Though a part of the cabbage family, a cauliflower plant needs much more care and attention, if you want it to grow properly. To reap best results, the crop should be planted three to four weeks before the last spring frost. Otherwise, the heat would leave a bitter taste in the cauliflower. Growing cauliflowers can be a difficult task if you do not make appropriate preparations. The first thing you should bear in mind is that cauliflower crops require a lot of space. So, you should have enough room to allow it to grow without hindrance. As for rest of the steps, the following lines will explain them in detail.
How To Grow Cauliflower
- Sow the cauliflower seeds indoors at least eight weeks before the last expected frost of spring.
- Remember, a cauliflower plant cannot tolerate heat. Hot temperatures reduce the head development of the plant. Transplant the seedlings, which must be around 6 inches tall by then, into the garden about three weeks before the last expected frost.
- Place the cauliflower plant about eighteen inches apart, in prepared garden soil. Make sure to pinch off the lowest leaves before planting. Envelop the roots with dirt until you reach the bottom leaves. Once this is done, make a ring of soil around each plant, so that it holds the moisture.
- Blanch the cauliflower head when it is between three and five inches across. This helps in blocking direct sunlight and keeps them sweet tasting and creamy white. It also protects cauliflower head from rain.
- For blanching, tie the leaves up, around the cauliflower head. Alternatively, you can also keep any other plant leaf over the head and tuck it.
- Harvesting the plant would depend on the variety of cauliflower you have. Mostly, it is ideal to harvest cauliflower when the heads are between six to twelve inches. Make sure that you harvest the vegetable before the tight flower buds open; else it would lose its sweetened taste.
- Alternatively, cauliflower plant can also be grown as a fall crop. In this case, the seeds should be sown directly into the ground in clusters of three or four. Make sure that each cluster is about 2 feet apart. If grown as a fall crop, the blanching phase would take a little longer.