All You Need To Know About Growing Kohlrabi

You want to grow kohlrabi at home but still have some questions in this regard? Great!

Feel free to find the answers to the questions you are looking for in the following chapters.

Table of Contents

Time & Duration

When to grow kohlrabi from seed?

Since kohlrabi is a cool-weather crop, the best time to grow kohlrabi from seed to harvest is in early spring when temperatures are still rather cool.

However, don’t plant kohlrabi seeds too early and wait until you don’t have frost anymore in your regions to avoid your plants decay.

Does kohlrabi grow year-round?

While it is possible to grow kohlrabi year-round in theory, you should still not try to do so since you would not be able to grow kohlrabi well during the off-season and would also not get decent yields.

Hence, make sure to grow kohlrabi during the main season between spring and summer to get the best results.

Does kohlrabi grow fast?

Compared to many other garden vegetables, it will not take you that long to grow kohlrabi.

Prepare the soil!

In fact, it will take you only two months on average to grow kohlrabi from seed while it can take you 4 to 6 months to grow melons, pumpkins or cabbage.

Thus, kohlrabi is a great vegetable to grow if you are a rather impatient person and want to see results relatively quickly.

How long does it take to grow kohlrabi?

While it will take you between 50 and 70 days to grow kohlrabi from seed to harvest most of the time, it can take significantly longer if you are relatively new to gardening since you will likely make some mistakes along the way.

Hence, don’t be discouraged if it takes you longer. Just enjoy the process instead of only the actual yield.

Does kohlrabi grow back every year?

No, kohlrabi will not grow back every year. Instead, kohlrabi is grown as an annual and this means that you will have to harvest multiple batches of seeds if you want to get multiple kohlrabi harvests per year.

How long do kohlrabi plants live?

If you plant kohlrabi seeds in spring, you will usually harvest kohlrabi crops in early summer.

Since you will remove the remaining plant material, your kohlrabi plants will only live until you harvest your plants.

If you don’t harvest them and let them grow instead, kohlrabi plants will stay alive until the first harsh winter frost arrives.

How long does it take until kohlrabi flowers?

Kohlrabi plants only flower if temperatures fall constantly below the 45 degrees Fahrenheit mark. However, you should not aim for that.

In fact, there is no need for letting your kohlrabi plants flower since you can grow kohlrabi crops without seeing any flowers on your plants.

Thus, if you don’t want to save seeds, don’t care about whether kohlrabi plants flower or not. Just focus on crop development instead.

Can you grow kohlrabi in fall?

Growing kohlrabi in late fall is possible since your plants could enjoy rather cool climatic conditions during this period of the year.

Just make sure that you plant kohlrabi seeds at least two months before you expect the first winter frost so that your plants have enough time to develop healthy crops.

Can you grow kohlrabi in winter?

You should not grow kohlrabi in winter since you would have to grow it indoors and would not be able to provide the cool temperatures kohlrabi plants need to grow well.

In turn, your yields would likely be rather low and you would also have to deal with several other issues.

Consequently, instead of growing kohlrabi in winter, wait until spring to start your kohlrabi growing project outdoors.

Location & Climate

Will kohlrabi grow in shade?

While kohlrabi grows well in rather cool climatic zones, your plants will still need some level of sunlight to grow well. Thus, never grow kohlrabi in complete shade.

Rather choose a spot in your garden or on your balcony where your plants get at least a few hours of sunlight per day on average.

Will kohlrabi grow in partial shade?

Partial shade is perfectly fine to grow kohlrabi. In fact, it is the best environment to grow kohlrabi in since your plants will get some sunlight but will still be protected from excessive sun exposure and radiation.

Does kohlrabi grow best in full sun?

While you could try to grow kohlrabi in full sun, it would still be better to offer them a partially shady spot around your home since kohlrabi doesn’t like the heat that much and if you don’t provide any shade, your plants will just not grow that well and will also not produce satisfying yields.

Will kohlrabi tolerate frost?

Even though kohlrabi likes cool climatic conditions, they will not like being exposed to frost.

Thus, make sure to only grow kohlrabi outdoors if you don’t expect strong spring frost anymore and if you plant kohlrabi in fall, make sure to plant seeds soon enough so that your plants can mature before winter frost arrives.

Do you have to protect kohlrabi from the sun?

