The Q&A Archives: Cauliflower

Question: New at growing, need help !

Answer: Like other cabbage family members, cauliflower needs a soil rich in nitrogen and potassium, with enough organic matter to retain moisture. It's not difficult to grow, but it is sensitive to extreme temperatures. Cauliflower is primarily a cool-weather crop and won't produce heads in hot weather. Most cultivars need about two months of cool weather to mature, so plant yours now for a late fall harvest. Cauliflower requries constant moisture to produce large, tender heads; soil that dries out between waterings will cause heads to open up and become "ricey". Use a thick layer of compost or organic mulch to cut down on evaporation, keep weeds at a minimum, and cool the soil. Provide at least one inch of water per week, soaking the soil to a depth of six inches, to wet the entire root mass. When the flower heads are about the size of an egg, blanch them by shading out the sunlight. Otherwise they'll turn yellow. Just bend some of the leaves over the head and secure them with ties. Don't tie too tightly - you want to allow room for air circulation and for the heads to grow. Hope this information encourages you to grow some cauliflower!

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