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Growing Cauliflower

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S S P                

(Best months for growing Cauliflower in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 50°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 24 - 39 inches apart
  • Harvest in 15-22 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chili, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Mature cauliflower
    Mature cauliflower

Large leafed cabbage-like with a white 'curd' or flower forming in the centre. It can be hard to grow successfully. More frost sensitive than most brassicas, it's also not particularly heat tolerant. They tend to fail if stressed when transplanting.

Watch for cabbage white butterfly. Grow better in cooler temperatures. Not suitable for warm areas. Break a leaf over the head to prevent the curd becoming discoloured

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cauliflower

Cauliflower can be steamed.
Young ones can be broken into small pieces and added raw to salad.
Cook briefly and add to curry mix.
Traditionally served with cheese sauce.
Add tomato slices for colour.

Your comments and tips

19 Oct 07, Pat Milliken (Unknown climate)
Is the curd still edible once it has become discoloured?
12 Jan 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The cauliflower curd is edible if it is slightly yellowed. It will have a stronger flavour, not always acceptable. Sunlight causes discolouration and this is worse in warmer climates.
22 Jan 08, Chris (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
You can crack the leaf stems and fold the leaves over the curd to reduce discolouring.
22 Jan 08, graeme (Unknown climate)
yes you can put a leaf over to stop discolouring
04 Mar 08, caTh-eeee-riNe (Unknown climate)
how does a cauliflower grow?
24 May 08, annie (Unknown climate)
Once the curd has started how long do you wait until it is ready to pick?
01 Jun 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Annie, the curd keeps growing for quite a while but it is best picked while still white and firm. Each plant will grow at a different rate so they won't all be ready together.
01 Jun 08, michael (Unknown climate)
Liz, can I still plant now? Also how much room does a single plant need? I want to grow cauli in large tubs if possible. They are about 2 by 5 feet in size and about 2 deep.
19 Jun 08, Louisa (Unknown climate)
how much sun do they need?
21 Jun 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Michael, I don't know which climate area you are in, but you can still plant out cauliflower seedlings during colder weather. In tubs, protected from frost they should grow well. They will spread their leaves to about 1 1/2 x 2 feet (40x60cm),bigger leaves mean better sized curds.
Showing 1 - 10 of 156 comments

how much sun do they need?

- Louisa

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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