There is no need to actively protect kohlrabi plants from the sun.

Instead, just choose a partially shady environment where your plants get a healthy mix of sun and shade and your plants will be protected from excessive sun exposure in a completely natural manner.

How much space do you need to grow kohlrabi?

Kohlrabi doesn’t grow that big in the vertical. However, it will still need some space in the horizontal and this means that you should provide each plant with at least 5 square feet of space.

If you have lots of space in your garden, you could also give your plants much more space.

The more space they get, the better kohlrabi plants will grow since they will not have to compete for nutrients or sunlight with other plants.

Will kohlrabi grow indoors?

You will have a hard time growing kohlrabi indoors since you would just not be able to provide natural growing conditions to your plants.

Moreover, since kohlrabi likes the cold, you will just not be able to provide the right temperatures to your plants indoors.

Additionally, growing plants indoors also implies that those plants will take away lots of space from you and that you would also have to clean your home more often.

Consequently, never try to grow kohlrabi indoors if you also have the opportunity to do it outdoors in your garden or on your balcony.

Can you grow kohlrabi without a garden or balcony?

Without access to a garden or a balcony, you would have no choice other than to grow kohlrabi indoors.

However, this implies several issues and I suggest you wait with growing kohlrabi until you have access to an outdoor environment since it will make your life just much easier.

Can you grow kohlrabi in small flats?

While growing kohlrabi indoors is already a huge challenge, growing it in small flats is even more difficult and it can also be really annoying since your plants will take away lots of precious living space from you.

Hence, instead of growing kohlrabi in small flats, wait with it until you move to a bigger place where space is no problem for you anymore.

Can you grow kohlrabi in an aquarium?

Growing kohlrabi in an aquarium is a pretty interesting idea. Yet, it will still not work well since water will not be able to run off properly and waterlogging may become an issue.

Moreover, you would also have a hard time moving your aquarium once it is filled with potting soil and this will make your whole growing project rather inflexible.

Thus, instead of growing kohlrabi in aquariums, make sure to grow it in conventional flower pots.

Can you grow kohlrabi in a terrarium?

You should also not try to grow kohlrabi in terrariums since the roots of your plants will start to rot sooner or later and you would also not be able to provide natural growing conditions to your plants.

Hence, make sure to choose pots that are more suitable for growing kohlrabi instead.

Can you grow kohlrabi in buckets?

You could also grow kohlrabi in a bucket. This will work pretty fine as long as you make sure that water will be able to run off properly and that you also use big buckets so that your plants get enough space and nutrients.

Thus, just drill some small holes into the bottom of your bucket, fill it with potting soil and you are good to go.

Can you grow kohlrabi in bags?

While you could also grow kohlrabi in bags, make sure to use big fabric bags instead of plastic bags so that water can run off properly and to assure that your bags will not break sooner or later.

Just fill fabric bags with potting soil from the garden center and plant kohlrabi seeds into the soil and you will see seedlings pretty quickly.

Can you grow kohlrabi in hanging baskets?

Growing kohlrabi in hanging baskets is usually not a good idea since kohlrabi crops can get quite heavy and your hanging baskets may just not be able to hold the weight.

Therefore, relying on conventional flower pots instead of hanging baskets would be a better choice in this regard.

Can you grow kohlrabi in rainy climatic zones?

Since kohlrabi is a cool-weather crop, it will grow perfectly fine in rainy climatic zones.

Just make sure to plant kohlrabi seeds in a sunny spot around your home so that your plants can get precious sunlight during the rare times the sun will actually come out.

Can you grow kohlrabi in tropical climatic zones?

Kohlrabi doesn’t like the heat nor does it like high humidity levels in the air.

Consequently, growing kohlrabi in the tropics is not advisable at all since your plants will just not grow well and will also not develop healthy crops.

Can you grow kohlrabi in regions with permafrost?

While kohlrabi plants like the cold, they don’t like frost at all.

Consequently, you would not be able to grow kohlrabi in regions with permafrost outdoors but you would rather have to grow kohlrabi in a heated greenhouse or inside your home instead.

However, the use of a heated greenhouse would imply huge energy costs and would also be pretty bad for our environment while growing kohlrabi indoors would just not work out for many other reasons.

