The Snowball Y Improved cauliflower is a popular open pollinated variety known for its vigorous, rapid growth and long harvest.
Learning Download: How to Grow Cauliflower
From Seed to Harvest: A beginner’s guide to growing cauliflower.
Cauliflower is a relative to broccoli and cabbage, and it is a cool-season vegetable, which makes it best for a fall harvest. It is a bit pickier than its green-budded relative, as it does not tolerate excessive heat or cold very well. Cauliflower requires consistent temperatures of around 60 degrees. Experienced gardeners may have more success with cauliflower than beginners.
Prior to planting cauliflower seeds, add compost to the soil. This prevents “buttoning,” which is when a cauliflower produces smaller, button-shaped heads rather than a large, full head. Inconsistent temperatures can also cause buttoning.
Begin cauliflower plants indoors four weeks before the last frost but increase that time to seven weeks before the last frost if the spring season is short. Transplant the seedlings outdoors two weeks before the last frost. Space transplants about 18 inches apart in rows set 30 inches apart. For fall cauliflower, plant it six to eight weeks before the first frost but after 75-degree days.
For spring cauliflower, cover the plants if it is projected to get too cold. For the fall crop, gardeners may need to shade their cauliflower if temperatures rise too high. Cauliflower takes nearly 80 days before it is ready to harvest. When the head is about 3 inches in diameter, tie outer leaves together with twine or a rubber band. This is called blanching, and it protects the head from the sun. The plant should be ready to harvest about a week or two after blanching.
Cauliflower heads should reach 6 to 8 inches in diameter before they are ready to harvest. The heads should be compact and firm. Heads may be smaller but already opening up and should therefore still be harvested. Course texture means the plant is over mature, and it should be pitched. To harvest, cut the cauliflower from the stem, leaving 2 inches of stem left on the head. To store it, place the head in a plastic bag and keep in the refrigerator.
What cauliflower craves:
Cauliflower requires full sun, and it does best in soil with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. This vegetable requires 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week.
Where to buy cauliflower seeds:
You can find white, orange, purple and green varietals of cauliflower at Urban Farmer.
Learning Download: Cauliflower Comparison Chart
Cauliflower Comparison Chart
|Variety||Days to Harvest||Color||Maturity||Cold Tolerance||Heat Tolerance|
|Cheddar||60-70||Dark orange||Early||Good||Very good|
|Graffiti||70-80||Purple||Midseason||Very good||Very good|
|Orange Dream||60-70||Pastel orange||Early||Good||Very good|
|Self Blanching**||60-70||White||Early||Very good||Good|
|Snowball Y Improved**||70-80||White||Midseason||Good||Good|
|Vitaverde||70||Green||Midseason||Very good||Very good|
*All American Selection Winner