Goodman will surprise you with a slight frame that manages to produce very well-protected heads with deep curds and tender florets. Good holding ability in the field with a short harvest window. An organic OP to rival Amazing!
Cauliflower is a cool season biennial in the Brassicaceae family, sharing species name Brassica oleracea with brussels sprouts, cabbage, collards, kale, broccoli, and kohlrabi. Most cauliflower varieties are white, but a few are purple. The spectacular Veronica Romanesco has a green floret that grows in a spiky spiral.
Soil Nutrients and Requirements
Cauliflower prefers well drained fertile soils high in organic matter. It will tolerate slightly alkaline soil, performing best in the 6.0 - 7.5 range. A general guideline is 2-3 lbs of 8-16-16 fertilizer over 100 sq ft of garden area two weeks before planting. If boron is not present in your soils, consider adding 1 Tbs per 100 sq ft. If soils are heavy or tend to be wet, a raised bed is recommended. Mulch can help keep soil cool and moist.
When to Sow
Transplanting is recommended for spring crops, especially in the Northeast. Start indoors 4-6 weeks before planting date. Optimal soil temperature for germination is 65-75°F, but cauliflower will germinate as low as 50°F. Transplant out when seedlings have 4-5 true leaves. Older plants are more susceptible to bolting if temperatures are uneven. Fall plantings can be direct seeded or transplanted in mid-summer.
Heads will not develop well in hot or dry weather. Timing is critical.
Cauliflower heads should be harvested while curds are still tight. Check fields every 2-3 days. Cover developing heads or tie leaves together to protect heads from sunlight for blanched effect. Self-blanching varieties have tight leaf curl around heads so minimize need to cover. Harvest heads promptly when they are full size but still compact, white and smooth. Delaying harvest results in curds turning loose and ricey. Cool cauliflower immediately after harvest to retain quality.
Store at 32°F for 1-2 weeks.