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LOVEROFANIMALS's Photo LOVEROFANIMALS SparkPoints: (27,974)
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1/11/13 8:16 A

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Thank you for all of the information. I may skip growing it this time and try something else...may not be worth the effort..lol. Some things to me are not worth the effort when I can buy it from our farmers' market at a reasonable price. Last season I started grapes from my in-laws' grape vines that were brought to this country from Italy many years ago. I think I'll make those be my new project for now. I still need to build either an arbor or fence for them to grow on...haven't decided which one I want yet.

Thanks again!

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,068
1/10/13 11:08 P

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Thanks, that explains very well why I did not succeed. emoticon
We live in a climate, Eastern WA, where we have huge differences between daytime and nighttime temps, often freezing temps until mid-June, but can be day time temps in the 90's already. Maybe I'll just buy my cauliflower and stay with other veggies. emoticon

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (69,787)
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1/10/13 4:55 P

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Cauliflower is sensitive to both cold and heat. If spring-planted transplants are exposed to 10 or more days with temperatures below 50 degrees, they will produce tiny "button" heads. And heat stress can cause "ricing" or opening of flowers before the heads are ready to harvest. If you do get a sudden cold spell after transplanting, it is best to cover the plants at night. If you get a late start, it's best to try and provide them with some shade, either plant between or under larger plants, or use a shade cloth, using some sort of support like hoops to keep it off the plants. You can also try using boards supported by cinderblocks to shade them from midday sun, which may help lessen the heat stress (this is very useful when trying to extend the planting and harvesting times of lettuce, so may work here as well).

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HOUNDLOVER1's Photo HOUNDLOVER1 Posts: 8,068
1/10/13 12:16 P

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I tried to plant cauliflower last year and did not get any real heads, just a very few stalks, so won't try that again. I did have very good luck with red cabbage and kale. We are in zone 4 and I got a fairly late start with it, that may be why it did not grow enough before the weather got really hot.
Birgit

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1/10/13 10:48 A

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My "Carrots love Tomatoes" book says that if you plant celery near the cauliflower, that does help repel cabbage moths. It also says that cauliflower does not like tomatoes or strawberries, so make sure you don't plant it next to either of these crops.

Unless you have a self-blanching variety, or don't mind the heads being more yellowish instead of white, you do need to blanch cauliflower. You do this by tying the leaves around the head, starting when it is about egg size. You have to do this when the leaves and head are dry. Secure them loosely with soft twine, rubber bands, or plastic tape. You can unwrap the heads to check the growth, and also do so after a heavy rain to let them dry out, fastening them back around the head again once it is completely dry.

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CBRINKLEY401's Photo CBRINKLEY401 SparkPoints: (69,787)
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1/10/13 10:34 A

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The main pest you have to watch for is the cabbage moth. They lay their eggs on any of the Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower). If you don't want to use any pesticides, then you need to cover the plant with a fine mesh cloth that won't inhibit the growth, which is pinned to the ground to keep it from blowing off. Or cover the entire row or section with floating row covers, pinning these to the ground as well. The cabbage moth lays it's eggs, which then turn to green worms.

You can also use BTK or MVP (both available from the Garden's Alive catalog). This is actually an organism which the caterpillars ingest while feeding on the plant. From what I've read, it makes them stop eating, as if it causes their system to believe they are full, and they starve to death. It only seems to affect caterpillars, not other leaf chewing pests, and since most moths and butterflies are very particular about what type of plant they will lay their eggs on, it doesn't harm other types. You can also use it on tomato plants against the tomato hornworm or corn earworm, use it on corn (the silks when they first start coming out) against the corn earworm, pepper plants, etc. It does need to be reapplied after a rain.

Swallowtail butterflies lay their eggs on carrot family plants (carrots, queen anne's lace, parsley, dill), and monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed plants (common milkweed as well as ornamental asclepias), so as long as you don't spray on those plants, you won't hurt them. The swallowtail caterpillars never seem to eat enough to harm any of my plants, so I would never spray those.

Edited by: CBRINKLEY401 at: 1/10/2013 (10:41)
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1/10/13 9:50 A

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We do it as second planting. It's about the size of a cabbage but a bit smaller (depending on variety or your soil, I'm saying what ours is!). I'm zone 5 (surrounded by 6).

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LOVEROFANIMALS's Photo LOVEROFANIMALS SparkPoints: (27,974)
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1/10/13 9:28 A

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Has anyone ever grown cauliflower in your home garden? I have a small vegetable and am thinking of growing some. I'm an experienced gardener and always looking for something new to try. Does it take up a lot of room? When is the best time to plant it (from a plant) and harvest it (I'm in zone 5)? What kind of pests like it? Any advice would be great!

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