Cauliflower All the Year Round
A popular and reliable variety with crisp white heads of tasty, tightly formed curds. The stocky compact stature of the plants ensure the heads are well protected by the large outer leaves. The large heads therefore remain in good condition for several weeks and can be harvested when required.
Sow outdoors March to June and September to October. Cauliflowers can be sown directly outdoors for ease. If possible choose a sunny location for best results. All brassicas like good fertile soil so it’s worth digging in a slow release fertiliser or some organic matter before you start. Sow directly where plants are to grow 1.5cm deep, in shallow trenches 25cm apart. Cover the seeds with fine soil and water well. Early and late sowings will benefit from cloche protection. Keep the soil moist and remove any weeds as they appear. When young plants are 10cm tall transplant them to a final spacing of 60cm apart. Plant seedlings deep, right up to the first set of leaves and be sure to firm the young plants in well to prevent the plants from rocking in the wind, which can damage their delicate roots. Keep the soil moist and remove any weeds as they appear.
Top Tips About Seeds
Once the seed packet has been opened, the seeds can be stored in an airtight container until required for further sowings. Cauliflower seeds will maintain their vigour for a good number of years.
Cauliflower is not recommended for patio containers.
Young brassica plants are a real favourite with pigeons and later in the summer caterpillars can also become a problem. If you use a fine enough netting, held well above the plants, this will stop both the pigeons eating the young leaves and the cabbage white butterflies from reaching the plants to lay their eggs. To prevent disease, rotate brassica crops so they are not grown in the same location for at least a couple of years.
Harvest from June to October. When the heads begin to develop, snap the large outer leaves of the plant and twist them around so that they cover the heads. This will protect the curds from direct sunlight, keeping them crisp and white.
Ideas for using your cauliflower
Drawing a little soil up around the stems of developing plants will help to prevent wind rock as the plants get larger. Check plants after windy weather and firm them in again if necessary. To prevent premature flowering give plants a really good soaking and a feed a week or so before harvesting begins and don’t let them dry out. If for some reason you miss a harvesting a head and it begins to flower, the tender parts are still good to eat, especially in stir-fries.
David Domoney is a Chartered Horticulturalist, Broadcaster, and Author. David has worked with a number of the UK’s leading garden retailers as a plant buyer and strategic consultant. With more than 30 years experience, in horticulture, David is as passionate about plants now as he was when he bought his first plant at a village fete.
Leave A Comment