Autumn Sowing of Cauliflowers

After getting over my grumpiness and admitting that the season is well and truly over I decided to cheer myself up my watching the ‘October’ episode of A Victorian Kitchen Garden. Harry looked a bit despondent too as he watched the temperature fall and stored his Apples in his (albeit totally fab) fruit store.

Then he turned to sowing. He talked about how at this time of year he would sow some Winter hardy Cauliflower. From that sowing he would be able to create a succession of Cauliflower come early Summer next year. Once the seedlings were strong enough he would pot them up, put one batch in his heated greenhouse, one in his coldframe and the others would go outside to battle the Winter weather.

The different treatment of the seedlings would either bring them on, or knock them back accordingly and therefore create a succession. The added benefit is that by over-wintering them you reduce the risk of them being attacked by pests. By the time the Spring pests arrive your Caulis will be big, strapping plants getting ready for harvest. In theory they should be able to withstand the average attack (in theory).

So, I’m taking Harry’s advice. The first thing to go in my coldframe will be Avalanche, a Winter-hardy variety of Cauliflower.

11 Comments on “Autumn Sowing of Cauliflowers

  1. Thank you for the inspiration. Avalanche cauliflower, I’ll sow that, too, if I can get it in my local farmers co-op that is. My menu needs a change and my poly tunnel and outside beds need winter crop (this is my first season/year vegetable gardening and so far so good…)

    In therms of winter crop I only have some celery and well left overs really form the summer, spinach, scallions, lettuce, some poorly progressing runner beans and seedlings of courgettes, which if they make it will be fab, bit like you said, if they make it!!

    Hope sore throat isn’t turning into a nasty cold.

  2. Glad to see that your making the most of your new coldframe already.

  3. I’ll be interested to see the caulis progress – I sowed Cauliflower ‘Snowball’ and the seedlings are already potted up in the coldframe – hoping for a greater success with autumn sown….

  4. Liking your DVD collection, mtp! I think there’s a distinct lack of gardening on telly, particularly now that people are seeing the merits of growing their own. The BBC or C4 should re-run things like this. We’re inundated with home and food programmes, but apart from Gardener’s World and a smidgen from Nigel and Jamie, there’s not much to keep the gardening community inspired. Perhaps this could be the next venture for mtp?

  5. I adore the Victorian Kitchen Garden – from the moment the theme tune starts to the end. No fancy film effects, no funny angles, just honest hard work and horticulture all the way through.

    I often wonder what happened to the lass who was learning the ropes from Harry – does anybody know?

  6. So it’s not too late! Excellent! Now if I could just get my olives and quince harvested to make time for planting seedlings…

  7. Oh wow! I didn’t know you could do this! It’s certainly true that if you overwinter broad beans they are almost immune to blackfly infestation so you can eat the broad bean tops as well as the beans themselves while spring sown ones tend to get their tops destroyed by the blackfly.

    Our caulis have always been prone to wrigglies, so perhaps overwintering is the answer … I might give this a go at the weekend too.

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