Cauliflower can be finicky in the garden. Follower these cauliflower growing tips for a good harvest.
Sowing and Transplanting Cauliflower
- Cauliflower requires slow, steady growth in cool weather. Hot weather will cause cauliflower to bolt or button up (cold weather will also cause cauliflower to button—not form full-sized heads).
- Start cauliflower in early spring 4-6 weeks before the last frost then transplant seedlings after the last frost.
- In mild-winter regions start cauliflower in autumn to mature in the mild winter.
- Sow cauliflower seeds ¼-½” (6-13 mm) deep.
- Cauliflower seeds will germinate in 4-10 days at 65°F (18°C). If you sow seed indoors to start, choose a warm, well-lighted location—in a bright window or under grow lights.
- Cauliflower seedlings can be transplanted into the garden when they are 4-5 inches (10-13 cm) tall after the last frost.
- Move seedlings to a sheltered place outdoors to “harden off” 1 week before transplanting.
- Thin plants to 15” (37.5 cm) apart in a staggered pattern.
- Grow cauliflower in rich, well-drained soil, in full sun.
- Give cauliflower regular water keeping the soil evenly moist.
- Feed cauliflower every 3-4 weeks with fish emulsion or compost tea.
- Blanch curds to improve flavor; fold the outer leaves over the head and tie or pin them at the top with a rubber band
- Cauliflower matures 70-120 days after sowing; 55-80 days after transplanting.
- Cut cauliflower when the heads are firm and tight and reach 4-8” (10-20 cm) in diameter and curds are still tight.
- Cut the stalk just below the head. In warm weather, harvest about 4 days after tying the leaves for blanching.
- Store head unwashed and wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator.
Get more cauliflower growing details at: How to Grow Cauliflower