We're talking cauliflower! This crop is notoriously difficult to grow compared to other plants in the Brassica oleracea family. In this episode we discuss why and steps you can take to maximize your cauliflower growing success.
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Cauliflower is an annual crop in the Brassica oleracea family. We talk about this plant family a lot because it contains many popular home-grown vegetables including Broccoli, cabbage and kale. These are all what we classify as half-season crops, which mean that they take roughly 1/2 a season to mature. Depending on where you're growing and how you're planting your space, often times you can plant two or more successions of these crops per growing season.
Cauliflower heads resemble that of a broccoli head, but they are actually different parts of the plant. A broccoli head is the immature flower and a cauliflower head is the inflorescence meristem.
Cauliflower thrive when grown in the cooler part of the season. Temperatures ranging from 60-70 degrees F are ideal. Sharp spikes in air and soil temperatures can quickly stress out the plants.
Consistent watering is key! Consider installing a drip irrigation system on an automatic timer.
Be sure to fertilize your beds before planting, and then again at 3 and 6 weeks after planting.
Unlike broccoli, cauliflower will not send out side-shoots, so you'll want to pull the plant after harvesting to make room for something else!
Left to right: Harvesting cheddar cauliflower, Grafitti cauliflower, a giant Snow Crow and normal Cheddar cauliflower.
Books By Colin McCrate:
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More about this weeks guest expert:
Colin McCrate is the founder of the Seattle Urban Farm Co. He has been growing food organically for over 15 years and has designed and has managed projects ranging from multi-acre farms to small backyard gardens. The author of two books; Food Grown Right, In Your Backyard (Mountaineers Books, 2012) and The High-Yield Garden Planner (Storey Publishing, 2015); he believes that urban food production can help increase public awareness of environmental, health, and social issues.
About the Host:
Hello, I’m Hilary Dahl. Outside of this podcast, my job is to help beginning and experienced growers create beautiful and productive gardens. I have the unique experience of working in on a wide range of projects, from small backyard garden plots to multi-acre vegetable farms. I also work in my own garden every day when I get home. This podcast is an opportunity to discuss seasonal garden topics and share the the joy of growing your own food.