Growing organic cauliflower in your garden
- Thrives in bright, sunny growing areas
- Self blanching and frost tolerant
- Naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins
- Light, vegetal scent and a mild, sweet, and subtly nutty flavor
Plant the best organic cauliflower for a successful harvest
Cauliflower has worked hard to improve its reputation. Many people are discovering how versatile this pale vegetable, which was traditionally considered bland and dull, can be. Organic cauliflower rice, perhaps? Cauliflower pizza, anyone? Grow your own and try out the many various ways this Brassica may be used.
Plan on transferring organic cauliflower seeds from indoors to outside two to four weeks before the last spring frost or six to eight weeks before the last fall frost to get a head start. Four to five weeks before transplanting, seeds should be started.
Growing conditions for organic cauliflower
Organic cauliflower seeds require soil that is healthy, well-drained, and wet, with lots of organic matter. The soil pH should be in the range of 6.5 to 6.8. Plant seeds in a bright location where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunshine each day.
Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep and thoroughly water them. Wrap the seeds in plastic wrap until they sprout. Remove the plastic from the seeds and set them under grow lights for 14 to 16 hours each day. Plants should be carefully hardened off and placed outside for one hour on the first day, with extra time added each day for around two weeks. After that, move your plant outside.
How to harvest organic cauliflower
In addition to typical rainfall, organic cauliflower plants require around two inches of water every week. Three to four weeks after transplanting, use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Following 50 to 100 days after seeding, most types will be ready to harvest. The heads should be compact, white, and solid, with a diameter of six to eight inches. To harvest, cut the plant's head with a big knife, leaving some leaves surrounding the head to protect it. Organic cauliflowers can be refrigerated in a plastic bag for up to one week.
The cauliflower head will divide if left unharvested, much like a budding flower. This is because the portion of the plant we usually consume is actually the flower buds of the cauliflower plant. To be more descriptive, the head of a cauliflower is a curd, which is a cluster of immature flower buds.
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for organic cauliflower seed, see the Cauliflower Seeds Planting Guide.