Latin Name: Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
Item #: 97E
CAULIFLOWER - for fresh market and freezing
4 oz/113 g of seed produces an acre of transplants 1 oz/28 g produces 2,500-3,000 plants (direct seeded) 4,000 plants in flats.
GREEN HOUSE: Sow in the greenhouse from Feb. 1st - Mar. 15th; 0.25 in/5 mm deep, cover with fine soil and firm. Germinate at 70°F/21°C soil temp. for 5 - 7 days. Grow seedlings at 60-65°F/15-18°C. Night temps below 40-50°F/5-10°C will cause severe bolting to seed later on in the field. Make successive sowings to insure against bad weather conditions during the first weeks after transplanting. Weather conditions influence the growth of cauliflower more than any other crop. Transplant outdoors from April 15th to May 1st in rows 30 in/75 cm apart, 18 in/45 cm apart in row. Using rubber gloves, dip the roots in Diazanon to control root maggots. Use transplants about 5 weeks old, slightly hardened by withholding water for 4 days before transplanting.
DIRECT SOWING: Sow seed outside on sandy loam from May 20th. to June 5th. - 0.25 in/5 mm deep at 3 seeds per in/25 mm, cover with fine soil and firm (depending on area). Make several sowings a few days apart so that you can choose slim young transplants about 5 weeks later. Discard old transplants, or those which have begun to swell at the crown, they will button up. Transplant in late June or early July.
FERTILIZE sandy soil with 650 lbs/295 kg of 5-20-20 per acre disced into the soil before transplanting. Side dress with the same about 3 times, 14 days apart 3 weeks after transplanting. Use a starter solution of 20-20-20 when transplanting.
HARVEST when curds are the size of a tea cup, tie outer wrapper leaves up, to shadow the curd, with different colored rubber bands or string (to signify first, second, and third cuts). Blanching takes 3 or 4 days in warm weather, or 10 days in cool.