The Q&A Archives: Cauliflower Does Not Form Heads

Question: I have previously tried raising cauliflower with not much luck. Please give me some step by step directions as to when to fold the leaves around the head, etc.

Answer: A key to growing great cauliflower is to get plants off to a good start, and to keep them growing vigorously. If they lack water or nutrients, or suffer much setback from delayed transplanting, they really get upset and won't perform!

The "cole crops", which include cauliflower, broccoli, kohlrabi, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, need good nutrition and even moisture to do their best. Feed young plants weekly with a liquid fertilizer solution (fish emulsion and/or seaweed extract works great as an organic option). Cole crops prefer cool temperatures, so plan a spring or fall planting, avoiding the heat of mid-summer.

If you want "blanched white" cauliflower heads, pull the leaves together loosely over the plant when heads are the size of a golfball and tie them together with a piece of string or jute twine. Wait until harvest to remove the twine.

You may find that fall grown plants outperform spring plants in your location. Cauliflower perfers to mature in the cooler days of fall than in the hot days of summer.

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