I can hardly believe I’m writing this but after years of trying to grow an edible Cauliflower I’ve actually gone and managed it. I’m in shock.
I harvested this Cauliflower a few days ago but there are another five or six of them in the ground. Before I went on holiday the plants were quite big and the middle leaves were starting to tighten. But there was no sign of a Cauliflower. When I came back from holiday (two weeks later) I had seven beautiful Cauliflowers, all in a row. I was amazed.
I have tried several different approaches in the past; liming the ground, netting the whole crop, using brassica collars. All to no avail. Every time, I ended up with something that was only fit for the compost pile.
The secret to my success this time must be that I sowed the seed last Autumn and over-wintered them in my coldframe. I then planted them out in early Spring and have been watering them like crazy during the last few dry months. I’ve also been feeding them with chicken manure pellets, once or twice since I planted them in the ground.
They seem to love it and have rewarded me with some beautiful curds. I made Cauliflower Cheese with the first one and all three of us virtually licked our plates it tasted so Cauliflowery. I’m always amazed how homegrown veg tastes are more intense than shop bought.
Next year I’ll be trying to repeat my success by sowing in Autumn again.