Purple Vienna Kohlrabi is an easy to grow microgreen. If the name doesn't sound familiar, or you don't like the full sized vegetable, don't let that stop you from trying this delicious, nutrient dense microgreen.
Kohlrabi grows quickly and can be harvested in 8 to 12 days from sowing the seed.
Purple Vienna Kohlrabi microgreens are vibrant, with purple to rose-colored stems and contrasting dark green leaves. The purple of the stem carries up between the cotyledons, and some of the leaves can also be purple-tinged.
The flavor of Kohlrabi is similar to sweet, mild cabbage and the beautiful color combinations make them great garnishes or additions to sandwiches or slaw. Kohlrabi, like almost every microgreen, is great in egg dishes.
Kohlrabi microgreens are very nutritious and contains over 100% of the recommended daily value of Vitamin C. It's also high in Vitamin B6, Folate (B9), Thiamin (B1), potassium, phosphorus, and calcium.
Sources also report that kohlrabi has the following additional nutritional and disease fighting benefits:
- Fights cancer
- Improves heart health
- Decreases the risk of obesity and diabetes
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces C-reactive protein
Growing Purple Vienna Kohlrabi
Even though growing Purple Vienna Kohlrabi is easy to grow there are a few tricks that will improve your success rate. Here are a few of the necessary steps for growing kohlrabi microgreens.
Also, if you're looking to grow Purple Vienna Kohlrabi microgreens, you can get a kohlrabi microgreen kit or Purple Vienna Kohlrabi seeds by clicking the highlighted links to visit the Home Microgreen Store.
How to Grow Purple Vienna Kohlrabi
Kohlrabi microgreens are an excellent variety for beginning growers to plant, raise, and harvest.
There are only a couple things that first-time growers need to be aware of before they start.
First, the seeds are dark so they can be a bit hard to see on the soil when you sow them. And they are also very round and hard and they often bounce off the soil and out of the tray!
Second, the planting tray needs to be covered or blacked out for 2 or 3 days. Even though they can germinate within 24-hours, it's best to keep the seeds covered with a weigh on the lid for a longer period.
Once the seeds germinate, it's tempting to remove the weight and cover. But it's best to for the plants to keep them blacked out.
More on this later in the post.
Ten Easy Steps
Below is a list of the ten steps to growing kohlrabi microgreens. For a more detailed explanation of the process, and to see a video of each step, take a look at Growing Microgreens for the First Time.
We'll be growing kohlrabi microgreens using the Home Microgreen Kit. If you don't have the kit, the photos will show you what supplies you'll need. You can click images to expand their size.
Note: Some of the images below are of the beta Home Microgreens Trays (opaque trays & red lids). The black trays and opaque lids are the new Home Microgreens Trays. Both are similar-sized, but the later use much less soil and are therefore more economical.
Add a premium potting mix to the planting tray.
A planting tray needs small holes in the bottom so water can be drawn up from below. Bottom watering is much better for the microgreens than watering from the top.
The soil should be firmly compacted and level just below the top of the tray. We prefer to use soil instead of a mat. Read this article on why I believe soil is a better growing medium.
Use a spray bottle to wet the soil surface with un-chlorinated water. Allow the water to soak into the soil, then respray the surface. If you see depressions or high spots on the soil, use your fingers to level the surface.
It's time to sow the seeds.
There's no reason to pre-soak the seeds. Kohlrabi seeds germinate quickly even without soaking.
There are between 7,000 to 7,200 Purple Vienna Kohlrabi seeds in an ounce. That's around 250 seeds per gram. For kohlrabi, you want to plant about 19 seeds per square inch of soil in your planting tray.
So if your planting tray surface is 37.5 square-inches you'd need around 3-grams of kohlrabi seeds for the perfect planting density. Below is a photo of 3.0-grams Purple Vienna Kohlrabi microgreen seeds, or little less than a teaspoon of seed.
Add your seeds to a shaker bottle.
A shaker bottle will allow you to spread the seeds more evenly. Keep the bottle low next to the soil surface because the hard round little seeds love to jump off the soil.
Now that the soil surface is prepared it's time to sow the seeds.
Use the shaker bottle and start sprinkling seeds onto the soil working in concentric circles around the planting tray. It can be helpful to hold your spare hand around the tray, so seeds don't bounce out of the tray.
Spread the seeds as evenly as possible across the surface. You may need to unscrew the top off the sprinkler bottle to get the last few seeds out of the bottle.
Once all the seeds are out of the bottle use your finger to spread out clumps of seeds to areas with fewer seeds. This is easy with beet seeds, the large size makes them easy to move around.
