For Cauliflower Lovers
Cauliflower is famous for its role as a crudite. Fresh, raw cauliflower seems to have become more popular than its cooked version. It’s actually a very attractive plant when you consider the tight, white florets that comprise an entire head of cauliflower. It has a green base that’s removed before cooking. Cauliflower is quite a tasty and nutritious vegetable that’s a popular garden choice. Like cabbage and Brussels Sprouts, it’s a very hardy plant that requires virtually little care. It grows best in longer growing seasons, as is the case with cabbage. There are several varieties of cauliflower available to gardeners today.
Soil Preparation – For a Successful Cauliflower Garden
Cauliflower may seem difficult to grow. The secret to successful cauliflower gardening is soil preparation. Cauliflower likes a dense soil rather than a sandy soil. To create a more compact soil, select the site in the garden where cauliflower will be planted. Add more compacted soil and allow to rest. The soil will be visibly set. This should be done in advance of planting cauliflower seeds or seedlings. Try adding compost material in autumn to give the soil the long winter to digest compost nutrients. A few months before planting begins, add fertilizer to the top layer of soil.
Start Cauliflower in a Cold Frame or Hot House
Cauliflower is sometimes started in a cold frame or hot house. Seedlings grown this way tend to be stronger and have a better survival rate. Add seeds to starter pots indoors in late winter to speed up germination. To insure the soil is firm, try tamping it down with the back of a garden spade before adding cauliflower seedlings. Locate cauliflower in a sunny spot in the garden.
Form planting rows about six inches apart to allow plenty of room for plant growth. In each row, dig long trenches and sow seeds close together. As seedlings appear, they can be spaced fairly close together. Separate seedlings when they begin to expand in size. There should be approximately four inches between each seedling. Water cauliflower as needed or when the soil at the base of the plant begins to lose moisture. Harvest will take place in about sixty days, depending on the specifics of the climate. When cauliflower florets have grown tightly into the head of the plant, give it a few days in the warm sun to insure it has matured sufficiently. Then, use a sharp knife to cut the head from the rest of the plant.
Grow Cauliflower in Pots
Cauliflower is another of those vegetables that looks great in large planter containers. Choose a colorful, decorative container and coordinate the container colors with the variety of cauliflower. Another decorative way to make use of bare yard space is to place several colorful kinds of cauliflower along sidewalks. This is an attractive garden addition that captures attention quickly. Arrange cauliflower in several large pots on a patio or backyard picnic area to give the landscape a decorative lift.