Everything You Need To Know About Growing Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a cool-weather crop that is native to the Mediterranean region and Asia with a large eatable flower head and stalk.

HOW TO PLANT CAULIFLOWER

Cauliflower is best grown in well-drained soil with full sun and a soil pH range of 6.5 through 7.0.

They can be sown straight into the soil after the last frost or as I prefer they can be started 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost indoors using a cardboard seed starting tray.

They are best planted in rows that are about 2 feet apart, about 3 feet apart in the row, and about one-half of an inch deep.

For best results, it is recommended before planting or sowing them to till compost into the soil, known as amending the soil.

This will provide nutrients to the soil, helps with water retention, and will help to keep the soil loose which will make it easier for the roots to grow.

FERTILIZING AND WATERING

To avoid any possible issues of over-fertilizing your cauliflower, you should test your soil before adding any fertilizers.

If the soil is balanced then they need a fertilizer that is a high-nitrogen fertilizer monthly for the most growth or a homemade liquid fertilizer.

They prefer soil that is consistently moist but not soaked and they will require about 1 to 2 inches of water per week.

HARVESTING

Cauliflower is ready for harvest between 50 and 100 days depending on the variety.

Harvesting is done with a sharp and clean pair of gardening shears or a knife, leaving between 2 to 3 inches of the main stem above the soil.

PROPAGATING

Cauliflowers are propagated through seed, therefore some plants should be allowed to go to seed for the following season.

PESTS

Cauliflower has many pests that feed on them but using natural methods such as attracting predators and using natural insecticides such as essential oils, diatomaceous earth, or insecticidal soap will keep your pest control organic.

  • Cabbage maggots
  • Cabbage looper
  • Cabbage moths
  • Cabbage worm
  • Aphids
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Whiteflies
  • Diamondback moth
  • Flea beetle
  • Swede midge

DISEASES

Cauliflower that is planted close together can develop mold and mildew issues during times of high humidity.

If this is the case then preventive measures may need to be taken.

  • Downy mildew
  • Powdery mildew
  • Damping off
  • Bacterial soft rot
  • Sclerotinia stem rot
  • Blackleg
  • Black rot
  • Clubroot
  • White rust
  • Alternaria leaf spot

Viruses

Plant viruses are caused by pests causing damage to a plant, therefore good pest management is a must.

  • Cauliflower mosaic virus

VARIETIES

There are several heirloom and hybrid varieties that are available in four colors which are orange, green, purple, and white.

SNOWBALL CAULIFLOWER

Snowball cauliflower is a heirloom variety that is from France that produce a 4 to 5 pound head.

  • Days to germinate – 4 to 10 days
  • Days to harvest – 50 to 70 days

PURPLE OF SICILY CAULIFLOWER

Violet of Sicily cauliflower is a heirloom variety that is from Italy one of the easier varieties to grow with a 2 to 3 pound head.

  • Days to germinate – 5 to 17 days
  • Days to harvest – about 90 days

MACERATA GREEN CAULIFLOWER

Macerata green cauliflower is a lime green heirloom variety from Italy with a 2 pound head.

  • Days to germinate – 8 to 10 days
  • Days to harvest – 60 – 70 days

Joel Simon

As a kid, Joel found enjoyment in caring for the many houseplants he grew up with, learning how to transplant them safely, cloning them, and more. At about the age of 10, he wanted to see if he could sprout an orange seed from a store-bought orange and ended up using it as a science experiment in a school project. Throughout the many years of gardening, he has helped many friends and family set up their food and botanical gardens. After years of caring for plants, he was talking with other gardeners and discovering old methods of farming and botanical gardening. Joel has decided to share his knowledge for others to enjoy as he has for many years.

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