Rich, deep soil, firm with plenty of well rotted compost dug in.Add a slow release organic fertiliser to the planting hole before transplanting.Sow in seedtrays or pots as they take quite a while to reach transplanting stage and during that time a quick summer crop can be grown and harvested in the garden.Our Garden Planner can produce a personalised calendar of when to sow, plant and harvest for your area.Use fine mesh or fleece over the summer to prevent butterflies laying eggs on the underside of leaves - caterpillars can destroy these plants.Harvest when the head has fully developed, but before the curd becomes loose, with a "ricey" appearance. .

How to Grow Broccoli, Cauliflower and Other Brassicas

If you have a summer vegetable garden, you probably grow tomatoes, cucumbers and even carrots, but have you ever grown broccoli and cauliflower?Brassicas are a group of vegetables in the mustard family including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts and kale.Broccoli is hardy and can germinate in cold weather as low as 40º F. Fall planting is recommended if you live in a warm climate.Most brassica vegetables are susceptible to pests and diseases such as aphids, cabbageworm, clubroot and black rot.For fall planting, sow seeds directly in the ground 85 to 100 days before your region's typical first frost.Broccoli is ready to harvest 45 to 60 days from sowing depending on the variety and growing conditions.

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Cauliflower

Botrytis)2012Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries2012 Printed and published by Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Compiled by Directorate Plant Production Private Bag X250 PRETORIA 0001 Tel Fax E-mail+27 12 319 6072 +27 12 319 6372 [email protected] Design and layout by Directorate Communication Services Obtainable from Resource Centre Directorate Communication Services Private Bag X144 PRETORIA 0001Disclaimer This document has been compiled by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and thoroughness of the information contained herein, and the department cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies in such information and data, whether inadvertent or otherwise.The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, therefore, accepts no liability that can be incurred resulting from the use of this informationContent General aspects ................................................................................... 1 Cultivation practices ..............................................................................

5 Post-havest handling ............................................................................ 31 Production schedule ..............................................................................

33 References ........................................................................................... 35GENERAL ASPECTS Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae.Typically, only the head (the white curd) of aborted floral meristems is eaten, while the stalk and surrounding thick, green leaves are used in vegetable broth or discarded.Its name is from Latin caulis (cabbage) and flower, an acknowledgment of its unusual place among a family of food plants which normally produces only leafy greens for eating.botrytis L.

