Growing Cauliflower - Tips & Tricks for a Successful Harvest
Growing cauliflower can be a rewarding experience, but it does require some knowledge and preparation. To ensure success, there are several things to consider before planting.
Firstly, the temperature needs to be taken into account. Cauliflower doesn't do well in extreme heat, so it's best to plant in middle to late March when the weather is still cool. Some varieties need blanching with their own leaves while others don't.
Secondly, bugs can be an issue. Floating row covers on a wire frame can help protect against cabbage butterflies laying eggs on your plants. Alternatively, you can use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), an all natural organic spray or powder that will keep the eggs from hatching and developing into caterpillars. The product must be applied regularly for optimal results.
Thirdly, variety matters. Amazing has been found to be the most reliable variety with the best heads in Pennsylvania. It may not always be available as seedlings, so starting indoors under lights may be necessary.
Finally, adequate sunlight is needed for successful growth of cauliflower. A minimum of five hours of sun per day is recommended, though more would be ideal if possible. Shade can also provide relief from hot weather conditions.
In conclusion, growing cauliflower requires some planning and effort but can yield delicious results! With proper care and attention, even novice gardeners should find success in growing this vegetable.Be sure to take into account the temperature, bugs, variety and sunlight when planting. With these tips in mind, you should be able to enjoy a bountiful harvest of cauliflower!
Is it true that cauliflower can be inedible due to bugs?
Yes, it is true that cauliflower can be inedible due to bugs. To cope with the bugs, you can cover it with floating row cover or dust Bt on it which is an all natural organic spray or powder to keep the eggs from hatching and developing into caterpillars.
What happens if I don't have a sunny enough place for cauliflower?
If you don't have a sunny enough place for cauliflower, it doesn't do well in extreme heat. You can still grow some varieties of cauliflower that need blanched by its own leaves, or newer varieties that don't need blanching. However, you will need to provide at least 5 hours of sunlight per day.
What are the common problems when growing cauliflower?
Common problems when growing cauliflower include pinning (forming small heads prematurely) as a result of stress early in the season, temperature and moisture swings, transplanting shock, and summer heat coming on too early and strongly.
What is Bt and how does it work?
Bt is a bacteria that works by making the worms think they are full after one bite so they never eat again, eliminating the mess on your heads. It is not DE which is a natural abrasive which makes microscopic abrasions on the soft bodies causing them to dehydrate to death. We use liquid along with a spreader sticker to keep it on the plant. Otherwise dew will cause the product to bead up and roll off.
What variety of cauliflower should I get?
The most reliable variety with the best heads is Amazing. You may also want to try Snow Crop but it has been known to produce ugly heads about the size of golf balls.
When should I start planting my cauliflower seedlings?
You should start planting your cauliflower seedlings in middle to late March before the weather gets too hot. You can usually find Amazing as seedlings so you can start them indoors under lights. Hardening off your seedlings before planting out into the garden is also recommended.