Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family and is the most difficult vegetable to grow. It grows best in well fertilized, firm soil that does not receive a lot of sunlight.
Fact: Flower buds that have not opened are called cauliflower curds.
This type of cauliflower can be harvested in the summer.
A fast growing cauliflower that should be planted in the spring and can be harvested throughout the summer and fall.
A slow growing cauliflower that should be harvested in the winter or following spring depending on your climate.
How to plant:
Cauliflower seeds need temperatures of 70 degrees Fahrenheit to germinate; therefore it is best to plant the seeds about 3/4 inches deep in trays or pots, then transplant them into your garden. When starting your seeds in tray or pot it is important to protect them from frost.
The cauliflower plants are ready to be transplanted when they are about two inches tall. You should plant early summer and summer/autumn crops about 24 inches apart and winter/spring crops 28 inches apart or more. Cauliflower plants need to be watered regularly to ensure they grow properly. Do not let them dry out because they will not make it through the season.
Cauliflower plants are susceptible to the same pests and diseases as other vegetables in the cabbage family, the most common being aphids, cabbage worms and flea beetles.
You can harvest your heads of cauliflower when they are firm and tight, which is usually about 50 days after planting. Leave a few leaves around the head when you harvest your cauliflower to protect them from dirt and bruises. If you are planning on eating the cauliflower right away, you can remove all of the leaves. If you are harvesting in the summer and plan on storing your cauliflower, hang them upside down in a cool place.
- Text Copyright ©Alan Buckingham 2008. DK Edition. Growing Vegetables.