Common names: Cauliflower Family name: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)Origin and distribution Cauliflower traces its ancestry back to the wild cabbage, a plant thought to have originated in ancient Asia Minor, which resembled kale or collards more than the vegetable that we now know it to be.The cauliflower went through many transformations and reappeared in the Mediterranean region, where it has been an important vegetable in Turkey and Italy since at least 600 BC.It gained popularity in France in the mid-16th century and was subsequently cultivated in Northern Europe and the British Isles.The United States, France, Italy, India and China are countries that produce significant quantities of cauliflower.Major production areas in South Africa Cauliflower performs and grows well in most parts of the country, ranging from Brits and Marble Hall, the central Free State, cool Lowveld areas, Eastern Free State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga Highveld, KwaZulu-Natal coastal area, KwaZulu-Natal interior, Eastern Cape, Limpopo (Marble Hall and Groblersdal), North West, Northern Cape, Western Cape, warm Lowveld areas, Southern Cape, Polokwane and Dendron.Description of the plant Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, is in the same plant family as broccoli, kale, cabbage and collards.Leaves Surrounding the curd are ribbed, coarse green leaves that protect it from sunlight, impeding the development of chlorophyll.Flowers The flowers are attached to a central stalk.Seeds Seeds are head shaped.The head of a cauliflower, also called a “curd,” is a group of tightly packed flower buds that have not fully developed.The buds are attached to fleshy stalks where most of the nutrients for their growth are stored.SeasonSummerEarly summerSummerAutumn, Winter, SpringWinterYear roundYear roundYear roundYear roundVarietySynergySabadelTSX C40LagardoAranoHuntsmenJuneauTSX C22White Gold75–8070–7590–12090–120MediumMedium to largeMedium to largeMediumMedium to largeMedium90–12090– 20MediumLargeMedium to largePlant type75–8070–8085–110Days to maturity0,5–80,6–1,20,8–1,51–1,70,8–1,50,8–1,51–1,2Big0,8–1,5 kgHead mass (kg)Fresh greenWhiteWhiteCream whiteWhiteCream whiteWhiteWhiteWhiteColourTriangularDomeDeep roundBall to domeDeep roundBall to domeDomeDomeDeep roundShapeGood standing ability, strong against riceyness and red discolourationIdeal for prepack and freezing, Blackrot tolerantReasonable heat and cold tolerance, processing (freezing) and fresh marketStandard for mild summers and wintersIdeal for prepack and freezingFresh market, freezing and prepackHolds well in field, tolerant to blackrotFresh market and industryReasonable heat and cold tolerance, processing (freezing) and fresh marketRemarksCultivarsCauliflower cultivars are discussed in the following table.Climatic requirements Temperature The brassica family is quite cold resistant, making them well adapted to cool season production.Fluctuating temperatures may induce some cauliflower cultivars which have started heading, to revert to the vegetative phase, which results in poor-quality curds.Soil requirements Soil fertility Recommendations for supplemental organic matter, fertiliser, lime or manure should be based on a soil test and a nutrient management plan.Excessive use of manure may contribute to tip burn, hollow stem, internal browning, head rot and other problems.About four to five weeks are required to produce transplants, therefore for early production, seeding in the middle of March is recommended.Spacing Spacing between rows should be 91 or 102 cm.Transplanting Plants may be grown in plastic plug trays/plant cells, or in peat blocks (e.g. Jiffy pots).Old or large cauliflower plants and those grown at low temperatures (10 to 15 °C) are likely to button (form heads prematurely) and bolt if exposed to a period of cool weather after field setting.Nitrogen deficient plant leaves are light green, eventually turning yellow and may be shed.Phosphorus is important for root development and cool, wet soil conditions hamper its uptake.Deficiency symptoms include slow growth and delayed maturity.POTASSIUM A soil test will determine the level of potassium requirements.Magnesium application rates Foliar appliedSoil appliedSourceComposition Mg (%)Nutrient (kg/1 000 l)Product (kg/1 000 l)Product (kg/ha)ProductSulphate of potash magnesia Epsom salts1130270 kg/ha10,51,91830285 kg/ha6–13120–2602 t/haDolomitic limeMICRONUTRIENTS Boron: Boron deficiency may cause hollow stem, stem discolouration, cracking, leaf rolling, deformed buds as well as browning of cauliflower curds.Whiptail results in a deformed growing point, causing no head to develop, as well as leaf blades consisting mostly of midribs.In the case of direct seeding, plan to irrigate every three days until the seedlings are established.Steady, even growth of cauliflower plants is necessary for high quality and yields.Weeds compete with the intended crop for nutrients, which can lead to a reduction in harvest as well as a delay in plant maturation.In addition, weeds provide a habitat for insects, nematodes and diseases and can reduce the efficacy of spray-applied pest control materials by interfering with pesticide deposition.However, it essentially involves growing different groups of crops on the same piece of land in successive years.Stale seedbed is a technique whereby the planting bed is made early, under dry