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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

30 Jun 08, K Harrison (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi I have successfully grown a few Cauliflowers but have noticed that all the separate plants are growing all to a different length and I have also tried breaking off the leaves and draping them across the cores but they have all started going from brown to dark green and are not looking real good despite a great organic cow fertilizer soup, I would have thought that they would all grow to one big core, has anyone got any great idea's
06 Jul 08, rhonda khoury (Australia - temperate climate)
I am trying to grow cauliflowers successfully. The outer leaves which are long are going quite curly and look as if something is wrong. The head of the cauliflower is still very small and they have been in the ground for at least two months. Any ideas?
07 Jul 08, Beth (United Kingdom - cool/temperate climate)
I have Cauliflowers that have formed small heads which are visible. I suspect there is a problem as it is too soon for them to be mature. My query is- Will the head keep growing or should I harvest them now. I have covered the heads with outside cauli leaves to stop the sunlight yellowing them.
09 Jul 08, michael (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi again Liz I live in Perth (WA) and we are at our coldest and possibly wettest time now!! I have about 15 plants and want to reduce it to however will grow in the tubs I described. Do you think 6 would still be overcrowded?
11 Jul 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Michael, to get a good size curd from each plant, you will probably only fit three plants at the most in each tub. Cauliflower like plenty of organic matter and some lime to reduce soil acidity. They are fairly slow growing and do not like hot weather. Make sure the tubs do not dry out.
11 Jul 08, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi K Harrison, It is difficult to say what is wrong without seeing your plants. One possibility is frost damage. Can you take a piece of a damaged plant into your local nursery? They may be able to look up in some reference books for you.
15 Jul 08, Ros (Australia - temperate climate)
I had 8 cauliflowers growing beautifully, each had a small curd; but as the curds started to grow a bit bigger, they separated into lots of stems. Why did this happen, please?
31 Jul 08, teash (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Ros, I had the same issue with my cauli, they told me that it was a different type of cauliflower, it almost looks like a broccoli? I prefer this type actually, easier to cut when you need it.
21 Sep 08, Simon (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Hi, My cauliflowers have gone to seed does anyone know why
07 Oct 08, coral (Australia - temperate climate)
My last batch of cauliflowers have produced amazing foliage but no curds. We normally get great curds. What has gone wrong this time?
Showing 11 - 20 of 173 comments

Hi! Great article on cauliflowers, thanks! I'm in Melbourne, and I planted out my cauli as seedlings from Diggers in early July. One of the caulis went to head at the end of august, but none of the others are showing any signs of heading up. I've considered feeding them with seaweed emulsion, but I'm worried that will just promote more leaves. My broccoli has been and gone which I planted at the same time. It's starting to get warm, so I'm worried they've missed their moment? Do you think I should leave them longer or chop them out for the summer crop? Many thanks!! Lewis

- Lewis

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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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