Introduction Growing kohlrabi in plastic bottles is a great way to recycle and enjoy fresh vegetables, even if you have limited space. This method is perfect for urban gardeners or those who wish to dabble in home gardening without committing to a full-sized garden plot.
Selecting the Best Kohlrabi Varieties for Containers When it comes to container gardening, not all kohlrabi varieties are created equal. For growing in plastic bottles, opt for smaller, compact varieties that are well-suited to confined spaces. ‘Quickstar’ and ‘Kolibri’ are excellent choices due to their smaller size and faster maturation. These varieties are less likely to become too large for the container and can thrive in the limited soil volume of a plastic bottle.
Preparing Your Plastic Bottles To start, you’ll need clean, large plastic bottles – 2-liter soda bottles work great. Cut the top third off and poke several drainage holes in the bottom. If you’re feeling creative, you can paint or decorate the outside of the bottles to suit your aesthetic, but ensure the paint is non-toxic and safe for plants.
Soil and Planting Use a high-quality potting mix to fill your bottles. This mix should be lightweight and well-draining to prevent waterlogging. Sow kohlrabi seeds directly into the soil, planting them about 1/2 inch deep. You can start seeds indoors and move them outside when the weather warms, or if you live in a mild climate, you can grow them outdoors year-round.
Sunlight and Location Kohlrabi needs plenty of sunlight, so place your bottle gardens in a spot that gets at least 6 hours of direct sun each day. South-facing windowsills, balconies, or patios are typically ideal.
Watering and Feeding Regular watering is crucial in bottle gardening since the soil can dry out quickly. Water your kohlrabi whenever the top inch of soil feels dry. Be cautious not to overwater, as poor drainage can lead to root rot. Feed your plants every few weeks with a diluted liquid fertilizer to provide them with necessary nutrients.
Pest and Disease Management Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids and cabbage worms. Since you’re gardening in containers, it’s easier to control these pests manually or with organic methods. Diseases are less common in well-draining containers, but always remove any diseased leaves promptly.
Harvesting Harvest your kohlrabi when the bulbous stem reaches about 2-3 inches in diameter. This size ensures the vegetable is tender and flavorful. Gently pull or cut the stem at the base to harvest.
Conclusion Growing kohlrabi in plastic bottles is a fun, eco-friendly way to produce your own vegetables. It’s a simple, space-saving solution that can yield delicious results. Happy gardening!