Growing Cauliflower

brassica oleracea var. botrytus botrytus : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
  S S                  

(Best months for growing Cauliflower in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 10°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 60 - 100 cm apart
  • Harvest in 15-22 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chili, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • A variety of purple cauliflower
  • Mature cauliflower

Large leafed cabbage-like with a white 'curd' or flower forming in the centre. It can be hard to grow successfully. More frost sensitive than most brassicas, it's also not particularly heat tolerant. They tend to fail if stressed when transplanting.

Watch for cabbage white butterfly. Grow better in cooler temperatures. Not suitable for warm areas. Break a leaf over the head to prevent the curd becoming discoloured.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Cauliflower

Cauliflower can be eaten raw, steamed, stirfried, grilled, or roasted. Popular grated and steamed/stirfried as a low-carb rice substitute.
Cook briefly and add to curry mix.
Traditionally served with cheese sauce. Add tomato slices for colour.
Toss with oil and spices and roast/grill until browned and delicious!

Your comments and tips

01 Mar 23, Cranky (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I never had success with Cauliflower, how can I get a decent head to grow. Decent = hand sized Thanks, Cranky
03 Mar 23, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Look at the planting guide. Have good soil but not too rich with nitrogen. Too much nitrogen only produces a lot of leaf (my problem over the year). You probably can plant good seedlings now - don't delay.
15 Aug 22, Dale Roth (USA - Zone 5a climate)
when should i plant plants in St.louis mo. for fall Cauliflower and Broccoli for fall harvest. Thank you
04 Sep 22, (USA - Zone 5a climate)
It says plant Feb to April.
16 Mar 22, Keith SPICER (South Africa - Summer rainfall climate)
My cauliflowers are frequently attacked overnight in their growing boxes which are about a metre high . What could be the cause of this? There is no evidence other than tooth marks. Rats?
06 Mar 22, Niki little (Australia - temperate climate)
Is there anywhere in qld that you can purchase fioretto cauliflower blossom seeds. Thank you
09 Mar 22, anonymous (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google about it. It is a new cauli and Perfection Fresh has exclusive rights to it.
07 Mar 21, Lea Zimmer (Australia - temperate climate)
I have grown cauli from seeds. In a greenhouse. Have noticed holes in the leaves thinking it was snails I put crushed egg shells in the pots along with snail bait, only to find last night small green caterpillars, happily munching away on a new leaf. I sprayed the entire plant with soapy water in a squeeze bottle. Was that the right thing to use. Even though I used bait I would rather have used something natural. Help needed
08 Jun 22, Gary Adams (Australia - temperate climate)
Spray with Dipel which is organic and has no withholding period
10 Mar 21, colleen (USA - Zone 10b climate)
The most effective organic solution to your problem is B.t. (B. thuringiensis). It's a naturally occurring bacteria that only targets the caterpillars but is harmless to everything else. Soapy water can be useful for aphids but probably won't do much to the cabbage loopers unless you use so much soap that you risk harming your plants.
Showing 1 - 10 of 204 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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