Hence, if you live in one of those extremely cold regions, you should rather get kohlrabi and other garden vegetables from the store instead of growing them at home.

Does kohlrabi grow on vines?

Kohlrabi doesn’t grow on vines but rather grows from plants that stay relatively small in the vertical but can grow quite big in the horizontal.

Kohlrabi usually only develops one main crop in the center of the plant.

Does kohlrabi grow underground?

In contrast to potatoes or onions, kohlrabi crops are not produced underground.

Instead, both the plant material as well as the crop develop above the soil surface and it will therefore be pretty easy to harvest kohlrabi.

What is the best orientation for growing kohlrabi?

While kohlrabi grows best in east or west orientation since it gets a healthy mix between sun and shade in these directions, you could also try growing kohlrabi in south orientation if you want to provide even more sunlight to your plants.

Just avoid growing kohlrabi in north orientation since your plants would just not get sufficient sunlight.

Can you grow kohlrabi with indirect sunlight?

You could also grow kohlrabi with indirect sunlight in a greenhouse or in your sunroom.

However, don’t expect the same growing progress and the same yields as outdoors since you will just not be able to provide as natural conditions to your plants.

Where does kohlrabi grow best?

Kohlrabi grows best in half-shady spots in your garden where your plants get a lot of space and nutrients so that they can grow well and develop healthy crops in a rather short period of time.

Where to grow kohlrabi in pots?

Growing kohlrabi in pots is perfectly doable as long as you place those pots outdoors on your porch or on your balcony where your plants get at least a few hours of sunlight per day on average.

Where to grow kohlrabi indoors?

Growing kohlrabi indoors is a big challenge as mentioned earlier in this article.

If you really want to try it, make sure to grow kohlrabi indoors in a cool room where your plants still get some sunlight.

Can you grow kohlrabi in water?

You should never try growing kohlrabi in pure water.

Instead, make sure to grow kohlrabi plants in a healthy soil mix so that your plants get enough nutrients to develop strong roots, grow well and eventually produce decent yields.

Can you grow kohlrabi with LED lights?

You could also try to help kohlrabi plants grow faster by using LED lights or other forms of artificial lighting.

However, please note that these lights will consume lots of energy in the long run and artificial lighting can also never be a full substitute for a lack of natural sunlight.

Hence, instead of using artificial lighting to grow kohlrabi, make sure to grow kohlrabi outdoors where your plants will get sufficient sunlight in a completely natural manner.

Can you grow kohlrabi in dark rooms?

Growing kohlrabi in dark rooms is a pretty bad idea since your plants will just not get sufficient sunlight to grow well and also your yields will be pretty low.

Your plants may also even just decay rather quickly and you should therefore make sure to always provide sufficient levels of sunlight to your plants.

Soil Requirements

Can you reuse soil for growing kohlrabi the next year?

You don’t have to dispose of used potting soil after just a single use.

Instead, you can reuse soil for growing kohlrabi and other garden plants multiple times as long as you add some fertilizer to it and you should also loosen the soil after each growing season.

Does kohlrabi grow well in waterlogged soil?

No, kohlrabi doesn’t grow well in waterlogged soil at all. Instead, the roots of your plants will start to rot rather quickly and you should therefore make it a priority that excess water can always run off quickly to avoid any issues in this regard.

Does kohlrabi grow best in acidic, neutral or alkaline soil?

Kohlrabi grows well in rather neutral soil with a soil pH between 6.5 and 7.3.

However, most kohlrabi varieties are quite tolerant when it comes to the acidity level of the soil and you can therefore just rely on a solid soil mix from the garden center.

Will kohlrabi grow in sandy soil?

While kohlrabi tolerates a small fraction of sand in the soil, it will not grow well if this fraction becomes too big.

Hence, make sure to rely on a balanced instead of a sandy soil mix for growing kohlrabi.

Will kohlrabi grow well in clay soil?

Kohlrabi doesn’t grow well in clay soil since it is just too solid and the roots of your plants will not be able to grow well.

Moreover, water will often be logged in clay soil and the roots of your plants may start to rot.

Therefore, instead of relying on clay soil, make sure to choose a looser soil mix for your kohlrabi plants instead.

Will kohlrabi grow in compost?

Compost is a great medium to grow kohlrabi since it is rich in nutrients and will also be loose enough.

