Growing The "BEST" Cauliflower!

Cauliflower is a cool-season crop in the cole family (Brassica Oleracea), which includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi. However, it is more temperamental than its relatives. The trick to growing cauliflower is consistently cool temperatures, which is why almost three fourths of commercial cauliflower is grown in the coastal valleys of California. However, you can try growing it at home no matter where you live, but timing is important to catch the temperature just right. It also needs rich soil and a steady supply of water and nutrients.

Cauliflower likes temperatures in the 60s. In young cauliflower plants there is a fine balance between leaf and head growth. Any stress tips the balance toward premature heading, or “buttoning,” when the plant makes tiny button-sized heads. This can happen when it’s too hot or too cold. This also happens if plants sit in packs too long, or are stunted by drought or poor soil.

Now that you know the challenges, here are some of my own tips in growing these beautiful plants in Southern California.  I live in zone 22. My zone is temperamental with the constance changes in the temperature. I think it's always important to keep the plants well fertilize with a 10-10-10, this is what works best for me in my zone. I also like starting my plants from seed to avoid stunted growth. Most of the time when you're buying plants from a nursery you don't know the shelf-life of the plant, and this can be a problem. 

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