Cauliflower - Key Growing Information
Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
Cauliflower is a cool-season crop that requires consistent temperatures to develop properly. It prefers full sun and fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.0. Like other brassicas, cauliflower benefits from rich soil amended with compost or well-rotted manure.
Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before the last frost date for spring planting. For fall harvests, sow seeds in mid to late summer. Cauliflower requires a steady supply of moisture and nutrients, so regular watering and fertilization are crucial.
Transplant seedlings outdoors when they are 4-6 inches tall, spacing them 18-24 inches apart in rows 24-36 inches apart. Water consistently to keep the soil evenly moist. Mulching helps retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
For more detailed instructions on growing cauliflower, including variety selection and care tips, refer to our comprehensive cauliflower grow guide.
Diseases, Insects, and Weeds
Common issues include cabbage worms, aphids, and clubroot. Use row covers to protect young plants and apply appropriate organic or chemical pest controls as needed. Crop rotation and good sanitation practices help prevent disease.
Harvest cauliflower when the heads are compact, white, and firm. Cut the head off the stem while leaving some of the surrounding leaves to protect it. If left too long, the heads can become ricey or discolored.
Storage and Preservation
Cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. For longer storage, it can be blanched and frozen. Cauliflower is also suitable for pickling or can be used in fermented dishes like kimchi.