You could also mix compost with conventional potting soil from the garden center and you would get a pretty decent soil mix that could be used for many growing projects yet to come in the future.

Plant Care

Do kohlrabi plants need a lot of water?

While kohlrabi plants don’t need a lot of water while they are still young, their water demand will increase exponentially once they get bigger.

Moreover, how much water your plants will need also greatly depends on the climatic conditions outdoors.

Do you have to water kohlrabi on a regular basis?

If you grow kohlrabi in your garden, you will often not have to water your plants since kohlrabi can get enough rainwater from the soil.

Hence, during rainy periods, you will not have to water your plants at all.

However, if you grow kohlrabi in pots in protected areas around your home, you would have to water your plants more often since they will not have access to rainwater in the soil.

Also make sure to adjust your watering schedule to the temperatures outdoors so that kohlrabi plants don’t dry up during warmer periods of the year.

Should you use filtered or unfiltered water to water kohlrabi plants?

You should not use filtered water for your kohlrabi plants. Instead, just rely on unfiltered tap water and you will be perfectly fine.

I personally haven’t seen any difference in the growth behavior of kohlrabi plants and you should therefore not spend any time filtering water but rather use your time wisely for more important things.

Should you use rainwater to water kohlrabi?

The best and also the easiest way to water kohlrabi plants is by using rainwater.

Just install a rainwater tank in your garden and collect rainwater during periods of heavy rain that you can then use for watering your plants during dry periods of the year.

When to stake kohlrabi plants?

Even though there is no real need to stake kohlrabi plants, you should wait with it until your plants reach a minimum size of at least 3 inches in height.

What to tie kohlrabi with?

To tie kohlrabi plants, just place some sticks next to each plant and tie your plants will cord to those sticks.

By using this simple method, your plants will get more resistant to harsh conditions outdoors.

What to do when kohlrabi leaves turn yellow?

Yellow kohlrabi leaves are often a sign that you should water your plants less often.

Just try to slow down your watering routine and see if the problem vanishes.

If not, also try to add some fertilizer to your plants.

How to protect kohlrabi against wind?

You just need to tie your plants to sticks if you fear that your plants are too vulnerable to wind.

However, in most cases, this will not be necessary and kohlrabi plants will be able to deal with wind completely on their own without your intervention needed in this regard.

How to protect kohlrabi against heavy rain?

Heavy rain will not be a problem for kohlrabi plants and you don’t have to worry about it at all.

Just let your plants grow in line with natural processes and they will be able to deal with heavy rain on their own.

How to protect kohlrabi against hail?

If you grow kohlrabi in pots, you just need to move those pots to a safe place around your home.

In case you grow kohlrabi directly in your garden and don’t have the option to relocate your plants, you will have no choice other than to cover your plants will foliage cover from the garden center to protect them from hail to a certain extent.

Should you pinch out kohlrabi?

You should not pinch kohlrabi plants since removing plant material can do more harm than good to your plants.

Instead, just let your plants grow in a natural manner and don’t intervene in this regard at all.

Where to pinch kohlrabi?

If you want to pinch out kohlrabi for your own reasons, at least do it outdoors and never pinch kohlrabi inside your home since you would likely produce a mess and would also introduce garden pests inside your home.

Can you grow kohlrabi without fertilizer?

The better the soil mix you provide to kohlrabi plants, the more likely it is that you will not have to add any additional fertilizer to the soil.

Hence, make sure to use high-quality soil right from the beginning of your growing project so that you don’t have to do any extra work in this regard later in the year.

Should you cover kohlrabi plants to protect them against frost?

There is no need to cover kohlrabi plants to protect them from the cold.

Instead, just wait with transplanting kohlrabi outdoors until you don’t expect frost anymore and you will be able to protect kohlrabi plants from frost in a completely natural manner.

How to get rid of moss when growing kohlrabi?

Moss on the soil surface is a sign that the soil is too moist and that you should slow down your watering behavior so that the soil can dry up for some time and moss will vanish sooner or later.

Pests & Diseases

Can you grow kohlrabi without using pesticides?

The better the growing conditions you provide to kohlrabi plants, the stronger your plants will grow and the more resistant they will get to all sorts of pests.

Consequently, the better you care for your plants, the less likely it will be that you have to use pesticides.