conditions, water may be applied and weeds are allowed to germinate and grow.Care must be taken to avoid fields where herbicide residue from previous years persists in the soil as crop injury may occur.Cultural control practices No-till methods of planting cauliflower have been successful.Cauliflower is transplanted on existing beds from a previous lettuce crop and weeds are controlled through mechanical cultivation.The canopy created by the cauliflower stand also shades the underlying soiland inhibits the germination of weed seeds.The summer broadleaf weeds most frequently found between the months of August and October are pigweed (Amaranthus spp.The winter broadleaf weeds most commonly found between the months of November and March are black mustard (Brassica nigra ), wild radish (Raphanus sativus ), shepherd’s-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), London rocket (Sisymbrium irio), cheeseweed (Malva parviflora), sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus), knotweed (Polygonum sp.), annual yellow sweet clover (Melilotus indicus), prickly lettuce (Lactuca serriola), and nettle-leaf goosefoot (Chenopodium murale).A properly levelled field is important to prevent the buildup of water in isolated areas, especially when utilising furrow irrigation.IPM is a proactive approach to pest management, rather than just a reaction to pests as they occur.Cabbage maggot The cabbage maggot or cabbage fly (Delia redicum) adults fly close to the ground near brassica plants and lay elliptical, white eggs on the stems of crops or in nearby crevices in the soil.Cultural controls include covering young plants with a floating row cover to prevent the flies from depositing eggs after plant emergence, and intercropping clovers or other legumes to prevent the flies from finding open ground near a brassica stem.If using pesticide controls, scout plants frequently and treat when damage is first observed.Caterpillar pests The imported cabbage worm (Pieris rapae), cabbage looper (Trichoplusia orichalcea), diamondback moth (Plutella xylostella) and purple-backed cabbageworm (Evergestis pallidata) are all pests of cauliflower.There are also some commercially available parasitic wasps that sting and parasitise the eggs and larvae of caterpillars; these include Trichogramma spp., Copidosoma spp., Apanteles spp., Diadegma spp., and Hyposoter spp.Cultural controls include pheromone emitters to disrupt mating, evening overhead sprinkler irrigation, and placement of floating row covers over young crops to exclude egg-laying females.For cauliflower, the threshold guidelines are 20 to 30% before heading and 5 to10% after heading.Cutworms Cutworms (Agrotis ipsilon) are greyish, fleshy caterpillars up to 5 cm long, which curl up when disturbed.Check the plants frequently and treat when damage is first observed.Aphids The cabbage aphid, Brevicoryne brassicae, is a major pest of cole crops worldwide.A colony consists of winged and wingless adults and various sizes of nymphs.13Aphids may be black, yellow or pink, but mostly are various shades of green.Control: Biological control options include maintaining high numbers of the following natural predators which are frequently found in the field: syrphid flies, lacewings and predaceous midges produce larvae which will feed on aphids and the adults and larvae of minute pirate bugs, big-eyed bugs, lady beetles, soldier beetles and parasitic wasps like Diaeretiella rapae will also consume aphids.Cultural controls include using high-pressure sprinkler irrigation to knock the insects off of plants, as well as using living mulch such as clover interplanted with the crop.Green peach aphid can stunt seedlings if populations are particularly heavy, but pose little threat to more mature plants because it feeds on older leaves and rarely attacks the cauliflower heads or “curds”.If the insect becomes established inside the cauliflower, foliar insecticidal applications, which rely on contact poisoning, become ineffective.Flea beetles can seriously damage seedlings and transplants, and to a lesser extent larger plants, by chewing small pinholes through the leaves.Trap crops such as Chinese type cabbages, radishes or collards can be used, living mulches or polycultures are further possibilities.Using white or yellow sticky traps every 4,5 to 9 m and making sure to destroy plant debris are also good cultural control practices.They feed on cauliflower curds, causing brown blemishes or streaks which reduce the marketability of the head.Because slugs can overwinter fairly easily, cultural practices aimed at controlling them should begin at least one year before the susceptible crop is put in.A cultivated strip around the crop has been shown to reduce the number of slugs migrating from weedy field borders.Nematodes are parasitic, microscopic roundworms less than 4 mm in length and live on the roots and surrounding soil of all vegetable crops.In the case of the sugarbeet cyst nematode (H. schachtii), cole crops, beets, spinach and related weeds have all been shown to harbour large populations (UC IPM, 1997).Rootknot nematodes produce small, distinct galls from the size of a pinhead to one inch in diameter.Nematodes, usually in the egg stage, overwinter in the soil in decaying vegetable matter, where they may persist for long periods of time.Nematodes primarily cause an overall stunting of the plant, wilting, small head formation and lower