If you’ve ever been disappointed by your cauliflower plants, then this article is for you! The main problems experienced when growing cauliflower is that either the plants bolt (due to hot, dry weather) or that the heads are in some way not quite right – they can be, for example, surprisingly tiny, loosely formed or a shade of yellow rather than white. To get the best out of them, follow these top tips:
- Add plenty of organic matter, i.e. compost or well rotted manure, to the soil ahead of planting
- Don’t crowd them – aim to leave 60cm between plants
- Firm in cauliflower seedlings really well when you plant them out.
- Mulch beds to help keep moisture in.
- Keep soil evenly moist with regular watering and do not let it dry out during dry spells.
- Avoid extremes in temperature – if there is a cold spell in spring, protect young plants with a cloche. If it gets really hot, keep them well watered and mulched (as above) to keep the soil cool.
- Tie one or two leaves from the plant around the developing head. This will protect it from the sun, leaving you with whiter and tighter heads.