This section is from the book "Vegetable Gardening", by Ralph L. Watts. Also available from Amazon: Vegetable Gardening.
This vegetable is often called the Turnip-Rooted cabbage. It is closely related to the cabbage and just as easily grown. The stem, which is the edible part, is greatly enlarged immediately above ground. It is not as generally known nor as popular as it should be. When cooked before the flesh becomes woody, it is superior to the turnip in edibility. The early crop is especially delicious.
Green Vienna, Earliest Erfurt, White Vienna and Purple Vienna are the leading varieties.
The early varieties are often forced in cold frames and a much earlier crop may be procured in the open by starting the plants under glass, and transplanting 1 l/2 inches apart each way before setting in the field. Some growers prefer to sow in hotbeds or cold frames, transplanting in the field where the crop is to mature. The plants require the same general treatment as cabbage.
It is customary to space about 8 inches apart in the row and to allow sufficient space between rows for cultivating with either hand wheel hoes or horse cultivators.
Fifteen inches between rows is about as close as plants can be set to permit satisfactory tillage. The seed resembles cabbage seed and should be sown at the same depth. Thorough and frequent tillage are important.
It is important to market the crop before the enlargements become woody. The plants may be tied together in bunches like early beets or sold in bulk. Kohl-rabi is a profitable crop whenever a market can be found. This vegetable may be stored in the same manner as root crops.
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