Brassica - oleracea
Organic Cauliflower Seeds, Cassius F1
Cassius organic cauliflower seeds produce very dark leaves that
are upright on a medium to large vigorous plant. Produces
mid-early, dense 6-8" wide domed white fruit for summer
Vegetable Garden - Tips on Growing Cauliflower Seeds - Brassica oleracea
50-85 Days to Harvest
Cauliflower is a little finicky however not difficult. One important thing to remember is that any insult to the plant will send the Cauliflower into a pout. Maybe resulting in a thumb sized button-head fruit or maybe none at all. By keeping this in mind just keep the seedlings growing in a steady pattern.
- Plan on setting out your spring started Cauliflower seedlings about 2-3 weeks before your last frost, not a bit earlier than this.
- They grow best in 68-70ºF/14-20º.
- Sow Cauliflower seeds ¼" deep in seed starting formula. Keep evenly moist.
- Seedlings emerge in about 5-8 days at 68-70º F. They will do better if covered lightly with soil.
- If you want a Fall crop, Cauliflower seeds may be started in May.
- Avoid having plants mature in hot weather as this will stunt the head development.
- Do not let Cauliflower seedling become more than 5 weeks old, as the older the
seedlings get they will not mature well transplanted.
- So I transplant the seedlings when plants are young and no taller than 6-7 inches, place firm soil well over the seedlings root system.
- Water the seedlings daily for several days after moving or transplanting them, and shade them as well to avoid shocking the young system.
- For the best heads- Cauliflower needs to be grown fast, rich soil that is not high in acid will help the growth.
- Set plants 18" apart in rows 24" apart.
- Transplant seedlings in late June through July for September through November head harvest.
USDA Hardiness Zone -First Frost Date- Last Frost Date
- Zone 1 -July 15th -June 15th
- Zone 2 -August 15th- May 15th
- Zone 3 -September 15th May 15th
- Zone 4 -September 15th May 15th
- Zone 5 -October 15th April 15th
- Zone 6 -October 15th April 15th
- Zone 7 -October 15th April 15th
- Zone 8 -November 15th March 15th
- Zone 9 -December 15th February 15th
- Zone 10 -December 15th January 31st (sometimes earlier)
- Zone 11 -No frost. No frost.
- Water deeply once a week in dry weather and cultivate or mulch to control weeds.
- When the heads are developing I break off the bottom leaf and lay it on the curd (the head that is developing) to keep out the light. This is for keeping head white. In the self-blanching varieties the leaves grow and wrap around the head to shade the head, also to keep the heads white.
- High fertility and abundant steady supply of water throughout the growing season are important.
The trick to growing great cauliflower instead of damaged cauliflower is to have consistently cool temperatures.
Any stress tips the balance toward premature heading, or “buttoning,” when the plant makes tiny button-sized heads.
This can happen when it’s too hot or too cold.
Cauliflower are like most vegetables that need at least 6 hours of full sun each day; more is better. It need are fertile, well-drained, moist soil with plenty of rich organic matter. The soil pH should be between 6.5 and 6.8 to avoid discourage club root disease and for optimum growth.
Good fertilizers would be to add nitrogen-rich amendments such as blood meal, or a composted manure to the soil. You can also apply a timed-release vegetable food such as 14-14-14 according to label directions. However make sure that you work the fertilizer into the soil thoroughly before planting. If you want a jump start boost you can use liquid starter fertilizer such as fish emulsion or 20-20-20 at planting. Make sure to follow the directions and dilute according to label.
You should fertilize plants again with a liquid fertilizer such as fish emulsion or 20-20-20 soon after they begin to develop their new leaves and again when they start forming their heads.
To be sure about pH, test the soil with a pH meter. Apply fertilizer and lime using the results of the soil test as a guide.
- Soil pH is a measurement of the number of Hydrogen ions present in the soil solution along with as the acidity of the soil.
When the soil pH is too acidic the nutrients that are present in the soil become locked-up or unavailable (low pH) or alkaline (high pH).
- Correcting the pH has the same effect as applying fertilizer as it unlocks plant nutrients already present.
- In the garden some garden plants thrive in acidic soils while others prefer an alkaline soil.
- The acidity or alkalinity of soil is a measurement by pH (potential
Hydrogen ions). pH is a way to measure the amount of lime (calcium) contained in your soil, and the type of soil that you have.
To Measure Soil pH
It is recommended that you use a relatively inexpensive, and follow the manufacturers instructions when testing the pH Level of your Gardens soil.
To raise or lower the pH level in the soil either Limestone or Sulfur is utilized.
Other materials will accomplish the same results; however the two that are listed are the most commonly used.
Limestone is added to the soil to raise the pH level because limestone is essentially calcium and calcium reacts with water in the soil to yield hydroxyl ions .. a process known as, hydrolysis = thus the pH level in the soil is raised.
Sulfur reacts with bacteria in the soil and produces sulfuric acid, which releases hydrogen ions thus causing the soil to become more acidic =the pH level is lowered.
Application Of Lime (To Raise Soil pH)
To increase your pH by 1.0 point and make your soil more alkaline.
- Add 4 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in sandy soils
- Add 8 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in loamy soils
- Add 12 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in clay soils
- Add 25 ounces of hydrated lime per square yard in peaty soils
- The addition of ash, bone meal, or crushed oyster shells will also help to raise soil pH levels.
Application of Sulfur (To Lower Soil pH)
If your soil needs to be more acidic, sulfur will lower the pH if it is available.
To reduce the soil pH by 1.0 point
Remember, Cauliflower plants need an even moisture supply to avoid stress. And stress causes ugly plants.
Another tip for keeping the heads white would be when the cauliflower heads are at least 2 inches wide, you may want to pull the leaves up over the little head and close them with a clothespin or something that will keep it closed. This will shade the head and ensure it will be whiter and tender at harvest, the term is (called blanching). Most Cauliflowers are suppose to self blanch in which the leaves naturally curl over the head, but do watch them as they often need the help of someone to help this process out.
Usually the heads will be ready in about a week or so after you tie up the leaves. It is important to leave the heads to grow as long as it can stay compact and try to keep it so it can grow to 5-6 inches in diameter. If however the head begins to open up or separate in any way, cut it from the plant at the base of the neck no matter how small it is because at this point it will only decline in quality. You can keep the head in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks.
- Mix in 1.2 oz of ground rock sulfur per square yard if the soil is sandy
- Mix in 3.6 oz per square yard for all other soils.
- Composted leaves, wood chips, sawdust, leaf mold and peat moss, will also help to lower the soil pH.