Cauliflower Success – Diary of a Rocket Gardener

Look at my beautiful little cauliflower popping his head out finally! This plant was planted at the beginning of May, but didn’t seem to be doing much. Towards the end of July I posted about these as it is my first time growing cauliflower and back then there was no sign of the heads forming. I wasn’t convinced I’d get anything from them, but I decided to give them a liquid feed, tread them in well and hope for the best. So I am delighted to see that my patience has paid off.

Here’s what I have learnt about growing cauliflowers (which I shall be trying next spring!):

  1. They like really fertile soil, so it is a good idea to add plenty of organic compost before planting. Also I think it must be a good idea to apply a liquid feed mid-season like I did this year.
  2. They should be firmed in really well. This helps them enormously when it comes to forming a cauliflower head that doesn’t disappoint. I think this is where I went wrong this year when I planted mine.
  3. When planting out, you can plant them deep so that the first leaves sit just above ground level. I didn’t know this but am definitely going to try it next season.
  4. They need regular watering during dry spells – apparently you shouldn’t neglect them as much as I did!
  5. They like consistency. Any dramatic changes in temperature, water, soil nutrition etc can make them panic and you won’t get great cauliflowers from them.
  6. Once the leaves open out to reveal the cauliflower curd/head they’ll start discolouring, so it is best to wrap some of the larger leaves around the developing head and secure them with an elastic band.
  7. Harvest before the individual florets start to open up. (Ah, I’d better harvest this one then!!)