Cauliflower Seeds

Regarded by many old hands as the test of a real gardener. Certainly not the easiest of vegetables to produce at its best but good planning, regular care and a few doses of common sense can work wonders. It is possible to have cauliflower on the table pretty well all year round. The biggest enermy is a check in growth. To lessen this, sow whenever practical, direct into the growing site, sowing 2 or 3 seeds per station and thin to the strongest seedling, to avoid transplanting. The traditonal way is to sow in a nursery bed 1-2cm deep in rows 15cm apart, thin tob 8-10cm apart and transplant after about 6 weeks to the growing site. When sowing under glass or in cold frame or polytunnel, use peat pots or modules so the check at transplanting, 6 weeks later, is smaller. Water well and regularly particuarly in high summer. Dig and prepare the soil for the cauliflower bed the previous year and tread afterwards to make it really firm, (they hate loose soil for their roots) or the wind will rock and loosen the plants. Choose a sunny position protected from the worst of the wind. Plant spacing varies but as a general rule the longer the plants are in the ground the more space they require. Summer harvesting space 50cm each way; autumn harvesting, space 65cm each way; winter and spring harvesting, space 75cm each way.