Cauliflower thrives in cold temperatures, making it the perfect choice for your fall garden. This is how you can cultivate the superfood right in your yard.
Sun-loving cauliflower belongs to the same family with broccoli as well as the cabbage Brussels sprouts as well as turnips the entire family of cool-season leafy vegetables which thrive in the garden prior to and after the summer heat.
Cauliflower has been grown for long periods of time. It first appeared in its current appearance sometime between the 1500s to 1500s AD at an island in the Mediterranean island Cyprus due to fancy breeding techniques for natural cabbage plants by the humans. Cauliflower later spread into Turkey, Egypt, Italy, Spain, and Northwestern Europe. The plant was introduced to the New World with Europeans in the early 1700s.
Growing and planting cauliflower in autumn gardens can be considered an American custom. We consume this healthy veggie to make Indian curries North African stews, cheese-laden casseroles, and on raw vegetable platters. Cauliflower is so rich in nutrients that it’s often referred to as to be a superfood.
Cauliflower isn’t the most easy vegetable to cultivate. It’s extremely sensitive to temperature changes and requires cool weather to flourish. If you provide it with the conditions it requires it, you can cultivate the superfood right in your backyard.
The large, dense cauliflower head is known as the curd. It’s the portion you consume, and it is grown in the center of the plant. The most curds are produced when you grow the plant at cool temperatures, ranging between 50 to 70 degrees. The entire plant can be eaten, however most people tend to grow cauliflower to make heads.
The hot weather causes cauliflower to bolt, mature rapidly and begin to blossomthat is, it will stop producing curds, and will begin to produce flowering seeds and flowers. It will cease to be an edible plant. Therefore, as soon as the temperatures begin to rise, the cauliflower will be gone forever.
Certain types of cauliflower are ideal to plant in the spring since they are fast growing enough to make curds prior to the summer heat sets in. Planting the cauliflower in mid-summer for an autumn harvest is the best option for the majority of varieties.
The majority of cauliflower produces white curds or heads, however some varieties yield yellow, green, as well as purple head. It is necessary to blanch certain kinds of cauliflower in order to transform them into white. This is done with a cover that protects the cauliflower in direct sunlight for couple of days prior to harvesting. Others are self-blanching, and don’t require any help to become the snow white.
In cold climates, such as Zone 4 or lower, you can plant cauliflower throughout the summer. In warmer climates, such as Zone 8 or warmer, in which it is not frozen you can plant cauliflower all through winter. Cauliflower grows slowly, and requires more than 100 days (3 months) to mature and therefore you must begin your plant early in order so that it has time to develop heads.
Here’s what you should learn about growing cauliflower at your home.
Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea
Common Name: Cauliflower
Bloom Time: Spring
Genus: A biennial vegetable, however, it is grown as an annual
Hardiness Zones: 2 to 11
Start the cauliflower plant from seeds in the in the shade, about six weeks prior to the date of your last frost. Because cauliflower isn’t a fan of having the roots of its plant disturbed plant with seeds that are in peat containers or pots made of paper that allow you to transplant the entire pot to the soil.
Transfer the seedling to an area of sun in the garden when they’re between 4 and six inches high. You can purchase transplants from an establishment at this time as well.
Spread between 18 and 34 inches away. You should allow their outer leaves ample space to expand and grow.
To repel unwanted insects and deter pests Plant with the companion plant of cauliflower, such as beans.
Caring for Cauliflower
Cauliflower plants thrive in full sunlight. Make sure they get at minimum 6 hours of sunlight per day.
Give them between 1 and 2 inches water per week even if there isn’t any rain. They require well-drained soil and regular moisture in order to produce large, beautiful heads.
Cauliflower is a fan of cool weather however it is not tolerant of frost. And it is prone to suffering when temperatures exceed 80 degrees. That’s why it is important to plant it either before or following the heat of summer.
Plants should be mulched so that the soil stays cool and keep its roots wet.
It is recommended to fertilize every two weeks for a total of four weeks. Because cauliflower takes time to mature, it can take up to 3 months in certain varieties, it may require some extra nutrients from your.
When left alone the cauliflower heads tend to be yellowish-brown. If you wish the heads to appear white it’s best the cauliflower to be blanched. Begin to blanch cauliflower when the heads are about the size of an egg that’s large enough for a chicken. To blanch, fold the bigger leaf of cauliflower on the head and secure them to hold them in the correct position. The idea is to block sunlight from the head, while leaving enough room for the plant to continue to grow.
After you have tied the leaves make sure the head stays dry and watch for insects in the leaves tied.
Another method of blanching cauliflower is to put an unwashed plant in a bucket. Are you not interested in dealing by blanching? Plant a variety that is colored cauliflower or an auto-blanching variety that doesn’t require help to get its maximum color.
Most cauliflower require two months to mature from the moment you plant them into the gardens. Some varieties mature faster, while others develop slowly.
Harvest when the heads have reached the size you desire and the buds are tightly budged. If you leave the heads on the stalk for too long, they will are open and the taste of the flowers changes.
If you aren’t able to cook them immediately You can pick and keep them in a freezer. head cauliflower.
Pests and Diseases
Cauliflower is a target for the same pests that plague their cabbage relatives, which includes:
- Cabbage maggots, loopers and cabbage wormshorrible cauliflower-munching bugs that you can remove by hand.
- Aphids. They’ll suck the sap from the leaves and destroy the plant. Spray with organic pesticide.
- Flea beetles devour leafy plants. Take them off with your hands and then crush them.
- Black rot is a the yellow, V-shaped lesions show up on the leaves and cause it to turn brown and die. It’s caused by excessive watering and underwatering, or excessive fertilizer.
- The leaf’s tip is distorted and dies back is resulted from a nutritional deficiency. Fertilize using sea kelp to add boron to the soil to keep your cauliflower well-nourished and healthy.
Recommended Cauliflower Varieties
Purple heads that are rife with a delicious buttery sweet taste. It’s got the same antioxidants that are found in red wine, making it more nutritious than white cauliflower.
‘White Corona Hybrid’
The fast-growing cauliflower will produce a head in less than one month after transplanting seedlings. It can provide a large amount of superfoods in record time.
The variety you choose is much more resistant to heat than other varieties and produces large, bright orange heads with an nutty, buttery flavor. It matures in just two months, which makes it the best choice when you’re looking for a crop that’s quick.
Produces tiny, tender florets that appear similar to broccoli but taste similar to sweet cauliflower. The plants mature in only 85 days, just a few weeks earlier as other kinds, which means it’s an ideal choice when you’re in a short growing season.
Heirloom variety that yields traditional 6-inch white heads.