yields.As a result of these swellings, water and nutrient flow are restricted within the plant, which causes the above-ground parts to wilt, turn colour and look stunted.Control: There are seven steps that can be taken to reduce the occurrence of this disease;17Isolate (if possible) or avoid the use of infested fields for brassica crops for about seven years.Live steam delivered at 690 kPa pressure for five minutes is the best method to disinfect equipment.Control susceptible weeds whenever possible.Clubroot seems to thrive best in moist, acid soils, therefore wet, poorly drained land should be avoided or the drainage improved.Use clubroot-free transplants.Small black spots (1 to 2 mm in diameter) appear on the leaves, later turning into a tan colour with target-like, concentric rings.The disease causes small, brown, sunken lesions and decay of cauliflower curds, under very wet conditions.Alternaria is a secondary fungus; it usually invades the plant after it has been damaged by other pests or management practices.Practise long rotations between cole crops, avoid overhead irrigation and make sure that plant debris is incorporated.Keep the storage temperature at 0 °C and relative humidity at 92% to 95%.Downey mildew This disease is caused by the fungus Peronospora parasitica.Once infected, the plant shows white, fuzzy masses in patches on the underside of leaves, stems and heads.A water soaked area completely encircles the stem near the soil line and the seedling wilts and topples over.Early signs of black leg appear as small spots on the leaves of young plants.Stem lesions at the soil line usually extend to the root system, causing dark cankers.Good air and water drainage is critical in controlling this disease, along with avoiding water on the crop in the afternoons and evenings.Black rot Black rot is caused by the bacterium Xanthomonas campestris and can live in the soil for one year without another cole crop being present.Humid, rainy conditions favour the disease, which is usually spread by splashing rain or irrigation water.The veins become dark and discolouration frequently extends to the main stem and proceeds upward and downward.Fields that have poor drainage, compacted soil and/or high green organic matter are the most susceptible to damping off.Cultural control: All residue from the previous crop should be plowed under and completely decomposed before planting cauliflower.It is best to plant when the soil is warm, as this will speed up germination and allow the crop to quickly reach a resistant stage of growth.Fields should be deeply plowed after harvest to kill off bacteria and speed up the decay of plant debris.Infection often occurs on cauliflower that is stored at warm temperatures, or if heat is allowed to accumulate in the storage containers.The crevices formed by the immature flower buds are capable of holding water, creating an ideal environment for bacterial growth.The infected portions of the plant can develop a brown colour and the wet rot is often accompanied by a foul odour.Cultural control: Crops should be cultivated carefully, to prevent damage to the plant that could provide an entryway for bacterial infection.Post-harvest control: Cauliflower should be handled carefully to avoid bruising and damage that will leave the plant susceptible to infection.It is important to keep the storage facility free of soft rot bacteria by immediately destroying any infected plants and maintaining a clean facility.Other cultivations practices Cauliflower blanching The commercial cauliflower varieties grown in most areas are self-blanching, meaning they have inner wrapper leaves that are large enough to cover the curd and protect it from discolouration caused by the sun.The usual method to exclude light is to tie the outer leaves when the curd is 8 cm in diameter.A proper rotation will include growing different botanical families on the same piece of land, in sequential seasons.Botanical familyVegetable cropsAsteraceaeLettuce, endive, artichoke, radicchioAlliaceaeLeeks, garlic, onionChenopodiaceaeSpinach, Swiss chard, beetrootBrassicaceaeBroccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, turnip, kohlrabi, radishCucurbitaceaeWinter squash, summer squash, watermelons, muskmelons, cucumbers, pumpkinsPoaceaeSweet cornFabaceaeBeans, peas, groundnutsSolanaceaeTomato, eggplant, peppers, potatoesApiaceaeCarrots, parsley, parsnip, fennelBy rotating crops that leave a high volume of residue in the soil, soil fertility can be enhanced naturally.Crop rotation plays a key role in an IPM programme by aiding in the suppression of diseases, insects and weeds.Tillage practices and timings are different for each crop group, resulting in a decrease in a weed’s ability to establish permanently.Generally foliar growth slows down after buttoning, resulting in too few nutrients to nourish the curd to marketable size.Eventually secondary rots cause the leaves to become mushy and smear over the curds, making them unmarketable.Dense plantings will maintain even growth rates and decrease the occurrence of hollow stem.This defect is attributed to high temperatures during curd development and is aggravated by overmaturity and with rapid growth and heavy N side-dressing.The occurrence of whiptail, a molybdenum deficiency disorder, may contribute to this problem by making it difficult to tie plants, or provide adequate leaf cover, to shield the heads from sunlight.In