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Cauliflower Stat Summary

Plant Spacing: 15-24" (381-609 mm)
Row Spacing: 24-36" (609-914 mm)
Planting Depth: 1/2-3/4" (12-19 mm)
Plants Per Person: 3
Soil Temperature: 55-57°F (13-14°C)
Days to Emergence: 5-17
Recommended Soil PH: 6.0-7.5
Earliest Outdoor Planting: Around Last Frost
Tick Can direct seed outdoors
Tick Can seed indoors

Planting Cauliflower

Due to an intolerance to heat, start cauliflower indoors or in the greenhouse 4 to 6 weeks before the average last spring frost. Sow the seeds 1/2 to 3/4 inch deep in sterile seedling mix with a soil temperate around 60 degrees F. Keep the seedlings moist and nourished. When the seedlings are 4 to 6 weeks old and garden soil temperatures reach at least 50 degrees, transplant cauliflower about 15 to 24 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart.

A liquid starter fertilizer applied to the seedlings at time of transplanting will help get them off to a good start. Cauliflower grows best in well-drained, fertile garden soil that is high in organic matter; it prefers a pH of 6.0 to 7.5. For fall cauliflower crops, you can plant seeds directly into the garden in mid-summer.

Growing Cauliflower

Mulch around plants to protect shallow roots, reduce weed competition, and maintain cool and moist soil. When cauliflower head diameter reaches 2 to 3 inches, use a string or rubber band to secure outside leaves over the head; this helps preserve the white color and desired flavor.

Harvesting and Storing Cauliflower

Harvest when the head is fully developed: 6 to 8 inches in diameter, firm to touch and the flowerets just begin to separate. Over-ripe cauliflower has loose white curd with a "ricey" appearance. Use a sharp knife to cut the stem below the head, including a few leaves around the bottom. Cauliflower can be stored at a 34 degrees F temperature with 95% humidity.

Cauliflower Insect and Disease Information

Cabbage worms are small green larva of the cabbage white butterfly. You can use row covers to keep them from eating small plants; hand pick and destroy on older plants. Aphids can be periodically sprayed off with a stream of water. Keeping the soil pH at or above 7.2 will help suppress club-root; if needed, adding lime will raise your soil pH.

Cauliflower Yield Information

No yield information for Cauliflower.
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