Should you use natural or chemical pesticides for kohlrabi plants?

There are some cases where you will just need to use pesticides to keep your plants alive.

In such a situation, make sure to rely on natural pesticides instead of chemical ones to make your growing project as organic as possible and also to protect our environment in general.

What are the most common kohlrabi pests?

Loopers, cutworms and snails are just some of the pests you will need to keep away when growing kohlrabi.

There are many more of those hungry intruders out there that will try to feed on your plants.

How to protect kohlrabi against pests?

To get more information on how to keep away several garden pests, make sure to also have a look at how to control kohlrabi pests and diseases and also at my pest prevention guides.

Growing Difficulty

Is kohlrabi a good plant to grow for children?

Growing kohlrabi is great for children since it will not take that long to grow kohlrabi from seed to harvest and your kids will therefore see results relatively quickly and will not get bored with your growing project.

Is kohlrabi a good plant for a school project?

You can also grow kohlrabi quite well in your school garden.

This can be pretty nice since you can show school kids how to care for kohlrabi and how much work it actually takes to produce our food.

In turn, those kids will be more likely to appreciate their food and will also respect nature much more.

Is growing kohlrabi difficult?

While growing kohlrabi is not really difficult, you still need more knowledge than for growing tomatoes, carrots and many other garden plants since kohlrabi will just not forgive you many mistakes.

Hence, make sure to check out all the tips in this article to make your kohlrabi growing project a real success.

Harvest

What color does ripe kohlrabi have?

Mature kohlrabi has a light green color. Hence, wait until kohlrabi crops reach this color and until they reach a similar size to the kohlrabi crops you know from the grocery store before harvesting kohlrabi plants.

Can you save seeds from kohlrabi?

You will often not be able to harvest seeds from kohlrabi crops since kohlrabi plants only flower if temperatures fall below 45 degrees Fahrenheit for a longer period of time.

Hence, make sure to expose kohlrabi plants to the cold if you really want to save seeds from your plants.

Can kohlrabi get overripe?

Kohlrabi can also get overripe and may even rot if you don’t harvest it in time.

Thus, make sure to harvest kohlrabi crops once they have fully matured to get the best out of your growing project both in terms of flavor and nutrients.

What parts of a kohlrabi plant can you eat?

You can eat kohlrabi crops as well as the plant material around them.

However, many people just dispose of the plant material since it simply doesn’t taste as well and intensive as the crop itself.

Additional Questions

Is growing kohlrabi expensive?

Growing kohlrabi is not expensive at all and almost everyone will be able to afford it.

If you have a garden, you can grow kohlrabi at almost no cost at all since you just have to get some seeds and will be good to go.

If you want to grow kohlrabi in pots, you have to get some flower pots and some potting soil from the store and have to spend some additional bucks on it.

However, growing kohlrabi and other plants at home will still be a relatively cheap hobby.

Is growing kohlrabi fun?

Growing kohlrabi and other garden vegetables is not only quite interesting and you can really learn a lot, but it can also be quite a lot of fun to look at your plants and to see the progress they are making every day.

Does kohlrabi grow on trees?

Kohlrabi doesn’t grow on trees but rather grows in the center of a plant that grows on the soil surface.

If you haven’t seen kohlrabi plants before, make sure to check out one of the videos in this article.

Does kohlrabi grow from flowers?

Kohlrabi plants don’t grow from flowers. Hence, it is not a precondition that your plants flower to get decent kohlrabi yields and you should therefore rather focus on the growth progress instead of caring about whether your kohlrabi plants flower or not.

How many kohlrabi plants should you grow per pot?

Since kohlrabi plants can get quite big in the horizontal and need lots of space, you should never grow more than one kohlrabi plant per pot.

Also make sure to use big pots so that your plants get enough space and nutrients to grow well.

Which animals feed on kohlrabi?

Rodents like mice and squirrels are well-known to feed on kohlrabi plants.

Hence, make sure to install some protective measures to keep away those hungry intruders from your plants.

Will your pets eat kohlrabi plants?

If you keep rabbits or guinea pigs as pets, they will most likely also try to feed on your kohlrabi plants sooner or later.

Thus, make sure to separate your pets from your plants to avoid any damage.

Is kohlrabi toxic for pets?