Don't worry if the seeds aren't perfectly spaced. The seeds will grow, and the plants will spread out to fill the voids. In the photo below, you can see how hard the dark colored seeds are to see on the soil surface.
Now it's time to prepare the seeds to germinate. Use the spray bottle again and wet the seeds. Go easy, so the seeds don't fly off the tray. The water will also help settle the seeds into the soil.
Place the planting tray inside the watering tray.
The watering tray is one that doesn't have holes and will hold water. Use a similar size tray, like in the Home Microgreen Kit, or you can use a larger tray.
Place a cover on the seeds (don't seal the tray tight), if the cover is transparent or opaque, use a tea towel or cut a piece of cardboard to fit the cover to keep light off the seeds.
Most microgreens can be left on top of the soil surface. But they do need to be covered to keep light off them while they germinate.
Beet microgreens seeds are no exception. You can place a weight on top, so the cover doesn't come off.
Don't worry, the young plants will be strong enough to handle the load. In fact, the plants will most likely lift the cover and the weight off the tray as they grow.
If you're growing more than one tray, just stack the trays up.
Don't do anything for 2- to 3-days. Just let the seeds germinate and grow. The cover will retain enough moisture for the seeds to grow without you needing to water them.
We like to use a heat mat under our microgreen trays. Heat mats are inexpensive and don't use much energy.
One mat on Amazon is around $12 and a double pack is $21.
On day 2 or 3 you can look at the seeds an check the surface moisture of the tray. If the soil seems dry, go ahead and use the spray bottle to wet the surface.
The kohlrabi seedlings should be growing by now, they will be whitish due to the lack of light. Don't worry, the plants will green up quickly.
Now that the kohlrabi microgreens have germinated and started to root and grow it's time to get them under a light. There's a lot of discussion about which type of light is best for microgreens. We think it's best to give them as much light as possible.
After all, light is where the plants get their energy to grow. Whether it be sunlight, cheap LED lighting, or a special grow light, give them as much as you can. Don't fret over it, just do the best you can with what you have.
Read this series of posts on using LED grow lights or LED shop lights.
Don't worry if the plants looked squashed and crooked, once they receive light they will straighten up and gain better color. If the soil surface looks very dry, use the spray bottle to wet the surface. But this will be the last time you use the spray bottle.
Don't spray the plants with water if the surface is even the slightest bit moist, go to step 9.
Now we just let the kohlrabi microgreens grow and give them water from the bottom. Here's where the watering tray comes into play.
Memorize how the weight of the dry tray feels. Judging the weight this way is how you'll know when to water again.
Add water to the watering tray, a quarter of an inch works at first. Set the planting tray in the water and allow it to absorb the water from below.
Watering from the bottom keeps the leaves and stems dry, eliminating the possibility of damping off disease and stopping soil from splashing up on the plants.
The first time you water you may have to add more water because the majority of the soil in the tray is dry. Afterward, you won't need to add as much water.
Every other day check the weight of the tray to see if it needs water. The need will depend on the humidity and amount of air moving across the tray.
Below are some photos of how the kohlrabi microgreens look as they grow. You can click on the image to expand the size.
When your kohlrabi is 3 to 4 inches tall, they're ready to harvest.
The microgreens should be ready to harvest between day 8 to 12.
It's best to harvest kohlrabi microgreens during the cotyledon stage before the first true leaves form.
You can harvest part of your kohlrabi microgreen tray and let the rest grow for a couple more days, or you can harvest all at once and store them in a ziplock bag. Be sure to punch a few knife holes in the bag to let out excess moisture.
The greens will keep quite a few days after harvest, but obviously, it's best to use them as soon as possible.
See How Simple it is to Grow Kohlrabi Microgreens?
Kohlrabi isn't a very common vegetable, and that might scare many people away from giving them a try.
But, as you can see these flavorful and nutritious microgreens are very easy to grow. The vibrant colors will make anything you add them too more beautiful. Remember, we eat with our eyes also.
You won't be disappointed with Purple Vienna Kohlrabi microgreens. Give them a try, and my guess is you'll be adding them to your rotation of microgreen crops.
Interested in Growing Kohlrabi Microgreens?
If you'd like to try growing Purple Vienna Kohlrabi microgreens at home use the buttons below to take a look at the microgreen kit.
Or, if you have the supplies, we carry the seeds as well.
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Have a Question?
If you have any questions about the information in this post or microgreens in general please leave a comment below or reach out to me using the Ask a Question page.
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