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How to Successfully Grow Cauliflower

How to successfully Grow Cauliflower

Cauliflower is trickier to grow than its relatives because it doesn’t like it too hot… or too cold. Learn how to successfully grow cauliflower and enjoy harvesting this delicious and versatile vegetable. 

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How to Successfully Grow Cauliflower

How to successfully Grow Cauliflower
Bolting and Buttoning Cauliflower

To grow cauliflower successfully, it needs at least 2 months of cool weather (60 degrees is ideal) to mature. 

Cauliflower is a cool weather crop in the Brassica family. (Brassicas include collards, kale, kohlrabibroccoli and Brussels sprouts). 

How to successfully grow cauliflower

How to plant cauliflower

  • Start seeds for cauliflower indoors 6 weeks before the last spring frost if grown as a spring crop. If planted for a fall crop start seeds indoors up to 14 weeks before the first fall frost.
  • Seeds sprout in 4 -10 days. Cauliflower seeds last up to four years. Cauliflower seeds are available from
  •  Plant seeds up to ¼ inch deep in compost-rich soil and keep moist.
  • When choosing transplants at the nursery, avoid ‘leggy’ transplants. Instead, look for compact green leaves on a short stem.
How to successfully Grow Cauliflower

How to grow cauliflower in Arizona

  • Cauliflower varieties to plant that do well in the low desert of Arizona are SnowballSnow Queen and Snow Prince.
  • Try purple or colored varieties such as ‘Violetta
  • Start seeds indoors: August 15 – December

  • Plant seeds outside: August 15 – December

  • Plant transplants outside: October – January

How to successfully grow cauliflower

How to take care of cauliflower plants

  • Water carefully around plants, and avoid wetting leaves.
  • Cauliflower likes a steady supply of moisture; do not let beds dry out between waterings.
  • Soak plants to a depth of 6 inches for large tender heads.
  • Adding a thick layer of compost will help garden beds retain moisture.
  • Do not disturb roots.
  • Cauliflower responds well to a monthly or bi-weekly feeding with an all-purpose fertilizer. I like this fertilizer from Amazon
What's wrong with my Cauliflower? #cauliflower #howtogrowcauliflower #gardening #howto
Blanching cauliflower can prevent it from discoloring.

Is it necessary to blanch cauliflower?

Cauliflower heads in some varieties can discolor if they are exposed to sunlight. To prevent this discoloration, try blanching (it’s not as hard as it sounds). 

How to blanch cauliflower: 

When cauliflower head is visible and about 2 inches wide, clip outer leaves together with a clothespin to cover head and keep out of sunlight. Clip loosely and check occasionally for pests and growth, or to let the head dry out after a rain.

Harvest cauliflower at the correct time

  • When the head is about 6 inches across and buds are tight and unopened, it is time to harvest. Cut off below head with a sharp knife.
  • Unlike broccoli, cauliflower doesn’t usually produce side stems after main head is harvested, so remove remaining plant from bed.
  • Cauliflower will store for several weeks in the refrigerator.
How to successfully Grow Cauliflower

For ideas to make the most of your home-grown cauliflower, check out this post.

If you’ve tried growing cauliflower before without success and you are wondering what went wrong, check out this post. 

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sally a weaver

Friday 16th of July 2021

should I trim some of the large bottom leaves that are close to the ground? it's pretty full

Angela Judd

Friday 16th of July 2021

If they are damaged, then yes - remove them. Otherwise the leaves provide the energy for the growing cauliflower and it's best to leave as many as you can.