Cauliflower is a relative to broccoli and cabbage, and it is a cool-season vegetable, which makes it best for a fall harvest. It is a bit pickier than its green-budded relative, as it does not tolerate excessive heat or cold very well. Cauliflower requires consistent temperatures of around 60 degrees.
Before Planting: Cauliflower prefers a well-drained and very fertilize soil. Aim for a pH of 7.0 with consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Irrigate regularly for best results. Cauliflower grows best in spring and fall crops.
Watering: Cauliflower requires consistent soil moisture. Water 1 to 1.5 inches each week.
Fertilizer: Prior to planting cauliflower seeds, add compost to the soil. This prevents “buttoning,” which is when a cauliflower produces smaller, button-shaped heads rather than a large, full head. For best growth, use a nitrogen-high fertilizer.
Days to Maturity: The plant should be ready to harvest about a week or two after blanching. (70-80 Days)
Harvesting: Harvest heads when desired size is obtained but before the curds becomes loose and bitter. Store at 32°F and 95% relative humidity for 2–3 weeks.
Tips: When small white curds begin to develop, gather up exterior leaves and wrap around heads and tie with a rubber band, this is called blanching. Blanching will help protect heads from direct sunlight and keep curds white rather than turning pale yellow with direct sunlight.