Cauliflower Growing Guide

All you need to know to grow successfully!

Plant Family:
Brassicaceae
Plant Type:
Annual

Square Foot Spacing:

1
Typical Season:
Cool season
Typical Zones Grown In:
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
Growing Difficulty:
Moderate

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is closely related to broccoli, kale, and cabbage. It has a compact head, also known as a curd, made up of tightly packed flower buds that can be white, green, or purple in color. Cauliflower has a mild, nutty flavor that makes it a versatile ingredient in a wide range of dishes, including soups, stews, and stir-fries. It is a good source of vitamins C and K, as well as fiber and other beneficial nutrients. Cauliflower is a cool-season crop that prefers well-draining soil and plenty of sunlight.

Brief Growing Guide

  1. Soil Preparation: Cauliflower prefers well-draining soil with a pH level between 6.0 to 7.0. Amend the soil with compost, aged manure or other organic matter to improve soil fertility.
  2. Planting: Start cauliflower seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost. Once the seedlings have grown to about 4 inches tall, transplant them outside. Space plants 18-24 inches apart in rows that are 24-36 inches apart. You can also plant cauliflower directly outdoors after the last frost date.
  3. Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water at the base of the plant to avoid getting water on the leaves, which can lead to fungal disease.
  4. Fertilization: Apply a balanced organic fertilizer or compost tea every 2-3 weeks throughout the growing season to promote healthy growth.
  5. Pest and Disease Control: Cauliflower is susceptible to pests such as aphids, cabbage worms, and flea beetles. Use organic insecticides or companion planting with beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings to control pests. Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew and black rot can also affect cauliflower. Use organic fungicides and avoid overhead watering to prevent fungal growth.
  6. Harvesting: Harvest cauliflower when the heads are firm and the curd is about 6-8 inches in diameter. Cut the stem below the head, leaving a few leaves intact. Store cauliflower in the refrigerator until ready to use.

By following these steps, you can successfully grow healthy and delicious cauliflower organically.

 

Planting Guidelines

The following are general guides to follow. However, nothing is set in stone. Feel free to experiment!

How to Start:
Start Indoor
When to Direct Sow:
When to Start Indoors:
March, April, May, June, July
Sprouting Time:
7-10 days

Ideal Temperature (C):

10-30
Depth:
5mm (¼”) deep
Spacing (cm):
45-60cm
Row Spacing (cm):
60-90cm
Sun Exposure:
Full Sun
Maturity Time:
50-100 days
When To Harvest:
May, June, July, August, September, October, November
How to Harvest:
Once curd forms, check every day and cut when the florets are just beginning to separate. At this point the flavour is at peak quality and the size is maximum.

Health Benefits

Growing your own food is one of the best things you can do for your health. Let’s check out some of the health benefits!

Is It Edible?
Yes
Edible Parts:
Stems, leaves, head
Potential Health Benefits:
Nutrient-Dense, Digestive System, Antioxidant, Weight Loss

Tips to Growing Organically

Growing without the use of pesticides and herbicides is easier than you may think and it’s better for the environment!

Companion Plants:
Chamomile, Dill, Mint, Rosemary, Sage
What Plants to Avoid:
Eggplant, Pepper, Potato, Tomato
Common Pests:
Slugs and snails, Flea Beetles, Cabbage root maggot, cabbage aphids, cabbage worms
Common Disease:
Prevent disease with a strict 4-year crop rotation, avoiding planting Brassicas in the same spot more than once every four years.
Bonus Grow Tips:
Overwintered types are only hardy down to -12 to -19°C (16 to -5°F).

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