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Growing Cauliflower

Growing Cauliflower

Graffiti Hybrid Cauliflower



Cauliflower is a cool season cruciferous vegetable grown for its dense heads of "curds." Most varieties have white curds, but varieties are also available with green, orange, or purple heads. It requires cool temperatures for good growth, and can be grown in spring or fall.

How To Grow

For spring planting, sow indoors 10 to 12 weeks before the last expected frost, and transplant seedlings outdoors 2 to 4 weeks before the last frost. For fall crops, direct sown in the garden in mid summer or transplant seedlings 6 to 8 weeks before the first expected fall frost.

Cover seed with ¼ to ½ inch of soil and germinate at 70 to 75 degrees. Expect germination in 7 to 14 days. Cauliflower planted for fall production benefits from afternoon shade. Space plants 18 inches apart with 24 to 30 inches between rows. 


Cauliflower is somewhat challenging to grow than other types of cole crops. Plant in full sun in evenly moist, well-drained soils rich in organic matter with a pH of 6.5 to 6.8. Prefers consistently cool temperatures, and does not produce good quality heads under hot conditions. Benefits from mulching to help keep soil cool and moist. Fertilize seedlings immediately before transplanting to the garden.

Blanch the heads for 7 to 10 days before harvest by covering the curds with the upper leaves by tying with string or clipping them together with a clothespin. Self-blanching varieties do not require this treatment. 

Fertilizer Recommendations

Cauliflower is a heavy feeder that requires regular fertilization. Use full rates of ALGOplus All Purpose 6-6-6 liquid fertilizer, Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1, or Osmocote slow-release 14-14-14

Common Problems

Benefits from regular inspection and treatment as needed to prevent insect problems. Aphids, cabbage maggots, cabbage looper, diamondback moth, flea beetles, imported cabbage worm, and harlequin bugs may attack plants. Diseases including black rot and clubroot sometimes occur. Heat stress of moisture stress can cause plants to "button" and produce small, stunted heads.

Alternative Products

Other cold-tolerant vegetables are Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, and Kale.

Product Recommendations

Captain Jack's Deadbug Brew can be used to control insect pests. Thuricide is a selective organic insecticide for control caterpillars pests.

Cauliflower Facts

Cauliflower heads are made of compressed flower stem and bud tissue.


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