Mary's Veggie Garden

January 18, 2016

Surprise Harvest: Kohlrabi in Winter

Filed under: Kohlrabi,Vegetables — marysveggiegarden @ 11:46 am

At the start of winter two Kolibri kohlrabi remained in my garden. Both were transplanted into the garden last spring on 4/28. They were still small when the summer vegetables started producing, so I ignored them, figuring they would never amount to anything. Both were in partly shaded areas of the garden and they continued to grow slowly. Eventually one split.

In the first days of January, on one of the many warm days we’ve enjoyed this winter, I did some garden cleanup. The forecast predicted overnight lows around 10°F so I thinned and pruned the raspberries before the ground froze.

That’s when I noticed the kohlrabi. Thinking it would be tough & stringy, I was tempted to throw it in the wheelbarrow with the raspberry prunings. At least it wasn’t mush, even though it had experienced several nights with low temperatures around 20°F.

I decided to give one kohlrabi a try and it was a pleasant surprise. The flesh was white and tender. It was a bit fibrous at the base, but that is normal where the bulb turns into the stem.

I cooked the kohlrabi with carrots and onions from my root cellar using this simple recipe: .

Lesson learned: a mature Kolibri kohlrabi can survive temperatures down to 20° F. This is a surprise because  I’ve seen a late spring freeze of 28°F kill kohlrabi transplants that had already been in the garden a couple of weeks.

My ultimate Kolibri kohlrabi.

My ultimate Kolibri kohlrabi. It looks pretty good considering it’s been almost 9 months in the garden.

The second kohlrabi is still in the garden. It’s experienced several nights around 10° F. I’ll harvest it on Wednesday, the next time the temperature will be above freezing and it can thaw naturally before harvest. I wonder how it will be? Will the additional 10° F of cold make a difference in the eating quality?

1/23 update: I harvested the final kohlrabi last Wednesday, when the temperature had been slightly above freezing for several hours.  It was hard and looked icy. I think it was at least half frozen.  It smelled a bit funky.  I bagged it and placed it in the refrigerator to thaw. After thawing, it was very soft and smelled worse. It went into the trash. It did not survive several 10° F nights.



  1. That’s crazy! Kudos to you for giving it a try, my instinct would be to toss it in the compost. It will be interesting to see what the extra cold temps do to the last one.

    Comment by Michelle — January 18, 2016 @ 12:54 pm | Reply

  2. What a treat, bet it was sweet.

    Comment by Norma Chang — January 18, 2016 @ 3:13 pm | Reply

  3. That’s really lucky and a nice treat. I had some Winner kohlrabi under row cover and they were nuked by a few cold nights we had in November. The choi and Napa under the same cover were fine.

    Comment by dvelten — January 18, 2016 @ 8:13 pm | Reply

    • If I recall correctly, you are in Ct, at about the same latitude as my garden in Poughkeepsie, NY. My kohlrabi made it through many freezing nights, without any cover, or even extra mulch. Perhaps some varieties are more cold tolerant than others.

      Comment by marysveggiegarden — January 18, 2016 @ 8:53 pm | Reply

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