While kohlrabi is not toxic for most pets, you should still make sure that your pets will not feed on your plants to avoid any possible issues in this regard and also to protect your plants at the same time.

Why kohlrabi grows small?

If kohlrabi plants grow small, this is a good indicator that you haven’t provided good growth conditions to your plants.

In such a case, make sure to use better soil and also to provide your plants with a better location in future years to get better results.

What to grow with kohlrabi?

There are many plants you should never grow with kohlrabi. Hence, make sure to have a look at the best and worst kohlrabi companion plants to learn what to grow with kohlrabi.

Can you grow kohlrabi from kohlrabi?

Growing kohlrabi from kohlrabi crops would not only be a huge waste of food, but it would also not work at all. Hence, instead of trying to grow kohlrabi from kohlrabi, make sure to grow kohlrabi from seed instead.

Can you grow kohlrabi from rotten fruits?

Growing kohlrabi from rotten fruits also doesn’t work and it would also be pretty unhygienic.

Thus, just dispose of those rotten fruits and don’t use them for growing purposes anymore.

Can you grow kohlrabi without seeds?

Growing kohlrabi without seeds is only possible if you use seedlings from the garden center.

This can make quite a lot of sense if it is already late in the growing season and you would no longer be able to grow kohlrabi from seed in time.

Do you have to pollinate kohlrabi by hand?

There is no need to pollinate kohlrabi by hand. Just let your plants grow and let nature do its work and you will be perfectly fine in this regard.

How to grow big kohlrabi?

The higher your expectation about the yields of your kohlrabi plants, the better the conditions you have to offer your plants.

Hence, if you want to harvest big kohlrabi crops, you also have to use high-quality soil and choose a spot where your plants get a healthy mix between sun and shade.

You should also make sure that your plants have enough space so that they don’t have to compete for nutrients with each other and that you water them on a regular basis.

Can you grow kohlrabi commercially?

Growing kohlrabi commercially is pretty difficult and cost-intentive and you would have to compete with pretty big companies out there.

Hence, to save you lots of nerves, you should rather grow kohlrabi for fun instead of building a whole business around it.

Can you grow kohlrabi from fresh seeds?

Growing kohlrabi from fresh seeds will be pretty hard since you will often just not get the opportunity to save any kohlrabi seeds at all since your plants will just not start to flower.

Moreover, instead of relying on fresh seeds, you may rather want to dry those seeds and store them in dark places in your home to use them later in the future.

Can you grow kohlrabi from dried seeds?

Growing kohlrabi from dried seeds is the easiest and most efficient manner to get healthy kohlrabi seedlings.

You can just get those seeds from the garden center or from an internet vendor anytime you want.

Can you grow kohlrabi from cuttings?

You could also try to grow kohlrabi from cuttings. Just make sure to have a backup plan if this fails since growing kohlrabi from cuttings is not easy at all and will require lots of experience in the gardening field.

Should you use a kohlrabi growing kit for growing kohlrabi?

You should not rely on a growing kit to grow kohlrabi. Instead, you should get some solid gardening equipment so that you can not only grow kohlrabi, but also various other plants for many years to come.

Does kohlrabi grow in the wild?

While some kohlrabi species will also grow in the wild, they will often look quite different and will also not produce the same crops you know from the grocery store.

Hence, you may have seen kohlrabi plants in nature before but still haven’t been able to recognize them as kohlrabis.

Should you talk to your kohlrabi plants?

Talking to kohlrabi plants is nothing more than a huge waste of time.

Thus, make sure to use your time on more important things that could have a real impact on your growing project instead.

Should you plant kohlrabi at half moon or full moon?

The moon phase you plant kohlrabi seeds also doesn’t matter for the success or failure of your growing project at all.

Consequently, just don’t care about whether you plant kohlrabi at full moon, half moon or new moon.

Now that you hopefully found the answers you were looking for, you may also want to have a look at my kohlrabi grower’s guide to get more information on how to grow kohlrabi from seed to harvest step-by-step.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kohlrabi

Own research and experience

About the Author

My name is Andreas and I’m really passionate about our environment and also about growing plants. In fact, I have grown several different plants over many years. I love to see my plants grow and also always try new things to improve my overall conditions at home.

In my blog posts, I want to share my experiences with you so that you can become successful in growing various different plants and improving your home as well, even though you might still be a beginner right now.

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