Sunny spot with fertile soil
Full sun or partial shade with fertile & moisture-retentive soil is ideal. Add plenty of compost or organic matter before planting.
Raised beds and traditional plots
Cauliflower needs a bit of space so is better grown in raised beds or a well dug traditional veg patch.
How far apart?
About 50-60cm apart.
Firm in well
When you plant your cauliflower, be sure to firm them in well by pressing the soil down around the base of the plants.
Protect with brassica collar
You can make these easily out of cardboard. Cut a 10cm diameter disc, cut into the centre and make a slit so that you can pop it around the base of the plant. This is to prevent cabbage root fly larvae from hatching by the base of the plant and burying under the soil to eat the roots.
Protect from pigeons and butterflies
Pigeons love brassica plants and will easily destroy a crop of young plants in a morning. Meanwhile, cabbage white butterflies are attracted to brassicas and lay eggs on the leaves. When the eggs hatch, the caterpillars are quick to nibble away the leaves and strip the plant bare. To protect against both these pests, cover plants with fine netting.
As weather warms up it is important to keep cauliflower cool and to give them enough water. Try to keep the soil consistently moist rather than allowing it to dry out.
Wrap them up
Once heads start to form, it is a good idea to use a couple of leaves to protect them from the sun. All you need to do is bring a leaf around the head and tie it in place.
When to harvest
Harvest once the heads form and reach a sensible size, but before they start to open out.