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Grow & Care - Cauliflower

Fast Facts

Light Requirements Full Sun
Temperature Adaptations Semi-Hardy Transplants may be set out a week or two later than cabbage and Broccoli.
Acidity (pH) Tolerance 6.8 to 6.0
Salinity (Ec) Tolerance moderate
How Pollinated Insects
Growth Habits Biennial grown as an annual

Additional Information

Fertilizer Requirements

Cauliflower plants can be heavy feeders. Apply 1 to 2 pounds of an all-purpose fertilizer (20-20-20 per 100 feet of row). Side dress 3 weeks later with ammonium sulphate at rate of 1/2 cup per 10 feet of row.

Water Utilization

When watering cauliflower, supply sufficient water to the plants without creating waterlogged soil. As always, too much water is harmful. Stress from lack of water will decrease the quality at the time of harvest. Sandy soils should be supplemented with organic matter to hold in water.

Plant Development and Care

Cauliflower is related to broccoli and cabbage and requires similar cultural care, but is more difficult to grow. It is less frost hardy and is best planted right around the average date of last frost. The final product is best when harvested in cool weather.

If you are planning on using transplants to grow cauliflower, the transplants should be started 4 to 6 weeks before setting them out.

Hardened-off transplants can go out 2 to 4 weeks before average date of last frost. Transplants will get a faster start for earlier harvest if they are protected with a season-lengthening device such as wall-o-waters or floating row cover.

Transplants may be set out before the last frost as soon as soil dries out. If heads form during summer heat, they may bolt (rapid flower formation) which makes crop useless.

Assuming a mid-October average date of first frost, a fall crop may be transplanted between July 1st and August 15th for Fall harvest. Planting dates should be adjusted according to your local frost dates. Cauliflower may also be directly seeded July 5th to 10th for Fall harvest.

Germination Time (Days)

20 days at 50 F
10 days at 59 F
6 days at 68 F
5 days at 77 F to 95 F

Seed Germination and Temperature Range

60 - 70 F

Common Fertilizer Deficiencies




Rotate planting location of this family of vegetables.