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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
There are also specific properties of potassium that neutralize several acids in the body, which helps in maintaining and preserving calcium, making it easy to use for bone strength and durability. (2)
3. Supports The Nervous System
Potassium also helps improve the efficiency of nerve reflexes that send messages from one body part to another. This helps the muscles in your body complete many exercises every day without getting tired fast. (3)
4. Lowers Risk Of Heart Disease
Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the world. Luckily Kohlrabi microgreens contain significant amounts of Vitamin C as seen in the chart below, and Vitamin C was found in one study to lower your risk of heart disease by 25%. (4)
5. Supports Immune System
Vitamin C is also involved in many parts of the immune system, and low vitamin C levels have been associated with poor health outcomes. Vitamin C helps the body create white blood cells which protect the body from infection. (5)
Having just explored the fascinating world of growing kohlrabi microgreens, you might be wondering, 'What more can I learn and grow in the world of microgreens?'
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Kohlrabi Microgreens Nutritional Chart
Brassica Oleracea Gongylodes
Minerals per 100g of (FW)
Vitamins per 100g of (FW)
Growing kohlrabi microgreens may pose a few questions, especially for those new to the practice.
Here, we've compiled answers to some of the most frequently asked queries.
How long does it take for kohlrabi microgreens to grow?
Typically, kohlrabi microgreens take between 8-12 days from seed to harvest. They should be about 2 inches tall when ready to harvest.
How should I store my harvested microgreens?
After rinsing and drying your harvested microgreens, place them loosely in a bowl or container and store them in the refrigerator. They'll stay fresh for several days.
Can I reuse my growing medium?
While it's technically possible, it's generally recommended to use fresh growing medium for each crop to minimize the risk of disease and ensure optimal growth conditions. If you choose to reuse your medium, make sure it's thoroughly cleaned and sterilized.
How much light do kohlrabi microgreens need?
Kohlrabi microgreens need around 12 hours of light each day once they're uncovered. You can use natural sunlight, fluorescent lights, or LED grow lights.
Can I grow kohlrabi microgreens outdoors?
Yes, you can! However, indoor cultivation allows for more control over the growing conditions, which is especially beneficial for microgreens.
Final Thoughts on Growing Kohlrabi Microgreens
Congratulations on taking the first step towards growing your own indoor microgreen garden!
Kohlrabi microgreens offer a fantastic entry point for both novice and seasoned gardeners.
Their quick growth rate, minimal space requirements, and abundant nutritional value make them a rewarding endeavor.
Remember, patience and perseverance are key.
Don't be discouraged if you encounter challenges along the way; each is a stepping stone to mastering the art of microgreen cultivation.
So grab your seeds, prepare your trays, and embark on this exciting journey of growing kohlrabi microgreens.
If you're interested in learning more about microgreens check out our comprehensive Microgreen eBook.
This step-by-step eBook will teach you everything you need to know about growing microgreens, including which varieties are easiest to grow and how to care for them.