Cauliflower

As i have mentioned , this is the first year of trying to grow our own vegetables in the garden. as such we have to research everything, as well as seeking advice form the other allotment owners.
The cauliflowers we have are growing quite nicely so thought we would see how to ‘look after them, as such we produced the article below – hope its of benefit.

If you want to grow your own cauliflower then preparation of the soil is of prime importance.Dig the soil thoroughly, months (rather than weeks) before planting. This is because Cauliflowers grow well in a consolidated soil. Dig some manure into your soil.
Dig deeply into the soil, and make sure the PH is slightly alkaline, or neutral, adding Lime where necessary.

Sow cauliflower seed around 1/2 cm deep in individual seedling pots / trays. After germination place the seedlings in a well lit spot at around 60 deg F.

Seedlings take round about 6 weeks, then should be ready for hardening off before planting out. To harden the seedlings off,gradually increasing the amount of time the plants are left outside and the amount of sun the plants receive.This will take about a week.

Plant out your seedlings 60cm apart and if sowing in rows then space your rows 100cm apart.Apply fertiliser at this stage.To prevent any damage by cabbage flies, place Cabbage Root discs around their bases

Cauliflowers are a cool weather crop. Hot summer temperatures can reduce head development.Ideally cover the head with the plants leaves.Do not let soil dry out, this will produce small heads, you can apply a mulch to help water retention. It is best to harvest Cauliflowers before they reach full size, this gives a staggered crop.

On harvesting, cut them , and leave some leaves around it for protection. If left too long you will see that the florets will have started to open, or even discolour. It is best to harvest them 1st thing in the morning when it is coolest, they are at their best and are very succulent.

To store hang upside down and spray with a fine mist

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