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VEGETABLE GARDEN: SELECTED VEGETABLE CROPS [continued]

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  MG Manual Reference
Ch. 10, pp. 88 - 89

[Selected Crops: intro | asparagus | beans | broccoli | brussels sprouts | cabbage | cauliflower | sweet corn | cucumbers | eggplant | lettuce | melons | onions | peppers | potatoes | squash | tomatoes | herbs | herb use ]

Cauliflower
CAULIFLOWER Top

ENVIRONMENTAL PREFERENCES
Light: Sunny.
Soil: Well-drained, high organic matter.
Fertility: Rich.
pH: 6.0 to 7.0
Temp: Cool (60 to 65° F).
Moisture: Keep moist, not waterlogged.
CULTURE Top
Planting: Plant after danger of frost is past. Start seeds indoors for early spring transplanting. Seed in beds or flats for fall transplanting.
Spacing: 15 to 24 inches by 24 to 36 inches.
Hardiness: Hardy annual.
Fertilizer Needs: Heavy feeder, use starter fertilizer when transplanting, sidedress three weeks later and as needed using 1 1/2 ounces of 33-0-0 per 10-foot row.
Cauliflower
CULTURAL PRACTICES Top

Spring seedlings should be transplanted after danger of frost is past. See Table 10.11 for correct planting dates. Many gardeners experience buttoning of cauliflower heads in the spring. This is a failure of the cauliflower head to gain in size after it reaches about an inch or less in diameter. It is usually due to transplant stress or heat stress during the head formation period. Some cauliflower varieties require too long a growing season for fall production in colder areas of AZ. Use short-season types or season extenders in these areas.
Cauliflower should be blanched when the curd flower head is about 2 to 3 inches. Three to four large outer leaves are pulled up over the curd and fastened with a rubber band, or are broken over the top of the cauliflower and tucked in on the other side of the curd. Normal blanching time is 4 to 8 days and may take longer in the fall. Self-blanching types which have leaves that grow up over the head may eliminate the need for this practice. If weather is warm during the blanching period, tie the leaves loosely to allow air circulation. Harvest while the curd is still firm. If it gets too mature, it will become grainy or ricey.
COMMON PROBLEMSTop
Diseases: Blackleg.
Insects: Cut worms, cabbage worms, cabbage looper worms, flea beetles, aphids, whitefly.
Cultural: Poor heading from interrupted growth due to chilling from extremely early planting, drying out, or high temperatures.
Cauliflower
HARVESTING AND STORAGE Top
Days to Maturity: 55 to 120 days from transplanting.
Harvest: Cut before flower sections begin to separate. The curd should be compact, firm, white and fairly smooth. Leave a ruff of leaves surrounding head when harvested to prolong keeping quality.
Approximate yields: 8 to 12 pounds per 10-foot row.
Amount to Raise: 8 pounds per person.
Storage: Very cold (32° F), moist (95% relative humidity) conditions for 2 to 4 weeks.
Preservation: Freeze, pickle.

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