Early cauliflower

Early cauliflower

Brand new cauliflower from the beginning of May is a delicacy, which is a long way off.

Sowing in June, planting in August, and then there is the prospect of another 8-9 months of patient care.

If you have otherwise protected the plants sensibly with nets against various pests, it is in winter that the greatest danger can lurk.

The plants can easily cope with more or less ordinary frost, but several days of harder bare frost (above 10-12 °) can kill them.

The Achilles heel of the cauliflower plants is the point at the top of the stem, just below the leaf formation. Every year there have been a few plants where the stem in this place becomes soft and rots, so that the still fresh top suddenly hangs down and eventually also goes to.

The taller the sticks, the more exposed they appear to be. Therefore, the cauliflowers should not be sown too early, and no fertilizer should be added at all when transplanting - this is expected until the spring to give to the survivors. And finally, as I have done today, you can insulate against the frost by wrapping a lot of dry leaves around the stem. The method is not 100% safe, because there are always a few plants - but without the insulation I have previously experienced losing all plants to the frost.

Written by: Peter Norris, December 12, 2018