Q. Can cauliflower be grown in the spring as well as in the fall?
A. Cauliflower is not an easy garden crop to grow and requires constant moisture, high fertility levels and moderate temperatures. Cauliflower will not grow well where temperatures average above 75 degrees F. or where winter temperatures drop below 25 degrees F. Poor cauliflower is usually a result of improper planting time, low moisture or low fertility.
Q. How long does it take cauliflower to go from seed to a harvestable head?
A. This strictly depends on variety. Some hybrid varieties of cauliflower such as Snowcrown will yield a 6- to 9-inch head about 60 to 70 days after transplanting. Others may require 100 days from transplanting. Most varieties, if properly grown, will produce harvestable heads 85 to 130 days after the seed is planted.
Q. I am growing cauliflower for the first time. I read that it must be blanched to reach its best quality. What is blanching? When and how is it done?
A. Blanching of cauliflower means protecting the heads from sunlight. Unblanched heads will be yellowish green while blanched heads are pure white. When the head begins to enlarge, pull the outer leaves over the head and tie them with a rubber band or soft twine.
Q. My cauliflower heads turn dark as they reach maturity.
A. This is caused by a disease known as downy mildew. Downy mildew can also cause loss of leaves. Control with chlorothalonil sprayed regularly.