Growing Cauliflower at Home
Cauliflower can be grown with minimal care and limited space like containers. Cauliflower’s health benefits include vitamin C and fiber. It is sensitive to extreme temperatures. Primarily a cool-weather crop, cauliflower won’t produce heads in hot weather. Try below tips for success. It is known as ‘Phool Gobhi’ locally in India.
Cauliflower is grown by seeds. It can be propagated by seedlings purchased from garden centre / nursery also. If you are willing to grow in container then container sized 12 inch deep 12 inch wide should be used. Container bigger than this would be great.
Sow seeds half inch deep in soil bed. Maintain spacing of 18 inch in all direction.
Soil pH should be in range of 6-7. Cauliflower requires trace elements like Boron for growth and an alkaline soil is boron deficient so alkaline soil should be avoided. Good source of trace elements is rock phosphate and granite dust. Or use soil rich in organic matter as it is hardly boron deficient.
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Sun / Temperature
Cauliflower plant should receive 6-8 hrs of sunlight each day.
Provide at least 1 inch of water a week, soaking the soil to the depth of 6 inches. Cauliflower needs constant moisture to produce large, tender heads; soil that dries out between watering will cause heads to open up and become ‘ricey’. Use a thick layer of mulch to cut down on evaporation and weeds and cool the soil. Be careful not to disturb roots when weeding as damaged roots produce uneven growth.
Give young plants monthly light feedings with fish emulsion or compost tea. To speed up growth feed every 2 weeks.
Process of shading out the sunlight so that cauliflower heads do not turn yellowish or brownish. Prepare plants for blanching on a sunny afternoon when the plants are totally dry as damp heads tends to rot. Just bend some of plants’ own leaves above head and tuck them in on opposite sides. Keep some room for air circulation for heads to grow.
Blanching is not needed when you are growing lime green, orange, purple heads or ‘self blanching’ varieties.
Mature heads can range in size from 6 inches to 12 inches across. Harvest when the buds are still tight and unopened. With sharp knife cut them off just below the head.
Use 1 cup flour + 2 tablespoons of cayenne pepper and sprinkle all over the garden. The mixture will keep worms away from plants.
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