Cauliflower is a cool season vegetable that prefers sunny locations and fertile, deep, well-drained soil. For more information on cauliflower,
VARIETIES: There are several good cauliflower varieties that grow well in Utah, Early Snowball, Snow Crown and White Contessa in particular.
Before planting, incorporate up to 2 to 4 inches of well-composted organic matter and apply 2 to 4 cups of all-purpose fertilizer per 100 square feet. Work this into the top 6 to 8 inches of soil. For more information on soil preparation, click here.
- Seeded or transplanted cauliflower should be spaced 12 to 18 inches between plants in the row with rows 2 to 3 inches apart.
- Cauliflower grows best when temperatures do not exceed 75°F.
- Extreme temperature variations can decrease plant growth, lower yields and decrease head quality.
- Cauliflower grown from transplants should be sown five to six weeks before the expected planting date in the garden.
Irrigation: While watering requirements depend on soil type, it is best to establish a regular watering schedule. One should water cauliflower deeply while trying to maintain even soil moisture. One to 2 inches of water per week are need and drip irrigation is encouraged to conserve water. For more information on watering, click here.
Fertilization: Apply ½ cup per 10 feet of row with a nitrogen-based fertilizer four weeks after transplanting or thinning. This encourages vigorous leaf growth which in necessary for high yields. Place the fertilizer 6 inches to the side of the plants and irrigate it into the soil. For more information on fertilizing, click here.
Harvest: As the head enlarges, it will discolor and develop bitter flavors if exposed to the sun. Blanch the head by tying the leaves together with strong twine or rubber bands when the heads are the size of silver dollars. This keeps them safe from overexposure to sunlight and encourages whitening. Harvest heads when they are fully developed (6 to 12 inches in diameter), compact and blanched white. Cauliflower can be stored for up to three weeks.
COMMON PESTS AND DISEASES: Aphids, cabbage worms and flea beetles are common pests of cauliflower. Application of an appropriate insecticide or a strong water streams are both effective ways to control cauliflower pests. For more information on controlling pests and diseases, click here.