Cauliflower is another member of the brassica family. You will find it is a little more restricted by climatic conditions than other members of this family. Coupled with cauliflower seedlings and plants not responding well to interruptions in their growth cycle is their poor adaptability to extremes of temperature making cauliflower a little more challenging to grow successfully.
The edible portion is the single compact dome shaped head of immature flowers, these are commonly white but there are varieties that produce purple, orange or green heads. Head size varies with variety, ranging from 4-10 inches (10-25 cm) diameter.
Most new varieties are self blanching, which means they have a leaf growth pattern that curl over the head to form natural sun protection making the need for manual tying unnecessary. This is more important for white head varieties than others.
|Veggie Garden Dairy|
|Also Known As|
|Botanical||Family - Brassicaceae, Species - Brassica oleracea , Cultivar group - Botrytis Group|
|Plant Type||Cool season - annual - flowering vegetable|
|Frost Tolerance||Semi Hardy|
|Planting Position||Sunny position but welcomes shade in the hottest part of the season - requiring a minimum of 3-4 hours of direct sunlight daily.|
|Seed Viability||4 years|
|Germination||5-10 days at 50-80 F (10-27 C)|
|Growing Temp||55-75 F (13-24 C)|
|Seed to Transplant||5 - 7 weeks|
|Planting Method||Direct sow or Seedling transplants|
|When to Plant||Spring and again in mid-summer for fall-winter harvest|
|Time to Plant||As early as 1 - 2 weeks before the average date of the last 32 F (0 C) freeze in the spring in your area but not before soil temperatures are consistently above 50 F (10C)|
|Seed Sowing||Direct sowing cauliflower seeds - 1/2 inch (12 mm) deep - 4 inches (10 cm) apart in rows 24-30 inches (60-75 cm) apart.|
|Plant Spacing||Transplant or thin seedlings 12-18 inches (30-45 cm) apart in rows 24-30 inches (60-75 cm) apart or stagger plants 18 inches (45 cm) apart in each direction, for a grid.|
|Soil Conditions||Well drained - High organic matter - Rich fertility|
|Fertilizer||High fertilizer needs, 5-6 quarts per 100 sq feet (5.5-6.6 liters per 9.3 square meters) preplanting of All-Purpose 5-5-5 Organic Fertilizer , same rate for each side dressing.|
|When to Fertilize||2 weeks before sowing or transplanting - when transplanting use liquid starter fertilizer - side-dress every 3-4 weeks – last side-dressing as the heads begin to show.|
|Days to Harvest||65-75 days - depending on conditions and variety.|