Cauliflowers: The ultimate pain in the arse?

Cauliflower seedlingThe first cauliflower seedlings are in. This is where the hard work starts. Everything hitherto has been buggering about, frankly.

Why? Because if you’ve ever grown cauliflowers, you’ll know what utter bastards they are. Everything has to be just so: the soil, the sun hours, the rainfall, the nutrients, the pest and bird protection.

This fine specimen is wearing a brassica collar. It’s a circle of tar-impregnated cardboard intended to deter the ghastly cabbage root fly. They do work, but of course it’s an added pain in the arse.

Everything’s a pain in the arse with cauliflowers. So why do I do it? Excellent question. Let me think about than one for a few days and get back to you…

11 Responses to “Cauliflowers: The ultimate pain in the arse?”

  1. barbara Says:

    I’ve managed to grow at least one each year for the last two years and just before they were ready to eat something else got there first…. I can’t be bothered this year!

  2. allot of veg Says:

    Yes, yes, I so know where you are coming from with this. If you do achieve they all come together at once (usually when I’m on holiday). Give me purple sprouting any day – and an air rifle for the pigeons!

  3. Magic Cochin Says:

    Cauliflowers have been requested by the ‘Piccalilli-master’ in the attempt to make single-estate vintage Piccalilli. So far progress is slow and painful.


  4. Amanda Says:

    We all know that you plant them so that you can show off your wonderful caulis later in the year. 😉

  5. Soilman Says:

    … assuming they work, Amanda. Which is always SUCH a dangerous gamble. Now I think about it, perhaps that’s the thrill of growing cauliflowers: the gambler’s thrill that they may or may not come good (because sometimes they bloody don’t, however careful you’ve been).

  6. Paul Says:

    Have to admit I’ve given up this year. tried some on the allotment last year with no joy and tried a few at home the year before with the same result.

  7. altadenahiker Says:

    Ok, don’t listen to me. You treat your vegetables like they’re the lord and masters so then they act all delicate-like and inbred. Insult them on a daily basis; they’ll come around.

  8. Soilman Says:

    Reckon you’ve got something there, Altadenahiker. I’ll try the ‘nasty with extreme prejudice’ approach this year…

  9. Laminated Garden Guides Says:

    Growing cauliflower can really be a rather difficult task!
    They require undisturbed, continuous growth for the head, or flower, to develop and can be “stressed” easily…Once the plants are growing, I always mulch around the plants to help keep the soil cool and moist.

  10. Cazaux's Food Factory Says:

    Would you have any advise on what you would do if you start getting side growth like a new plant growing off at the base of the main plant?

    With my overwintereds,I have cut them off thinking that they will take resourse away from the main stem. Maybe I should have left them be so as not to disturb/shock the plant?

  11. Soilman Says:

    I’ve had this once or twice, Cazaux. Must admit, I just ignore them. You may well be right to knock them off, but I’ve not noticed that these plants produce smaller heads or anything. And the side shoots don’t seem to affect heading in any other way…