How to Grow Cauliflowers

Growing Cauliflowers

How to Grow Cauliflowers Not an easy crop to grow well, particularly summer and autumn varieties, because any check to growth, such as drought, usually results in the curds splitting and running up to flowers well before they reach their proper size.

Soil requirements

Their main need is for a deep and fertile soil well supplied with organic matter and deeply dug, preferably well in advance of planting. Rich loams are best but light soils are fine as long as they have good organic matter, moisture and plant food reserves. All these encourage rapid growth and, hence, good quality plants.

Possible yield

2lb (0.9kg) per plant.

Time from Sowing to harvest

Varies widely; 3-4 months for summer and autumn varieties, 4-6 months for late autumn varieties and up to a year for those maturing in the spring.

Varieties

Spring maturing, ‘Aalsmeer’, ‘Mayflower’. July-October, ‘Aviso’. September-December ‘Moby Dick’. As with carrots, there are now some terrific ‘coloured’ varieties. For example,’GreenTrevi’ and ‘Alverda’ (green), ‘Sunset’ and ‘Cheddar’ (orange), ‘Graffiti’ (reddy purple), ‘Violet Queen’ and ‘Aviron’ (pure white). Another favourite of mine is the weirdly-shaped ‘Romanesco’ cauliflower ‘Veronica’ is a good selection but there are several others.

Sowing

Spring maturing varieties, late May. Summer and early autumn, mid-March to late April. Earliest summer crops are from an early February Sowing in a heated greenhouse. Autumn, mid-May.

Sow outdoors half an inch deep in a fine tilth. Water the seeds if necessary, and later the seedlings to keep them growing.

Transplanting

Those raised in heat should be hardened off and planted outside in mid-March. Spring maturing varieties, transplant mid-duly. Summer & early autumn, mid-May to mid-June. Autumn varieties, late June.

Cultivations

Keep hoeing to kill weeds. Give a pre-planting fertiliser dressing to summer and autumn varieties and never allow them to run short of water. Most varieties that have to stand the winter have self-protecting curds. However, if this is not working very well, snap off an outside leaf and lay it over the curd.

Pests and diseases

As for Brussels sprouts.

Harvesting

Cut cauliflowers before the curds start to ‘blow’ (open out), or before that, when you consider them large enough. Cutting in the morning on sunny days stops them going floppy in the heat of a summer’s day.

 

16. March 2011 by admin
Categories: Organics, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: , , | Comments Off on How to Grow Cauliflowers

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: