Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Typically, only the head (the white curd) of aborted floral meristems is eaten, while the stalk and surrounding thick, green leaves are used in vegetable broth or discarded. Its name is from Latin caulis (cabbage) and flower, an acknowledgment of its unusual place among a family of food plants which normally produces only leafy greens for eating.
Scientific name: Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
Common name: Cauliflower
How to grow and maintain Cauliflower:
Cauliflowers are highly intolerant of harsh weather. You have to see to it that you’re going to start the seed right before the last frost. Ensure that you are able to maintain moderate temperature for the growing seedling.Once the seedlings are about 6 inches tall, it’s all set for transplanting into the garden. Make sure that outside temperature is at about 50 degrees F. Set them on hole at the garden plot. Cover it with soil at just a little beneath its bottom leaves.
Keep cauliflower plants developing enthusiastically from the seedling stage through harvest. Any intrusion (outrageous cool, warmth, dry season or plant harm) can prematurely end the improvement of the consumable segment. Cauliflower needs a steady and abundant supply of soil dampness. Side-dress the cauliflower plants with nitrogen fertilizer when they are half-developed.When the head begins to form (shows 2 to 3 inches of white curd in between the upper leaves), it is ready to blanch. Tie the outer leaves together over the center of the plant to protect the head from sunburn and to keep it from turning green and developing an off-flavor. A self-blanching variety is named for a natural tendency to curl its leaves over its head. Under cool conditions, this variety blanches very well and tying is unnecessary.
Water the plant regularly. Cauliflowers must never run short of water. Make sure the soil is always moist.
The cauliflower head (curd) develops rapidly under proper growing conditions. It grows to 6 to 8 inches in diameter and is ready to harvest within 7 to 12 days after blanching. The mature head should be compact, firm and white. Harvest the head by cutting the main stem. Leave a few green outer leaves to protect the head. Cut the heads before they become too mature and develop a coarse, ricey appearance.
pests & diseases:
Cauliflower is susceptible to the same pests and diseases as other members of the cabbage family. To reduce the risks, avoid planting cabbage relatives in the same spot 2 years in a row. Floating row covers protect against any pests.