Friday, June 27, 2008

Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi

We love all sorts of greens and broccoli relatives, at least I do, and my gardening companion eats them happily, when stir-fried with olive oil, onions, and garlic.

I've certainly got plenty of garlic. This was the large 'main' harvest, now cured and inexpertly braided.
Now I just need to find a place to store the harvest; the garden shed is MUCH too hot, and the basement seems too dark and dank, although it's quite dry. Perhaps, I'll have to rig up a 'herb rack' to hang from the 'mudroom' ceiling? This sounds like it will require crafty things with vines or twigs, not exactly my area of expertise.

The Brassica oleracea cultivars that produce brussels sprouts and kohlrabi should be delicious, and kohlrabi, at least, is supposed to be easy to grow, and harvestable within 60 days. Hard to believe, but worth trying as a fall crop. Brussels sprouts are quite frost-hardy, so they should be a decent fall crop for our region, although I don't know anybody who grows it. I bought seeds of both at our local farm supply store, and the cashier (one of the owners) asked about the kohlrabi, saying she'd seen some at a local upscale grocery store.

It looks to me like it will need plenty of water to mature the swollen stems. This image is from a lovely vegetable-gardening-oriented blog called Calendula and Concrete.


  1. I grew both last fall and they did fine in Greenville. Some of the brussel sprouts didn't grow too much in the fall, but took off in the spring for a "second" crop.
    This year, I'm trying a purple variety from seed (used seedlings from the box store last year). I am a little worried about the water though -- for everything and all of us!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement!

    Barbara Pleasant in her Handbook of Southern Vegetables made it sound like kohlrabi and a fall crop of brussels sprouts would be easy, so I'm glad to hear you've had success. I'm going to start seeds of the sprouts & broccoli today and wait until August for the kohlrabi.

    I'm really worrying about the drought here too. I thought last summer was bad, but this summer has been brutal. I just hope for thunderstorms over OUR garden.

  3. Yay! This is the first time I've found any bloggers from the upstate :-) This is my first year growing garlic (I found you through a search to find out more about it) and I had a question... do I need to wait until mid-October to plant or will they do well if planted now? I just got my shipment in to start them with... if I don't plant now, what is the best way to keep them until I do plant? Just somewhere dark and dry, or the fridge, or does it even matter?

    Sorry for randomly inundating you with questions :-)


  4. I received my garlic a couple of weeks ago, ,too, but I generally wait until early to mid-October to plant, as it has generally cooled down a bit, and (in normal years), we have good soil moisture. You can even wait until November or early December, supposedly, but I've had success planting in October for a number of years.

    Keeping your garlic at room temperature (in an air-conditioned house) is ideal, just open up the paper bags -- dark isn't necessary.

    It's not a good idea, apparently, to store garlic for a long time in the refrigerator, since it's apparently dehydrating (that seems to be the regular recommendation). Letting it sit around for months and months isn't good, obviously, but it'll be fine.

    I've had great fun growing garlic myself -- MUCH better than store-bought, for sure. Good luck!


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