marley01
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Location: PA, Usa

Help with my kohlrabi+beets??

Hi, I'm new. And a new gardener too, this is my first year. I am having trouble with my kohlrabi and beets. They are in a good soil (my grandfather was planting there for 40+ years with good results) but the kohlrabi bulbs and beets don't seem to be growing. They are in full sun and I water them every day or every other day depending how dry the soil is.

I planted them May 10 this year so I would expect them to be harvestable by now. Only one of my kohlrabi (out of about 4 rows) actually made a big bulb (it was the last row on a corner if that matters) and the other ones are pretty small. The same with my beets, most are less than one inch wide but I can see their shoulders poking out. They all have healthy looking leaves, but the actual bulb/beet is not getting bigger size. Is there something I can do to make them grow better?? The one kohlrabi I harvested was sooooo delicious and I want more, lol

Any advice is welcome!!! Thanks

cynthia_h
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You're trying to grow cool-season veggies during hot weather, if I understand the current temps in Pennsylvania. Beets and kohlrabi flourish in the spring and the fall, but warm-weather veggies like corn, tomatoes, peppers, squash, and cucumbers are happier when the temperature runs to 70 degrees F and above.

Plant seeds or young seedlings in a few weeks for fall veggies.

Sorry...

Cynthia H.
Sunset Zone 17, USDA Zone 9

marley01
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Location: PA, Usa

Thank you!! I will try to replant closer to fall then. Maybe next year I will plant them earlier than May so they can finish before the weather gets too hot.

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jal_ut
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Do you know the date (average) of your last frost in the spring? You can plant kohlrabi a month before that date. Beets two weeks before that date.

Curious how close together the beets are? Beets will usually give you a root even if it gets quite warm. If you want 3 inch roots, you have to thin to 3 inches apart at least. How else can they grow a big root? They need room to do it.

Are you aware that crinkly looking seed of the beet is actually a capsule with several seeds in it? Even if you space your seed two or three inches apart, you still need to thin them. You didn't mention thinning, so if you haven't, I would thin them and eat the greens. Beet greens are great.

Kohlrabi will also do better if thinned.

I would not write them off yet. Consider thinning if they are crowded.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

CharlieBear
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If the beets are where you could rig some shading like a suspended row cover do it. Water more than you think they need but early in the morning. We are not really hot, but for a while I had to water every day until it rained a couple of days ago. If you water them well they should give you a crop by fall, but the slower the grow the less tender they will be and yes by all means plant them earlier next year if you can, but beware that beets will sometimes not come up well 2 weeks before the last frost date, it depends on the year and how cold and wet it is, the seed could rot. Many people aim for the frost date to be sure, but the later they go in the more likely it will get hot sooner than they like.

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BrianSkilton
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Also make sure you don't have concrete dirt like I ended up getting this year. One of my beds you swear I have concrete instead of dirt. It was all so nice and loose when I started but i think when the water table was so dang high and then it flooded, it made it so hard. So the beets I planted in April still have hardly done anything and its almost August.
Why buy produce when you can grow it?
-Nick

Bobberman
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Try the cylindrical beet. They grow the eatable part on top of the soil and are very productive even in hot weather! i have over 50ready to pick! My kohlrabi are the best ever this year. In the last two week I have about a dozen geting a nice large ball base ball size. I picked about 8 so for and made cole slaw out of them which is better than cabbage I think! I trans planted most of mine and that may have made a difference. The green ones are producing better than the purple! Some of them douled in size in 6 days. I haveabout ready o pick tomorrow! I planted more this past week from seeds!
I enjoy fishing ,gardening and a solar greenhouse! carpet installation repair and sales for over 45 years! I am the inventor of the Bobber With A Brain - Fishing Bobber!

marley01
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Location: PA, Usa

Thank you all for the advice!! My last frost day is supposedly May 5 ( I am in eastern PA), so next year I will try planting some beets 2 weeks before and see how that goes. I planted them late because on my seed packets it said after danger of frost and I was afraid they wouldn't come up. But now I have read here and from other sources that say they are more hardy than that. I planted purple vienna kohlrabi and detroit red beets if that matters at all.

I will also try thinning them apart more.. The biggest one that I have is sort of off to the side of all the rest and maybe close to 2 inches across. I should probably dig that one up... I was waiting for more so I wouldn't eat just one single beet by itself haha. I have been digging around them to make sure the soil is loose too.

If I transplant kohlrabi next year, how early should I start it inside??

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