Cauliflower may be a large vegetable but it actually has shallow roots, making it ideal for growing in containers. Make sure you have a minimum depth of 8-12” in your container and that you leave some space around each plant. Always follow the seed packet advice when planting, although it’s easier to start with a seedling from your local garden center. Choose a well-draining container and loose potting mix to plant your cauliflower. For container planting, you can use the square foot gardening method to grow more. And in an Eco Garden, you can actually overplant and get even more vegetables to harvest.
Cauliflower is a cool-season vegetable which you can plant for both spring and fall. Plant it about 4 weeks before the last frost date in your area for a spring harvest and 6 weeks before the first frost date for a fall harvest.
Once your cauliflower is planted, make sure the plants get at least six hours of sun each day. Make sure the soil stays moist but don’t over water or the plant may rot. We suggest light daily watering to keep things growing best. Make sure you regularly feed your cauliflower with a good organic fertilizer.
As the cauliflower plant grows (to about the size of a tennis ball), you will need to “blanch” the heads to make sure they stay tender and white. This protects the heads from the sun. You can learn more about blanching here, but it is basically just using a rubber band or similar material to tie the leaves in a way that they cover the head. Some varieties are self-blanching.
You’ll know it’s time to harvest cauliflower when the heads are about 6-8 inches in diameter, about one to two weeks after blanching. Just cut the head from the stem, leaving a few leaves on to protect the head until it’s time to eat.