Cauliflowers are a wonderful vegetable for growing in the home garden. They are a wonderful source of vitamins, are easy to grow and very rewarding.

Cauliflowers are suitable to plant from mid summer through to autumn. This will ensure that they mature during the colder months of winter, which assists in ripening and produces lovely sweet heads.
Cauliflowers can either be grown from seed and transplanted, or you can buy them as seedlings. Either way, for the best growth they need rich well-prepared soil and plenty of sunlight. Dig into the soil generous quantities of 5 in 1 Organic Plant Food. To sweeten the soil, add some dolomite or lime at about one handful per square metre.
When planting out, space them about 60cm apart and give them a good watering.

Cauliflowers are very heavy feeders and do well with regular liquid fertilising. To keep them growing well, drench the soil with SeaMax® Fish & Kelp Liquid Fertiliser every week. They will also do well with a side dressing of Kickalong® Organic Complete Garden at about 4 weeks old.

Now a trick for Cauliflowers is to pull the outside leaves in and tie them over the developing Cauliflower head. Sometimes when doing this, the outside leaves will break, but this is okay. Leave them intact and tie them with some garden twine or string. This will prevent discolouration of the cauliflower (normally caused by direct sunlight), keeping the head clean and white.

Cauliflowers are ready to harvest once the heads feel firm and tight. Don't leave them on the plant for too long, as they'll loose their sweet flavour. If left on for too long, the heads loose their compact feel and spread a little, and also become fuzzy or furry in appearance. Once cauliflower heads have been harvested, they are right to be cooked and eaten immediately, or you could keep them in the fridge for a short time.

Happy Gardening with Searles from the Searle family.

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