Cauliflower is becoming increasingly popular as a home garden crop thanks to the rising popularity of low-carb diets. And typically, after getting our hopes up while watching these enormous leaves expand outward from the plant’s core, we are left with a tiny, off-color cauliflower with loose curds when we finally harvest it.
Not anymore. We’ll reveal the secrets to growing large, delicious cauliflower heads in your own backyard.
1. Grow them Cool
This is the most essential part in cultivating any brassica, so we’ll do it first. Heat is bad for brassicas. Even more so with cauliflower.
If they do enjoy full sun, it is throughout the winter or spring.
This necessitates careful consideration of when to plant them depending on your latitude. Cauliflower, like Brussels sprouts, must be started in the fall in order to survive the mild winters in the warmer hardiness zones (zones 8-11).
Zones 2–10 experience cold winters and have a choice of planting their seeds in the fall for a spring harvest or in the spring for a summer one.
There is a sweet spot in terms of temperature for planting cauliflower. This cold-tolerant veggie thrives in temperatures around 65 degrees. Large, healthy heads are more likely the longer you can keep them at this temperature or lower.
If you want to start them in the garden later, in July or August, depending on your zone, keep in mind that they can withstand a few mild frosts. Check out when the average first and last frosts are in your area so you can prepare accordingly.