Growing Cauliflower the Coolest Cole Crop

Growing Cauliflower the Coolest Cole Crop

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If you really want to challenge yourself, consider growing cauliflower! This plant is a bit picky, but it produces awesome results that are worth it. During the entire growing season, pay special attention to the temperature and watering. During the harvest, you will be rewarded with beautiful white cauliflower heads or one of the many colors available!

Cauliflower is much more varied than you might think. Many species have a bright color, ranging from sunset orange to bright purple. You can even find a different texture from the classic curd. In fact, cauliflower is often grown only because of its ornamental value.

This vegetable is grown in cool weather, which is good news for northerners. He likes temperatures around 60°F, so it’s usually spring or fall (or both!). When picking cauliflower, you can eat the stem and leaves, as well as the head. From a health point of view, this vegetable is becoming very popular thanks to its many beneficial nutrients.

Once you have mastered cauliflower, nothing will prevent you from growing other cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli or kale. Testing your skills with cauliflower cannot open up more possibilities for your garden. So, let’s learn all about cauliflower, how to grow it and its many unique properties.

Quick maintenance guide

All about cauliflower

This sounds like a redundant question, but is cauliflower a flower? Yes! The name seems true, unlike many other misleading names in the botanical world (I’m looking at you, pineapple).

The edible and compacted head is actually a mass of undeveloped flower buds. Under the grapes or cottage cheese are large leaves resembling lettuce leaves. Once they are large enough, gardeners often wrap and tie the leaves around their heads to protect them from the sun. When it is allowed to plant seeds, the cauliflower is “screwed”, forming small yellow flowers with seed pods.

It is believed that cauliflower grows in the North-eastern Mediterranean. It was only in the 1700s that it became popular in the rest of Europe. In the 20th century, this vegetable finally took root in the United States, the third largest country where it is grown.

You can probably tell that cauliflower and broccoli are closely related, but what you may not know is that they and many other common vegetables are actually the same species. Brassica oleracea is divided into many varieties, including white cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, kohlrabi and, of course, broccoli and cauliflower.

The group, or variety, Botrytis includes cauliflower of many colors and shapes. The light green cauliflower Romanesco (broccoflore) has a pointed shape that recalls the view of a pine forest from a bird’s eye view. The most typical cauliflower has a softer, cloud-like shape.

If you want more color, few things can complement the extravagant purple varieties like the graffiti hybrid. You can also find this yellow-orange colored vegetable, like the Cheddar variety, which contains many more nutrients than the original white. Of course, she is unlikely to clean the surface of all varieties, so have fun choosing which cauliflower to plant!

Usually grown in the United States as an annual plant, cauliflower can act as a tender two-year-old plant in colder climates. Higher temperatures are necessary for the flower to fully open, which means that after spring or early summer can bring a shower of bright yellow flowers.

Cauliflower planting

Perhaps the most important aspect of studying the cultivation of cauliflower is to pay attention to the temperature. When and where you are going to plant will greatly affect the quality, so you need to plan for this. Spring and autumn usually provide the ideal time for growing cauliflower, while the summers are too saturated.

Sow the cauliflower seeds 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Plant them at least 7 weeks in advance if you live in a short-ripening region. Choose fertile, well-drained soil and plant each seed to a depth of ½ inch. Germination lasts about 10 days, during which it is necessary to keep the soil moist and covered with a film. When the shoots appear, remove the coating and place the container in sunlight.

You can transplant young cauliflower seedlings 2-4 weeks before the last frosts. If you buy seedlings instead of seeds, they can also be planted at this time. Whatever you choose, temper the seedlings first so that they can get used to the temperature change. Place the containers outside every day more and more often. Do this for a week or more before taking them to a permanent place. To place the cauliflowers, plant them 24 inches apart, with a distance between the rows of 2 to 3 feet. To keep the soil moist, add mulch on top.

Because they have shallow roots, you can easily grow cauliflower in pots instead of the earth. Be sure to plant it at a distance of 24 inches, half an inch deep, and provide enough water.

If you want to grow the crop even in the fall, start planting the seeds at the beginning of July. Transplant them in mid-August so that they are ready for harvesting before the onset of frost. Choose a cool place for planting so that the heat after the summer does not affect their growth.

Care

Sun and temperature

For cauliflower plants, full sun is preferable as long as the temperature is under control. Your plants need a stable temperature of about 60°F. Anything above 80°F can impair growth. Conversely, a constant temperature before freezing can have a similar effect.

Prolonged exposure to the sun can turn the cauliflower head brown-green and acquire a strong taste. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but can ruin your dreams of growing beautiful food. This can happen with cauliflower of any color, although some varieties, of course, protect the head from light.

Fortunately, you can give the head color yourself by lightening the plant. All you have to do is wrap the outer leaves around the head and secure them with an elastic band or string. Do this as soon as the head is the size of an egg and keep it until harvest. Make sure that the plant is dry before bleaching so as not to retain moisture.

Water and humidity

Cauliflower needs a lot of water, at least an inch a week. Water it deeply and often so that the soil does not dry out. Insufficient watering leads to a decrease in the head and a violation of the uniformity of cottage cheese. Needless to say, these plants are not drought-resistant!

Try to water only the soil and keep the leaves and the head dry, especially after bleaching. Water in the morning so that the sun dries up all the water that hits the plant. The use of immersion hoses at the base of the plant also reduces the risk of water getting on the foliage. Mulching can help keep the soil moist.

Floor

Choose loamy, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. It should retain water well, but not enough to drown the roots. This can be achieved by adding organic fertilizers to the soil, such as composted cow manure or horse manure. Screw castings can also be used to retain moisture.

Fertilization

Use nitrogen-rich fertilizers to grow cauliflower heads. The first application of the soil should be carried out about a month after transplantation. After that, apply side bandages every 2-4 weeks. If you can’t find a good nitrogen-rich fertilizer, opt for a balanced organic formula optimized for vegetables.

You can use granular or liquid fertilizer by changing the application schedule in accordance with the application instructions on the package. It can be a heavy fertilization, especially in terms of nitrogen, so it is useful to start with a rich soil.

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