Why is my cauliflower splitting?

This summer was not ideal for cauliflowers, so don’t be surprised if yours are separating into individual florets like the romanesco pictured…

Why does this happen?

The reason for this happening is simply down to growing conditions – the plant is stressed, probably from the hot, dry summer conditions that we had. The somewhat cold start to spring won’t have helped either.

Can I still eat them?

If you have lots of small florets instead of a single head then it is not the end of the world. You can still harvest them and eat them. They are quite good for throwing into a stir-fry of veggies.

Here are three things to do in the future

To help your cauliflower plants thrive next spring, try these top tips:

  1. Plant them further apart so that they can access nutrients more easily
  2. Plant them in a spot that gets a little shade in the afternoons to keep them cooler.
  3. Mulch your cauliflowers and keep them well watered. Again this will help to keep them cooler and with a more consistent soil temperature that they can handle.
  4. Firm them in really well when you plant them – their roots will benefit from the firm soil and help them as they grow.