Like its cousin broccoli, the tightly bunched florets of cauliflower are connected by a thick core, often with a few light leaves surrounding it. .
Cauliflower Grow Guide
Rich, deep soil, firm with plenty of well rotted compost dug in.Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.Use fine mesh or exclusion netting over the warmer months to prevent butterflies laying eggs on the underside of leaves - caterpillars can destroy these plants.Protect against birds which can damage the young seedlings and overwintering crops.Harvest when the head has fully developed, but before the curd becomes loose, with a "ricey" appearance. .
How To Grow Cauliflowers
They need a deep rich soil and must be kept well watered throughout the season.I highly recommend sowing your cauliflower in modular trays.Sow 1 or 2 seeds per module.If 2 seeds germinate you will have to remove the weaker seedling.If 2 cauliflower seedlings have germinated in any of your modules you need to remove the weaker one.Watering It's important to keep you seedlings properly watered before you plant them out in the garden.You are actually far better to under rather than over water your plants.Planting Out Cauliflower plants should be planted 60cm between plants and 60cm between rows.Cauliflower plants should be planted 60cm between plants and 60cm between rows.To plant your seedling make a hole in the soil the approximate size of the seedling 'plug'.You need to push the soil in around the roots firmly with your fingers to get good contact with the soil.Don't firm down on the top of the soil as this can compact it and prevent moisture getting down to the plants roots. .
Cauliflower Growing Problems and Solutions
Summer-planted cauliflower for fall harvest will be both easier to grow and more flavorful–cauliflower prefers to leisurely mature in cool weather.Start the fall cauliflower crop at the same time you plant late cabbage.Cabbage maggot is a small gray-white, legless worm to ⅓-inch long; adult is the cabbage root fly, looks like a housefly.Apply lime or wood ashes around the base of plants; time planting to avoid insect growth cycle.• Seeds rot or seedlings collapse with dark water-soaked stems as soon as they appear.Do not plant in cold, moist soil.They chew stems, roots, and leaves.• Young sprouts fail to grow or die back; bluish-black spot on leaves and stems.Remove and destroy infected plants; keep the garden free of plant debris.Protect young plants from cold weather with floating row covers; set transplants into the garden no sooner than 1 to 3 weeks before the last average frost date in spring.• Plant wilts; roots are swollen and misshapen, roots rot.Remove and destroy infected plants including soil around roots.Clubroot is found in acid soils; add lime if soil pH below 7.2.Cabbage yellows is caused by the Fusarium soil fungus that infects plants usually where the soil is warm.Check soil before planting; hand pick and destroy pests; flood the soil if wireworms are present.• Leaves have whitish or yellowish spots; leaves are deformed; plant wilts.Handpick and destroy bugs and egg masses.Keep garden free of crop residue and weeds where bugs breed.Remove garden debris and weeds where bugs can overwinter.• Tiny shot-holes in leaves of seedlings.Spade garden soil deeply to destroy larvae in earl spring.• Leaves partially eaten; leaves webbed together; eggs in rows on undersides of leaves.(2) Armyworms are dark green caterpillars the larvae of a mottled gray moth with a wingspan of 1½ inches.Armyworms mass and eat leaves, stems, and roots of many crops.• Leaves chewed; tunnels inside cabbage and cauliflower heads.Imported cabbage worm is a pale green caterpillar with yellow stripes to about 1¼ inches long; the adult is a white moth with two or three black spots on the forewing.Destroy all remains and weeds after harvest.• Leaves and head become pale green; leaves wilt; slimy rot develops.Grow plants so that they mature in the cool, moist weather of autumn.Planting.Plant cauliflower in full sun in cool regions; where the weather is warm plant cauliflower in afternoon shade.Start cauliflower indoors and transplant it out into the garden about 4 to 5 weeks after seedlings emerge.Seedlings started indoors in early spring should be hardened off before they go into the garden; set seedlings outside for a few hours each day for a week or so before transplanting them out.Mulch cauliflower beds to keep the soil cool and conserve soil moisture. .
How to Grow Cauliflower
Botanical Name Brassica oleracea (Botrytis group) Common Name Cauliflower Plant Type Biennial, grown as an annual Mature Size 12 to 30 inches tall, 12 to 24 inches wide Sun Exposure Full Sun Soil Type Rich, well-draining Soil pH Neutral (6.0 to 7.0) Bloom Time Spring, fall Flower Color White, orange, purple, green Hardiness Zones 2 to 11 Native Area Europe.How to Plant Cauliflower.The soil should be well-draining, but cauliflower needs consistent moisture, to prevent buttoning (growth of very small flower heads in place of a single large head).Provide at least 1 inch of water per week, and make sure it is soaking 6 to 8 inches into the soil.Leaving the soil dry in hot weather will cause the buds to open slightly, making the heads "ricey" rather than forming tight curds.It begins to suffer in temperatures above 80 degrees Fahrenheit, which is why it's typically planted in spring or fall and harvested before or after the hottest days of summer.Mulch the plants at planting time, to keep the soil cool and help retain moisture..Feed every two to four weeks with an organic fertilizer, such as kelp or fish emulsion.Cauliflower Varieties.: Lime green varieties with nice flavor and no blanching required; matures in 60 to 65 days Snow crown f1 : One of the easier-to-grow white varieties with some frost-tolerance and a short season; matures in 50 to 55 days.: One of the easier-to-grow white varieties with some frost-tolerance and a short season; matures in 50 to 55 days Di sicilia violetta : Also called violetta of Sicily or some other derivation; beautiful purple, Italian heirloom with a sweet, nutty flavor; matures in 70 to 80 days.: Also called violetta of Sicily or some other derivation; beautiful purple, Italian heirloom with a sweet, nutty flavor; matures in 70 to 80 days Cheddar f1: Pretty orange heads that are slow to bolt; matures in 55 to 60 days.Colored Cauliflower.Blanching Cauliflower.White cauliflower will need to be blanched if you want it to remain white.Don't fit the leaves too tightly; block the light but leave room for the head to expand.Since they will not form heads in warm weather and can handle only a light frost, be sure to choose a variety that will have enough time to mature in your climate.Common Pests and Diseases. .
How to Harvest and Store Cauliflower
Harvest cauliflower when heads are 6 to 8 inches (15-20 cm) in diameter but still compact and smooth.When curds fully loosen, the head is called “ricey” and is not good for eating.Cut heads with a sharp knife leaving about 3 inches of stem to keep the florets intact.Store cauliflower in a cold and moist place, 32°-40°F (0°-4°C) and 95 percent relative humidity.Wrap unwashed cauliflower in a damp cloth or paper towel and put it in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable crisper drawer of the refrigerator; this will maintain humidity.As an alternative to keeping cauliflower in the refrigerator, you can store it in a cold location—at just above 32°F (0°C)—such as a root cellar, basement, shed, or garage. .