Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow under glass
Sow outside
Plant outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type Fertile, Firm and Well Drained
  • Ideal Ph range 6.0 to 7.5
  • Site Full Sun
Fertile, firm, well drained soil with plenty of organic matter is required. Pick a site in full sun or with moderate shade. Some light shade is beneficial in hot weather.

Cauliflower can tolerate slightly alkaline soil but acidic soil can cause the dreaded club root. Several months before sowing apply lime to your chosen site for cauliflower if necessary and dig in plenty of well rotted manure or compost. Add a nitrogen based fertilizer to the soil 1 or 2 weeks before planting or sowing.

Do not grow cauliflower where you have grown any brassicas in the past 3 years.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 4 to 7 days
  • Sow 10mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 500mm
  • Rows 750mm apart
Direct seed or start off seedlings in cells or small pots. If planting indoors make sure that seedlings get plenty sunlight from the moment they emerge so that they don't get leggy. Do not let plants get too big or roots get pot bound before transplanting. Transplant when the plants have developed 4 or 5 true leaves.

If sowing direct, create parallel drills 1cm deep and 750cm apart. Water the rows before sowing to prevent washing the seeds away. Sow thinly. Thin or transplant seedlings to an eventual spacing of 50cm. Do not let plants become overcrowded, err on the side of caution when it comes to spacing.

Growing a bumper crop

Cauliflower requires an even level of moisture in the soil for the heads to develop. Be prepared to add mulch to retain moisture in hot weather and water regularly.

Keep weed free. Birds and other little beasties are going to like your plants as much as you do. Protect from birds with netting.

To prevent discolouration, shade the heads from sunlight by folding leaves over the head and tucking in. Use an elastic band or string if necessary but make sure this doesn't trap water in wet weather.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 2000g per plant
Cut heads with a sharp knife, leaving a few leaves. If left to mature for too long, the head will begin to splay out.

Cauliflower will store for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator and is suitable for freezing.

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