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Brassica oleracea var botrytis      For cultivation and seed specs, see Cultivation below

Early Snowball (64 days) Old heirloom variety produces early. 6 to 7 inch heads. Also does well as a fall crop.
#957   Packet    $3.50 Approximately 75 seeds
#B1z-957            Bulk seeds 1 oz                $10.50
#B4z-957            Bulk seed, 4 oz                 $26.50
#B1-957             Bulk seed, 1 lb.                 $53.50
  #P-957A  One Plant in 2-1/2inch pot  $4.50

Violetta cauliflower
        purple heads Violetta (65 days)  Large purple heads on strong plants.  Does well in spring or fall.
#3587   Packet  $3.50   Approximately 50 seeds
#Bm-3587   Bulk seeds, 1000 seeds   $24.00


One of the ancient Greek Pliny's writings describe what may be an early form of cauliflower in the first century AD.  Cauliflower made its way through Europe and later to the Americas to become a common site in the vegetable garden.  A member of the  Mustard family, Brassicaceae (or Cruciferae), it is  related to mustardbroccolicabbagekalebrussel sprouts  and kohlrabi.  The leaves, flower stalks and flower heads form the 'curd' or the 'head' of the cauliflower which is eaten as a vegetable.  Heads can be white, yellow, orange, purple or green ( also known as broccoflower).  The heads assume a number of different forms: smooth round, lumpy round or pointed. 

Cauliflower grows best in cool climates and will grow in any well drained soil rich in humus and in a location with high humidity.  A light sandy soil that warms up quickly in the spring is best for early crops

Cauliflower is propagated by sowing seed.  The seeds may be direct sowed or seedlings can be grown for transplants.  For transplants, sow seed in pots or trays using a fine sterile medium (1 part sand to 2 parts sphagnum peat works very well).  Sow seed and cover to a depth of 1/4 inch.  Keep moist at about 75F until seedlings emerge, then lower the temperaure to about 70F daytime and 55 night time.   When seedlings show their first true leaves, transplant to flats or cold frames about 2-3 inches apart each way.  When the weather has settled in the spring and nighttime temperatures stay above 50F, they may be planted outdoors.  (See temperature graph below.)  Plant 18-24 inches apart in rows 24-36 inches apart  (The larger the mature head, the further apart the plants should be.)   Set the plants out and 'puddle' (fill the planting hole with water) or water thoroughly after planting.  Cultivate regularly to keep weeds down and make certain to water the plants during dry spells to prevent cracking of the heads.   A dressing of humus or leaf mold is beneficial (or an application of a 5-10-5 fertilize, at a rate of 25lbs to 1000sq ft.)  To keep the heads of white varieties white and prevent yellowing, bend leaves over the head and tie them with string or a rubber band to keep them in place around the head.

To sow directly into the garden in full sun, wait until the spring weather has settled and danger of a severe freeze has passed.  Work the soil so that it is fine.  Working in humus, peat moss or leaf mold will give the plants a boost.  Sow 1 seed every 6 inches in shallow drills in rows 24-36 inches apart.  Cover lightly to a depth of 1/4 inch.  Keep the seeds moist until they sprout, then thin seedlings to 18-24 inches apart.  Water, cultivate and fertilize as above.

HARVEST : Cut the heads when mature.  Heads should be firm, not loose.  The plants will be productive until late fall, but should be harvested before a heavy freeze.  After the central head is harvested, side shoots will produce smaller heads.  Heads should be stored on shelves at about 32F at 95% humidity.  They will remain good for about 3 weeks.

Cauliflower is a rich source of vitamins B6, C and K. It is also a source of beneficial phytochemicals that may protect against stomach ulcer and colon cancers. Cauliflower should be steamed or stir fried to maintain its nutritional benefits. 

Medicinally, cabbage has been used to treat constipation, an antidote for mushroom poisoning, and to treat hangovers.  An eye wash has been made from

SEED SPECS:  Average 10,000 seeds per ounce
SEEDING RATE:  100 seeds per 50ft row;  90,000 to 128,000 seeds per acre at 2 seeds per foot with rows 36 inches apart

Graph of soil
        tempertaures for planting cauliflower seeds
There is great diversity in the vegetable varieties that we offer; which makes the general information provided only valuable as adjustable guidelines. This may also affect your seed planting and propagation strategies and the germination rates under your planting conditions may vary from the seed lot test results. The following soil temperature data is for cauliflowers in general. Temperatures are average daytime from planting to emergence. Percentage is average germination rate. Days is number of days to emergence.
41ºF x 0% x 0 days; 50ºF x 58% x 20 days; 59ºF x 60% x 10 days; 68ºF x 99% x 6 days; 77ºF x 63% x 5 days; 86ºF x 45% x 5 days; 95ºF x 0% x 0 days;


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