WHAT TO DO AND WHAT NOT TO DO WHEN GROWING CAULIFLOWER
The cauliflower is a Brassicaceae either much you like or do not like anything, not average. However, we know very well the large number of healthy properties that it has if we incorporate it into our diet. For those of us who like it (since we include ourselves), we will be interested in knowing the way in which it is grown . Go for it!
CAULIFLOWER, SOURCE OF VITAMINS AND MINERALS
Today we have to talk about cauliflower . For those who have children it is synonymous with problems. Getting a child to eat this type of vegetable is an open war in which one of the sides loses. On the other hand, the amount of vitamins and minerals that cauliflower contains (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, folic acid, potassium, phosphorus, etc.) is very high and must be introduced into the diet no matter what.
Therefore, what better idea than if we are used to eating it, let us control where it comes from by growing it in our garden . For this we have to follow the following considerations:
THE CLIMATE AND THE SOIL
The culture cauliflower preferred temperate climates because they do not respond well at subzero temperatures. Although this also depends on the varieties we grow.
The spring ones spend the winter perfectly, while the summer ones need mild temperatures. We will consider an ideal growth temperature between 15º C and 21º C, and it does not matter if the temperatures go outside these values as long as the temperature difference is not important.
That is why a multitude of varieties are available on the market with different options for adaptation to the climate, that is, early, semi-early and late varieties .
The soil must contain a good amount of organic matter and have good drainage since cauliflower will need a lot of moisture. The pH of the soil required by the crop is close to neutral, taking values between 6.5 and 7.5. Remember that if we grow cauliflower in the ground without more, without enough nutrients, it will not prosper. In addition, there is also a consideration just before planting cauliflower and that is that, unlike other crops, they require firm soil , that is, not very soft.
This means that the leaves do not come out loose and the cauliflower pellet forms correctly, so the process would be to fertilize the soil if necessary and tamp it, either with the hoe, or directly by walking through that garden area.
THE FERTILIZER AND THE IMPORTANCE OF MULCHING
We have previously commented that cauliflower requires a good dose of organic matter (that’s why a product with so many minerals comes out later). Nitrogen plays a very important role in the development of this crop, which will provide the compost that we add.
And this is where comes a way to get the cauliflower fertilizer and in turn help in the conservation of moisture in the roots, the mulch . We have already commented on it other times and it consists of surrounding the stem of the plant with some type of vegetable or other material, but in this case we will use manure or compost.
THE IMPORTANCE OF IRRIGATION IN CAULIFLOWER
Cauliflower demands large doses of water for its development. If you have experience growing broccoli, you have to know that this plant demands a little more water.
The frequency of irrigation is determined by the climate where it is located, but taking into account that the soil always has moisture, yes, without causing waterlogging.
MULTIPLICATION, HARVEST AND PRODUCTION OF NEW CAULIFLOWERS
First of all, we would like to tell you about the different cauliflowers depending on the sowing time. In addition, you can enjoy different varieties of cauliflower in the market.
- Winter Cauliflower: Cauliflowers of this type depend on the variety when harvested. The early ones are harvested in November and December. There are also mid-season ones, which are usually collected between January and February ( Canberra, Primus) or between the end of February and March ( San José).
- Spring cauliflower: they endure low temperatures and bear fruit in spring. We find varieties such as Giant of Naples, Snowbred, Walcheren Winter, etc.
- Summer cauliflower: these are the early varieties that we will discuss below and those that are adapted to temperate climates
Depending on when we want to obtain the harvest, we will sow sooner or later. If we want them extra-early, in summer (August-September) they can be sown indoors during the winter and planted when the cold has gone, in the middle of spring. If they are grown in a seedbed, the transplant is usually done when the seedling has 3 true leaves . To distinguish between early or late varieties you can see the sowing calendar, although they are considered winter cauliflowers :
Extracted from the Gardenprue sowing calendar .
The timing of the collection comes when the pellets have consistency and are hard, but not to wait for the inflorescences are released. With a knife the stem is cut, below the pellet and they are consumed that same week.
There is a trick to lengthen its conservation and it consists of uprooting the entire plant and keeping it in a cool place, such as a basement. In this way they can last 1 month.
ONE LAST TRICK TO KEEP WHITE
A good cauliflower should be white when it is harvested (unless we choose varieties of a different color, such as purple).
The problem is that if the sun hits it directly, they become discolored and even the flavor is altered . One solution is to place your own sheets on top of the pellet , avoiding direct radiation. If it is necessary to break some outer sheets to cover the pella, do not have any problem doing it.