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Growing Cauliflower

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

(Best months for growing Cauliflower in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings

  • 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 50°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 24 - 39 inches 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
  • 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 steamed.
Young ones can be broken into small pieces and added raw to salad.
Cook briefly and add to curry mix.
Traditionally served with cheese sauce.
Add tomato slices for colour.

Your comments and tips

23 Oct 18, Sue (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Please can you explain why my cauliflowers have small heads 10cm and open.some were planted April and August. The soil has a lot of compost in it.
24 Oct 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Read your NZ guide for caulies - plant seed in Feb. You grow them into the winter. You would probably have them picked by July/Aug. Something I have never been able to grow in our sub tropical area.
04 Aug 18, Steve (Australia - temperate climate)
Being new to the veggie planting, and can I say I really do enjoy my little garden. My question is when is the right time to remove the cauliflower heads??
06 Aug 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Caulies can look a couple of different ways. A good caulie will have a nice tight head. A No 1 caulie will be open looking. Check what a good caulie looks like in a supermarket. Probably not long after they reach full size - not growing bigger any more.
25 May 18, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Gidday. Can someine tell me if St Lawrence Qld which lies smack bang between Rocky to the South and Mackay to the North is Tropical or Sub-tropical? No-one seems to actually know.
30 May 18, Mike L (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
More so Sub-Tropical as it is only just north of Rocky. The notes here say from Rocky south.
19 Apr 18, Leanne Webb (Australia - temperate climate)
You forgot bakeing cauliflower and it is fantastic better than all other types of cooking. Just a bit of olive oil and season to taste
17 Apr 18, Harriet (South Africa - Semi-arid climate)
How to get rid of grub worms naturaly?
07 Mar 18, Njabulo (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Thankyou so much. Another question, I am around KZN at MANDINI area. Is it possible to plant cauliflower
06 Mar 18, Njabulo (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
I am a farm with little experience about cauliflower. I need to know what best time to plant cauliflower
Showing 1 - 10 of 170 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. GardenGrow 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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