- 1 Introduction
- 2 Cauliflower Varieties:
- 3 Companion Plants:
- 4 Cauliflower Nutrition:
- 5 How to Grow Cauliflower from Seeds in Containers?
- 6 Growing Tips
- 7 Health Benefits
Cauliflower is an annual plant that reproduces by seed in the family of Brassicaceae. The head part called curd (an edible white flesh) can be eaten. It resembles like broccoli but differs in flowering buds. It grows best in cool temperatures and is native to Mediterranean regions.
Cauliflower is cultivated worldwide by farmers for its commercial applications. It is a versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in salads, soups, stews, fries, steamed vegetables and in other recipes. Though cauliflowers are available in shops or supermarkets, it’s quite easy to grow in your home and enjoy the attractive & tasty whites under suitable conditions.
There are 100’s of commercial cauliflower varieties across the world. Its classification is based on color, season, growing conditions and harvesting time.
Companion planting is the best way to improve health and beauty of your garden plants without using harmful chemicals. Because of its ever-lasting benefits cauliflower love to grow with Beans, Beets, Celery, Cucumbers, Sage, Thyme, Brussel sprouts, Spinach, Corn, Radish and flowering plants include roses, marigolds, nasturtiums.
There are few plants that actually spoil the growth of cauliflower when planted with them. So keep Peas, Broccoli, Cabbage, Strawberries and Tomatoes away from it as there may be chances of affecting viral infections.
On serving 100 grams of cauliflower contains 25 calories in it and is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and pantothenic acid. It also contains choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, biotin, manganese and phosphorus that help to treat cancer and several other health issues.
How to Grow Cauliflower from Seeds in Containers?
Growing cauliflower in the container is an excellent way of propagating as it allows you to control and manipulate the growth factors. As the roots are fairly shallow it will not be constricted by the container side. Here are some factors that are responsible for the growth of cauliflower…..
Choose a variety:
Choose a cauliflower seed variety (i.e. mostly prefer snow crown) that best suits in your growing conditions. You can buy seeds from a nursery or online store to grow it in your home. place the seeds in the container with proper spacing about 20-30cms apart.
Container & Soil:
Start sowing seeds in a rich moisture retaining soil. Pick up a pot of size 6-12 inches both depth and width. Seed germinates quickly when you maintain the high-quality well-drain soil. You can also mix garden soil with an equal amount of well-rotted compost. It takes 10-14 days time to germinate seeds.
Water & Sunlight:
Water the plant regularly for every 2 days depending on weather conditions. When the plant matures and develops roots you can reduce the amount of water supply to the plants. The Best temperature to grow cauliflowers is 75F. Place the container in sunlight for a minimum of 6 hours a day to thrive quickly. The plant matures within 45 days and grows to a height of 2-3 feet tall.
Pests & Diseases:
|Flea Beetles, cabbage worms, moths, thrips, aphids, cutworms, and nematodes
|Bacterial rot, downy mildew, damping off, powdery mildew and white rust
To overcome pests and diseases problem, cover the plant with a protective layer such as cardboard collar or Use insecticidal soaps around new plants above and below the soil level. You can also place plant resistant varieties and rotate crops every year to deter pests and diseases.
Acidic or alkaline soils may lead to nutrient deficiencies due to the insufficient supply of nutrients. It can also be due to the lack of water and sunlight to the plants. The most common nutrient deficiencies in cauliflowers are illustrated below…
|Limited growth, hard & brittle leaves
|Narrow and curled leaves, ruffled edges
|Brown leaves discoloration, cankers on radishes
|Chlorosis, necrotic spots on leaves, reduced growth
When the plant matures apply the balanced organic fertilizers for every 2 weeks until you harvest cauliflowers. If the growth is slow then test the soil pH which is relatively low in nitrogen content. For better growth side dress the plant with nitrogen-rich fertilizers. You can also apply seaweed extract to supply boron nutrient to the plants.
Harvest cauliflowers when the heads are large, white and firm. It takes 2-3 months time to harvest matured cauliflowers. Cut the head from the base of the plant with the knife and leave few leaves attached to the head. Now store cauliflower in refrigerator roughly for a week. You can also store them by pulling roots and hanging upside down in a cool place.
- Add organic mulches to keep the soil moist but not wet.
- Within few weeks the seed germinates and is ready to shift outdoors.
- Harvest cauliflower leaves around the head to only when the plant matures.
- Prune top of leaf bud plants in winter or spring before it establishes a new growth.
- Wear gardening tools like masks, gloves, goggles, and shoes when you harvest cauliflowers.
- Maintain the ph between 6.5 & 6.8 to keep the soil moist and a constant supply of nutrients.
- Make sure the container has holes at the bottom for proper drainage and air circulation in plants.
- Keep children and pets like dogs and cats away from plants when you use fertilizers to thrive faster.
- Plant them in cool conditions as long periods of the sun may cause heads to discoloration with a red-purple hue.
Cauliflower benefits are innumerable as it helps to live strong and happy life. It cures the problems like digestion, diabetics, liver, cancer and blood pressure in humans that are listed below…
Here are 5 amazing health benefits of cauliflower.
Skin: The sulforaphane compound in cauliflower defends your body against inflammations, cellular damage, the healing process, UV-erythema and for skin & hair problems.
Cancer: Cauliflower contains the sulfur compound that has the ability to kill cancer cells. It inhibits the tumor growth in breast, prostate, colon, pancreas, liver, and brain when consumed in required amounts.
Weight loss: Cauliflower has several properties that help to reduce weight. It is low in calories (25 calories for just 100 grams) so you can eat a lot without gaining weight. It also promotes the feeling of fullness and slows digestion for weight loss.
Bone health: Low intake of vitamin K is associated with high risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis. Consuming vitamin K rich foods improves bone health and cardiovascular system by supplying proteins, and absorbing calcium.
Pregnant women: Making cauliflower in your diet is beneficial during pregnancy due to the presence of antioxidants like folate that helps to prevent neural tube effects. A study shows that a cup of cooked cauliflower provides 11% of choline (daily needs) facilitating pregnancy and promotes overall health.
Side Effects: Cauliflower is an edible root vegetable that has several health benefits. However, when consumed in excess amounts results in side effects…
- Allergic reactions
- Digestive problems
- Gastrointestinal problems
Start growing cauliflowers in a pot or large container that requires less space and guides your health. If you have amazing ideas about growing cauliflower in your home, please share your experience with us.