There is something relaxing about gardening, especially if what you decide to grow is vegetables. The satisfaction of eating fresh produce that you’ve seen growing is truly priceless.
Watching a seedling grow and bear fruit is also an incredible Zen exercise and a life lesson that can teach the little ones crucial values such as patience and constancy.
Cauliflower, belonging to the Brassicaceae family, is one of the most versatile vegetables. Great roasted, grilled, and sauteed, in some soups or stews, cauliflower is packed with nutrients.
Its white pulp is so full of precious substances that cauliflower can be defined as a real superfood.
Cauliflower is a winter vegetable that loves sunlight, it grows in spring and autumn, when temperatures range between 16 and 20 degrees. It is a slightly more capricious plant than others of the same family such as broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, curly kale, and celeriac.
In fact, cauliflower is particularly sensitive to temperatures and struggles to survive above 24 degrees and below 10. The trick to growing perfect cauliflower is to always keep it at a cool temperature, during all stages of the life of the plant. plant.
Growing cauliflower indoors and growing cauliflower in pots is very beneficial. Cauliflower grown by you will be organic and pesticide-free, therefore safe and healthy also because removing pesticides from cauliflower is almost impossible.
If you’re itching to learn how to grow cauliflower at home, follow this DIY tutorial. You will need to work in your garden for about 55-100 days, the time it takes for cauliflower to germinate and grow from seed until it is ripe for harvest.
When to plant cauliflower seeds?
Cauliflower is a vegetable that needs a cool and constant temperature, so you’ll have to adjust according to the average temperature of the area where you live. Ideally, cauliflower flowers take one and a half to three months from the time of planting to the time they fully mature. The temperature at the time of maturation of the cauliflower must be around 16 degrees. In short: it depends a lot on the climate where you live.
For a winter harvest: If you want to plant cauliflower seeds for an autumn/winter harvest, plant the seeds in late summer when the temperature will be around 27 degrees. The time it so you can harvest the cauliflower before the frosts hit.
For a spring crop: Only plant cauliflower for a spring crop if you live in an area where winters are mild and frost-free, or if you will be growing cauliflower plants under controlled temperatures in a greenhouse. Schedule planting in late fall when temperatures are around 80 degrees so you can have a harvest in late winter or early spring.
For a summer crop: It is challenging to harvest cauliflower in the summer under normal conditions because in many areas the climate is not conducive to the growth of this plant. You can, however, still grow cauliflower in the summer using a greenhouse.
How to grow cauliflower at home: the right soil
Cauliflower grows best in rich, moist, well-draining soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Acidic soil reduces the chances of the plant developing diseases such as cabbage hernia, as well as increasing the number of nutrients present in the fruit.
The cauliflower plant needs a significant amount of moisture and nutrient-rich soil: to obtain this result, it can be useful to add organic matter to the potting soil. The presence of organic material will increase the ability to hold moisture and nourish the soil. Loosen the soil and dig holes about 30cm deep before planting the seeds.
Attention: We advise you to test the soil before sowing because the right pH is essential for a successful harvest. In addition to the pH, the presence of potassium and nitrogen will help to develop higher-quality plants. So remember to test the soil and apply the necessary corrections before sowing so as not to compromise months of work.
How To Grow Cauliflower In Pots: Where To Plant Cauliflower Seeds
Choose a location in the garden or on the balcony where the plants will receive at least 6 or 7 hours of sun a day.
Cauliflower plants love the winter sun. You can also grow cauliflower in pots. Watch out for trees, other plants, or buildings that might block the sunlight. Once you have chosen the position where to grow the cauliflower, plant the seeds at a depth of 4 cm, about 60 cm apart, and in rows about one meter apart.
How to grow cauliflower: fertilizers and nutrients for cauliflower
Fertilize cauliflower plants to stimulate growth. Use organic compost every 2 to 3 weeks to keep the soil nourished throughout the growing season.
Extra tip: It is best to use a lateral spreading technique to fertilize cauliflower plants. With this technique, you’ll be digging a narrow, thin channel, parallel to each row of cauliflowers. The channel should be dug 15-20cm away from the stems of the cauliflower plants. Once dug, pour the fertilizer into this channel, rake up the topsoil and irrigate it. The technique will ensure that a balanced amount of the right proportion of fertilizer is taken up by the plants, avoiding overfeeding.
Growing cauliflower on the balcony: irrigate and water
It is necessary to keep the soil, where you will plant the cauliflowers, moist throughout the growth and development of the plant. Make sure your cauliflower plants get frequent watering so the potting soil is moist but not soggy. The cauliflower plantation needs about 200 ml of water per week, which is good to penetrate 15 cm deep to reach the roots.
Extra tip: We recommend covering the soil with a light layer of mulch, which could be made from dry leaves, tree bark, and husks of your choice. Mulching cauliflower will help retain moisture and regulate temperature, keeping the soil cool.
Growing cauliflower from seeds: Cauliflower pests and diseases
Young cauliflower plants are prone to pest infestations and vulnerable to aphids, bugs, and caterpillars. All these uninvited guests can seriously affect your harvest, so you need to move quickly.
- Spray cauliflower plants with soapy water or non-toxic pesticides.
- Try the biological technique of introducing predatory insects that follow the food chain.
- You can use pesticides but be careful when using them and read the instructions carefully otherwise the crop will be unfit for consumption.
To avoid nutrient-deficient plants, yellowing cauliflower leaves or flesh, hollow stems, and weak plants, test the soil and supply the missing nutrients with fertilizer.
When you finally see the head of the cauliflower flower and become about the size of an egg, cover it with its own leaves. This process will protect the cauliflower head from direct sunlight which would turn it yellow and make it less attractive.
To keep the white color of the cauliflower heads, it is essential to follow this process. After 10-12 days, the cauliflower heads will grow to about 20cm in diameter and can be harvested.
Harvest the cauliflower by cutting off the stem below the head, leaving about 3 to 4 inches of stem attached to the flower.