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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

Your comments and tips

14 Feb 17, John (Australia - temperate climate)
The legginess and leaning towards the light is a common feature of indoor grown seedlings. If you could find a light,airy spot outside that would be better. If you only have open places make a frame over them with some leafy branches or timber and an old net curtain. Keep the water up to them and they will 'harden off' as they grow. If they are still leggy when you are ready to plant them just plant them a bit deeper. Trust this helps.
27 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
I had this problem early this year. I replanted the seedlings so that they weren't so long out of the soil. Then I put my seedlings out in the open late arvo and brought them back in 8-9 am. A bit of work doing this and if you forget they could dried out with the midday sun. Or as suggested make a frame up and put some shade cloth over them. Some places have 50 -- 70 -- 90% shade cloth - put it over the top. A bit of time, effort and a few $$ will make it easier in the future. Or some people grow the plants indoors and use a light bulb over the top of them at night. Just a few inches above the seedlings.
12 Feb 17, Des (Australia - temperate climate)
G'day Mark, you could try a two metre fence, horses love green veg. For "Caterpillars", use Yates Nature's Way. It is organic and it stops the larvae eating. It takes longer to work but you will find almost instant results. Being organic there is no harm in using it almost up to harvest.
23 Jan 17, (Australia - temperate climate)
I plant all caterpillar eating veggies ie kale, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, in the one large bed and net it while they are still seedlings. No white butterflies can get to them.
20 Mar 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Over the last few years I have the problem of sparrows eating off all my new seedlings planted out in early Autumn. Planted out Honi Tsai Tai, rocket, snow peas, lettuce, beetroot, green and red cabbage the other week. I have a shade cloth over to reduce the heat this time of the year but it couldn't cover all the plants. The birds went to town eating them. I went on the internet and found anti bird netting. 10x 5m $25. about 15mm mesh. This will not only keep the birds out but also cabbage moths etc. Maybe even bean fly (might double the mesh over. I also found Chinese Hong Kong people who sell it very cheap 3x 6 or 10m for less than $3. 2-3 weeks postage. I will be able to grow broccoli again now and also start earlier and finish later with my veggie growing. All you need is some PVC pipe, some pieces of wood / metal pipe about 20" long, the netting and some stakes or something to lay on the netting on the ground to stop birds etc getting in.
27 Jun 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Further to my comments above. The cheap Chinese netting was useless. The $25 (10m x 5m) netting not the best either. I have found this on the internet - 10m x 6.5m White Cross Weave Hail Net / Bird Netting $80. It is rows of knitted cotton with a V shape running between the rows. Expensive but it will keep just about everything out. Birds, moths and probably flies and bees. The framework for the netting above was a lot of work to move to do any work in the garden. I have constructed 2 frames with 20mm conduit pipe - 2m x 2m x1m high. Had to buy the 3 way elbows on the internet to join it all together. A place that sells hot house/shade house stuff. They are a little flimsy but with two people are very easy to move around. I intend to also put some 50% shade cloth over them early and late in the year to extend my growing seasons. Hope this helps other people considering this.
17 Dec 16, Agnes Lynn (Australia - temperate climate)
OOPs. i bought the seedlings from Masters and planted them. I dont think i will get any but i will keep watering.
20 Mar 17, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Cauli is a winter crop - try planting now, March. I don't plant anything from August to Feb over summer - too hot (lots of watering and chance of lots of rain and wind). My soil is generally too rich and I just grow a big plant with no cauli head developing. I gave up trying to grow caulies 20 yrs ago. I fallow my ground during summer adding plant residue and grass clippings and turning it over a few times. Have pretty good soil when I plant in Feb/March. Plants just boom. Last year I had Savoy cabbage with leaves the size of a tennis racket in July/August - no head developed - other cabbage did head up though.
20 Dec 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Cauliflower is the same species as cabbage. If your plants don't form heads you can use the leaves in coleslaw, soup or stir fries. Unless you need the space for something else let them keep growing.
16 Jul 16, Rob (Australia - temperate climate)
Does anyone use neem oil for cabbage moth and grub? Do you have success? I just mixed 5ml of neem (80%) to 1ltr of water plus a squirt of detergent and sprayed my kale, cabbage and cauliflower seedlings. I'll see how it goes.... Do you think it will keep the green grubs off? My veggie patch is in Albion Park NSW 2527. What else is neem oil good for in the garden? Thanks, Rob.
Showing 11 - 20 of 156 comments

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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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