sensitive varieties (Snowball types), purpling may be aggravated by overmaturity or poor leaf cover that causes heads, or portions of them, to be exposed to light.Internal cavitation and discolouration: Recent research at Oregon State University indicates that these disorders increase with rising rates of nitrogen and water.For summer-planted, fall-harvested cauliflower,28other causes for blind heads reported are: Growth point damage from insects (larvae of the diamond-back moth, thrips, lygus bug, diabrotica, and certain cutworms), and rodents.Also moisture stress and damage from certain insecticide solvents during periods of high temperature (over 90 °F if these occur just at the beginning stages of curd initiation) have also been implicated.It is also thought that the latter conditions may be aggravated by factors that limit root growth (herbicide, moisture, compaction, etc.).Frost damage: In general, varieties with good curd protection and dense heads would be less sensitive to early fall radiation frosts (where temperature of plant tissue falls below the temperature of ambient air because of radiant heat loss to the clear night sky) that results in discolouration of the curd surface.Witches broom: A proliferation of axillary shoots occurs as a result of damage to the growth point.It may be caused by poor fertility, insect damage, disease, genetic defects and low temperature.Winds that are strong and carry sand can cause abrasion of the leaves and render them susceptible to secondary infections.Symptoms include stunted plants, thick, dark leaves, yellowing or burning at the leaf margin and roots that are orange in colour and rough in appearance.Inadequate molybdenum will cause whip-29tail, a disease that results in a deformed growth point and wrinkled, straplike leaves.However, it is usually not possible to replenish an element after the stand has been established.Harvesting and handling Harvest the curds when they are fully developed, compact and before they grow loose or separate and become ricey, generally some days after they have become visible.A good curd must be regular in shape, globular, firm and white, orange or purple in colour, depending on the cultivar.When the cauliflower heads are to be transported in flat crates, the upper part of the foliage is generally removed.Field wrapping trimmed heads in perforated cellophane or plastic bags prior to cooling and storing minimises dehydration and protects the curds from being soiled.Care must be taken to minimise handling because any physical damage may result in later development of speckling or browning of curds during storage and marketing.Harvest season/period The cauliflower harvest season begins in late July and ends in late October, depending on the weather.Harvesting methods Cauliflower is generally hand harvested, using a knife.Cauliflower should be harvested when the head is approximately 15 cm in diameter, the curds are still compact and white and the leaves are still healthy and green.In the packinghouse cauliflower is inspected for defects, trimmed, washed with mildly chlorinated water and then packaged.Much of the cauliflower now marketed is closely trimmed of leaves, prepackaged in perforated film overwraps, and packed in fibreboard containers.The overwraps should provide four to six ¼ cm holes per head to allow adequate ventilation.Storage Cauliflower for processing is not normally stored.Canadian researchers found that a humidity of 98 to 100% was satisfactory for cauliflower, mainly because it allowed even less weight loss to occur than that at 90 to 95%.When it is desirable to hold cauliflower temporarily out of cold storage, packing in crushed ice will aid in keeping it fresh.Low carbohydrate dieters can use cauliflower as a reasonable substitute for potatoes; while they can produce a similar texture, or mouth feel, they lack the starch of potatoes.Nutritional value Cauliflower is low in fat, but high in dietary fibre, folate, water, and vitamin C, possessing a high nutritional density.Cauliflower contains several phytochemicals, usually occurring in the cabbage family that may be beneficial to human health.A high intake of cauliflower has been associated with reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer.34REFERENCES Kerns D.L., Palumbo J.C.

& Byrne D.N.Insect pest management guidelines for cole crops, cucurbits, lettuce and leafy green vegetables.http://www.extension.umn.edu/distribution/horticulture/M1247.htmlFurther information can be obtained from Directorate Plant Production Private Bag X250 PRETORIA 0001 Tel 012 319 6072 Fax 012 319 6372 E-mail [email protected] 35NOTES ..................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................... ..................................................................................................................... .....................................................................................................................

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Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Chart for South Africa

Firstly, abundance — in season produce costs much less as it’s more readily available and doesn’t have to be flown from halfway across the world.It’s been ripened (hopefully) naturally by the weather conditions it’s most suited to and hasn’t been refrigerated for extended periods of time. .

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