Friday, June 4, 2010
Kohlrabi, Mustard and More..
Kohlrabi is a pretty little veggie, although many gardeners think it's a bit unusual looking! It's a member of the massive Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, etc.), yet is one of the faster growing siblings. It's usually ready in about 50 to 60 days, depending on the variety and is picked when the stem swells to 2 to 3 inches. This photo on the left is 'White Vienna' (60 days) and was planted about 5 weeks ago. The seedlings are about 8 inches tall and soon the bottom portion of the stem will swell.
Mature kohlrabi is often described as looking like a UFO! Why? Well, it is a bit unique with its swollen stem and large leaves coming off in all directions! Personally, I think they are delightful and make a delicious addition to a veggie tray or a stir-fry.. I also have some purple seedlings planted (Purple Vienna), but they're a few weeks behind these big boys..
As they grow, I'll post more photos.. They are a great veggie for the garden though and thrive in the cool weather of spring and fall.. good for fall cold frames too!
Mustard is another great option for a year-round veggie garden.. It's quick to grow, cold-tolerant and an ideal winter cold frame crop! These are my 3 1/2 week old 'Giant Red' mustard seedlings. They were directly sown into the garden and are now about 4 to 5 inches tall - perfect for adding a mild kick to salads. Once they get a bit bigger and the weather heats up, the leaves will also heat up and offer a serious mustard flavour! That may be too much for me though, so to temper the heat I'll toss them in stir-fries..
Another garden beauty, 'Red Sails' lettuce is almost too pretty to eat! I did say almost.. after all, the crinkly red-tinged leaves are also incredibly tender and delicious. This is an award winning lettuce (1985 All America Selections Winner) and is a great choice for spring, summer or fall planting. It's extremely slow to bolt in the summer and 'holds' a long time in the garden without going bitter. Did I mention that it's pretty?