Growth:


If your microgreens are growing tall and thin, with weak, stretched stems, they're likely not receiving adequate light.

Solution: Move your growing tray to a location with more natural light, or consider investing in a grow light if natural light isn't sufficient. Ensure your microgreens receive at least 12 hours of light each day.

Prevention: Start providing adequate light as soon as your seeds have germinated, usually after 2-3 days.


Remember, prevention is often the best strategy when it comes to these common issues.


By maintaining a clean growing environment, providing ample light, monitoring watering, and using high-quality seeds, you can enjoy a hassle-free kohlrabi microgreen growing experience.



Kohlrabi Microgreens

How To Harvest Kohlrabi Microgreens


Kohlrabi microgreens generally reach their prime harvesting stage 8-12 days from the seeding time, typically when they attain a height of about 2 inches.


To harvest, use scissors or a knife to cut the microgreens approximately half an inch above the coco coir medium.


Congratulations, you've successfully nurtured and harvested your kohlrabi microgreens - a simple yet rewarding process, isn't it?


Washing and Drying Kohlrabi Microgreens


Post-harvest, ensure you clean your kohlrabi microgreens adequately.


Employ a colander to rinse the microgreens under cold water, effectively removing any residual growing medium.


To dry, spread the microgreens out over paper towels, allowing them to air dry.


For a quicker drying process, consider using a fan on a low setting.


For optimal flavor and nutrition, consume the cut microgreens immediately after they have dried.


Storing Kohlrabi Microgreens


Following the harvest and cleaning, you may be pondering on the best way to store your kohlrabi microgreens.


Simply place the microgreens loosely in a container or bowl and store them in the refrigerator.


This will ensure that they remain fresh until you're ready to use them.

Utilizing Kohlrabi Microgreens


Boasting a flavorful profile, kohlrabi microgreens serve as an excellent foundation for any microgreen salad.


Their vibrant color combinations render them ideal garnishes, enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your dishes.


Additionally, they can add a burst of fresh, earthy flavor to soups and sandwiches.


Let your culinary creativity explore the many ways to incorporate these nutritious and delectable microgreens into your meals.



Creative and Exciting Recipe Ideas for Incorporating Kohlrabi Microgreens into Your Meals


Having harvested your kohlrabi microgreens, you might be wondering how to incorporate them into your meals.


Their crunchy texture and sweet, slightly peppery taste make these tiny greens a versatile ingredient in the kitchen.


Here are some exciting and creative recipe ideas for your homegrown kohlrabi microgreens:


Kohlrabi Microgreen Salad: Create a fresh, colorful salad using kohlrabi microgreens as the base. Add sliced avocados, cherry tomatoes, and thinly sliced radishes. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette for a vibrant, nutrient-packed meal.


Kohlrabi Microgreen Tacos: Add a new twist to your favorite tacos by adding a handful of kohlrabi microgreens. Their crisp texture and unique flavor pair perfectly with spicy grilled meats or fish.


Avocado and Kohlrabi Microgreen Toast: Upgrade your usual avocado toast by adding a generous layer of kohlrabi microgreens on top. Sprinkle with some sea salt, black pepper, and a squeeze of fresh lemon for a gourmet breakfast or snack.


Kohlrabi Microgreen Pesto: Blend kohlrabi microgreens with garlic, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil for a unique spin on classic pesto. Toss it with pasta, spread it on sandwiches, or use it as a dipping sauce for a flavorful touch.


Kohlrabi Microgreen Stir-Fry: Add a handful of kohlrabi microgreens to your stir-fries at the last minute. They will bring a refreshing crunch and nutrient boost to your dish without wilting or losing their texture.


Smoothies and Juices: For an added nutritional punch, blend kohlrabi microgreens into your morning smoothie or juice. Their mild taste won't overpower your drink, but you'll reap the benefits of their vitamins and minerals.


Incorporating kohlrabi microgreens into your meals not only adds a new flavor dimension but also boosts the nutritional value of your dishes.


Enjoy experimenting with these recipe ideas and discovering more ways to enjoy your homegrown kohlrabi microgreens!



Health Benefits of Kohlrabi Microgreens


Kohlrabi microgreens have many disease-fighting properties. Other Health Benefits include:


1. Reduces Muscle Disorders


Kohlrabi contains notable quantities of potassium, and potassium has been found in multiple studies to stimulate the neural connectivity of muscles and the brain. Therefore It maintains optimal muscle and nerve function and helps keep our reflexes fast. (1)


2. Improves Bone Health