One vegetable that is worth growing in the allotment is the humble Cauliflower. It is easy to grow, useful in many dishes and full of nutrition. If you can learn the basics of growing Cauliflowers you will be rewarded with large heads that are tasty and best of all good for you.
You will need a sunny position and a good fertile soil. Preparation of the soil is the key to growing most vegetables and Cauliflowers do like a firm soil with high fertility. When digging in compost, manure and blodd and bone, do it early on. It is always best to let soil additives settle for a few weeks before planting.
Check the pH of the soil, between 6.5 and 7 is ideal for Cauliflowers.
Easily grown from plugs or seeds, Cauliflowers are grown mainly for the white heads which are cooked and eaten.
Cauliflower fall into four groups depending on when they are best planted, early summer, second earlies, main crop and late. Actual varieties include Evita, Lundy, the orange coloured 'Sunset' and others.
Cauliflowers grow during the winter and are rich in vitamins C,A and B. They are also a great source of fibre.
Cauliflowers are similar to cabbages in that they prefer a cool climate, plant cauliflowers in late summer / autumn. Cauliflowers should be rotated, plant in different beds each year.
Cauliflowers can be grown from seeds or seedlings. Like most vegetable a humus rich well drained soil is best. Keep moist. Cauliflower 'Violet Sicilian' is an Italian variety with a red head rather than the usual white.
- Prepare the soil well by weeding, digging over and adding some well rotted compost and aged manure.
- Wait until just before the last frosts before planting out seedlings.
- It is best to use seedlings that have at least 3 sets of leaves.
- Make out a grid that allows the seedlings to be between 45cm and 60 cm apart.
- Plant the seedlings and water in well with a liquid seaweed fertilizer.