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Growing & Caring for Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a cool-weather crop that is a bit temperamental and sensitive to heat and cold. It requires temperatures to stay consistent in the 60s and forms large white heads. Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family and is high in vitamins.

How to Grow Cauliflower:

*Because Cauliflower is sensitive to both heat and cold, most cauliflower is grown commercially. Should you choose to grow your own, it is generally recommended to get transplants instead of starting from seed. Should you choose to start from seed anyhow, we’ve compiled information for you to get you off on the right start.

Indoors

  • Seeds should be started indoors 4-5 weeks before your last spring frost.
  • Plant the broccoli seed about a half inch below the surface of the soil.

Outdoors

  • Plant the seeds in rows 3 to 6 inches apart and 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch deep in a warm, sunny area of your garden that will get at least 6 hours of full sun each day.
  • If you happen to overseed, thin seedlings out to 12″ .

Transplanting

  • Transplant cauliflower 2-4 weeks before the last spring frost.
  • Space 18-24″ apart in rows spaced 30″ apart.

Harvest

  • Harvest when the heads get compact, white, and  firm and have a diameter of about 6-8″. Cut at a diagonal.
  • You can store cauliflower in a loose plastic bag for up to a week in the refrigerator.
  • You can blanch , freeze, or pickle heads.

Growing Tips

  • Plant your cauliflower where you know you will get at least  6 hours of full sun every day.
  • Your soil pH should be between 6.5-6.8 for cauliflower to really do great.
  • Keep your watering consistent. Cauliflower needs 1 – 1 1/2″ of water each week.
  • When watering, be sure not to get developing heads wet.
  • Cauliflower heads will start out loose and form one larger head as it grows.
  • Cauliflower roots stay near the surface of the soil so use mulch for weeds rather than pulling them and disturbing the root system.
  • When the head reaches 2-3″ in diameter, use a rubber band to tie the outer leaves loosely over the head to protect from the sun and bugs. This will help get the nice white color we associate with cauliflower.

Pests to Watch For:

  • Aphids
  • Cabbage Worms
  • Clubroot
  • Black Rot
  • Nitrogen Deficiency -Try side dressing with Azomite to add some nitrogen during transplanting.

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