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Nan_PA_6b December 5, 2018 05:17 PM

What do I need to know to grow cauliflower?
I've never grown cauliflower, but plan to in spring 2019. My mother tells me it'll be so buggy as to be inedible. True? How does one cope with the bugs? Other advice for me? What happens if I don't have a sunny enough place for it? (I can promise it 5 hrs sun/day.) It will be growing in deep, well-rotted grass/leaf compost.

clkeiper December 5, 2018 08:51 PM

It doesn't do well in extreme heat. some needs blanched by its own leaves. other newer varieties don't. you also will want to either cover it with floating row cover to keep the worms off of it or dust Bt on it which is an all natural organic spray or powder to keep the eggs from hatching and developing into caterpillars. the eggs will hatch but one bite of the bt makes them think they are full and never eat again eliminating the mess on your heads. we use a liquid but most likely you will find a powder more readily than a liquid form.

Nan_PA_6b December 5, 2018 09:59 PM

Is BT better than DE?

PhilaGardener December 6, 2018 06:23 AM

I'll be interested to hear your (and others) experience, Nan. I've had problems with cauliflower pinning (forming small heads prematurely) as a result of stress early in the season. Temperature and moisture swings and transplanting shock seem to be drivers. In the years I get around those issues, summer heat comes on so early and strongly here in the SE corner of PA that the plants just seem to lose steam and never head well. Don't let all that dissuade you, but just a few things to watch out for! Good luck!

clkeiper December 6, 2018 07:21 AM

Bt is a bacteria. it is not DE which is a natural abrasive which makes microscopic abrasions on the soft bodies causing them to dehydrate to death. Bt is a product they digest causing death. I would use the Bt any day over the DE for results. We use liquid along with a spreader sticker to keep it on the plant. otherwise dew will cause the product to bead up and roll off.

brownrexx December 6, 2018 09:04 AM

2 Attachment(s)
I have grown cauliflower successfully in PA several times but each time it was a variety called Amazing. I have had failure with other varieties. They just do not head well.

I use floating row covers on a wire frame and I have no bug issues, otherwise the cabbage butterflies will find your plants almost instantly and lay eggs.

I grow cabbage under those frames too.

Fred Hempel December 6, 2018 11:15 AM

When I see posts like the one above, I go searching for the "like" button!!

GrowingCoastal December 6, 2018 12:10 PM

A double like from me as they are $8.00 each here right now,$6.99 on sale!

brownrexx December 6, 2018 12:44 PM

Thanks, they were quite delicious. Totally organic and no bugs. Definitely would cost at lease $8 each in my store.

salix December 6, 2018 01:20 PM

Grow all of my brassicas (except for kale) just like brownrexx. No buggy problems!

Nan_PA_6b December 6, 2018 05:20 PM

Thank you all for the knowledge! :love:
Will there be any problem with 5 hrs. of sunlight? Will the shade help in hot weather?

Patihum December 6, 2018 05:57 PM

Another thing that will help is to get it in as early as the weather will allow.

brownrexx December 6, 2018 06:06 PM

Your cauliflower should be harvested before the weather gets too hot. I plant my seedlings in middle to late March. I don't know exactly how much sun they need but it's certainly worth a try. Get that variety called Amazing if you can. It has been the most reliable variety with the best heads that I have grown.

PhilaGardener December 6, 2018 06:50 PM

Yes, that head looks "Incredible!" Great job, [URL=""]brownrexx ![/URL]

Nan_PA_6b December 6, 2018 07:47 PM

Can the seedlings tolerate frost?

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