Growing Cauliflower In Greenhouse – A Planting Guide

Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Hello gardeners, we are here with a new topic called growing cauliflower in a greenhouse. Growing cauliflower in a greenhouse is a different and very interesting thing to do. In this article, we also cover all the related topics and requirements for growing cauliflower in a greenhouse.

Introduction to Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

The cauliflower plant is one of vegetables in the several species that belong to Brassica oleracea in the genus of Brassica, and it belongs to the family of Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant and that reproduces by seed. Cauliflower is a sun-loving and cool-season plant to grow in spring and fall. Though they are usually white, cauliflower even comes in other colours including purple, yellow, and orange. No matter the colour, the taste is similar: mild, slightly sweet, a little nutty.

The following informatoion may be useful to grow cauliflower in Polyhouese, Shade net or any other controlled environment.

A Step By Step Guide for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Greenhouse Cauliflowers
Greenhouse Cauliflowers (Image credit: pixabay)

Cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable that can be enjoyed in many soups, stews, stir-fries, as a steamed vegetable, in a salad, or on its own. However, this plant is a very temperamental one, requiring careful maintenance and care to yield a very delicious product.

Choose Varieties for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse              

  • Early season

The early season types are early kunwar, Early Synthetic, Pusa Katki, Pant Gobhi-2, and Pant Gobhi-3

  • Main season

The main season types are Pusa Synthetic, Pant Shubhra, Punjab Giant-26, and Punjab Giant-35

  • Late-season

The late-season types are Pusa Snowball-1, Pusa Snowball-2, Snowball-16, and Dania Kalimpong

Suitable Soil for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Start with very rich, moisture-retaining soil. For a very good cauliflower plant, the plant’s growth should be completely uninterrupted. This means that your plant must receive consistent moisture and they need to have access to very sufficient nutrients as it matures. Good soil can make meeting both of these requirements very much easier. Ideally, even your cauliflower’s soil should have the following qualities:

Soil should have very high organic matter content. This will enhance the soil’s ability to hold moisture.

Soil should have high potassium and nitrogen content. Potassium and nitrogen are good nutrients vital for the cauliflower’s healthy development. If these are not present in the soil content, it may be very necessary to use fertilizer.

The pH of the soil should range from 6.5 to 7. This “sweet” pH range will minimize the danger of a cauliflower disease called clubroot and even maximizes nutrient availability.

Sunlight Requirement for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Choose a growing site or area with at least six hours of full and direct sun. Though they require very cool weather, paradoxically, cauliflower also requires a fair and required amount of full sun during the day.

Planting Procedure for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Start with transplants or you can grow seeds indoors. Cauliflower has a high reputation for being somewhat fragile. Many gardeners start with seedlings from a local garden store to transplant directly into the soil. If you have seeds instead, you can plant them indoors to protect the young plants from the different weather.

Plant each of the seeds in its separate peat or paper cup. The biodegradable container will let you plant the whole pot in your greenhouse later without damaging any of the cauliflower’s roots.

Press the seed nearly about 1/4–1/2 inch or 0.6–1.25 cm deep and then cover it with dirt.

Then water regularly so the soil is very moist but not so waterlogged.

In cold weather, you need to keep the soil at 21ºC.

If you must plant your seeds directly in the greenhouse, plant them in rows 3 to 6 inches or 7.5 to 15 cm apart.

Transplanting Seedlings for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Cauliflower Seedlings.
Cauliflower Seedlings (pic source: pixabay)

Transplant the cauliflower seedling. Whether you grew the cauliflower plants from seed or bought them from a garden nursery, you will need to move them outdoors once they have three or four true leaves.

Before transplanting it, you need to move the seedlings outside for one hour a day. Gradually increase this time over a week to harden off the complete seedlings, by adapting them to outdoor conditions.

If you used a biodegradable container, you can easily bury the container in the ground so the soil level is even with the rest of the greenhouse.

If you used a non-biodegradable container, you need to remove the seedling carefully to avoid breaking its roots. Make a very small hole in the ground and then bury the seedling up to its stem. You may want to make a very shallow, saucer-like depression around the seedling to help the surrounding soil retain water. And then firm the soil and water the seedling.

Water Requirement for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Water very consistently, by providing 1 – 1.5 inches or 2.5 – 3.75 cm of water per week. The most important and different idea when it comes to growing cauliflower is that of consistency. Cauliflower plants need very consistent access to moisture and high nutrients or their growth will not be consistent. If the plants’ growth is not consistent, the final product that you eat will not have as good of taste or texture. After planting your cauliflower plants, ensure that each of them receives frequent watering so that its soil is consistently damp that means but not waterlogged. This usually means that the cauliflower plants should be receiving roughly 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week and that the moisture should be always penetrating roughly 6 inches or 15.2 cm deep.

In case if you miss this: Growing Small Onions In Pots.

Caring Tips for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Always be ready to protect young cauliflower from pests. When cauliflower seedlings are very young and fragile, they are vulnerable to a different variety of garden pests, these include cabbageworm, aphids, harlequin bugs, and more. This is especially very true in cases where cauliflower is being planted as a spring plant, as the end of the winter months will usually coincide with a surge in insect populations. Some of these major pests can easily interfere with the cauliflower’s growth cycle and others can eat the plant to the ground, ruining your plant entirely, so managing these pests at the first sign of trouble is a top and the main concern for serious gardeners.

Nontoxic pest treatments include diatomaceous earth, soap sprays, and even cultural practices such as controlling different humidity or introducing predator insects. Lookup for integrated pest management practices to find out more.

You can even use plant-friendly pesticides but you need to read the label very carefully. Using the wrong pesticide or applying pesticide incorrectly can damage your cauliflower plants or make the vegetable very unsafe to eat.

To prevent these pests from reaching your cauliflower, you need to try cutting old milk jugs in half and laying them over the seedlings for protection.

Suitable Fertilizers for Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

Fertilize your cauliflower to supplement the cauliflower’s growth. If growth is very slow or you suspect your soil is very low quality, then test your soil. If your soil is relatively low in nitrogen (N) and potassium (K), better bolster these nutrients with fertilizer. Apply a fertilizer that is very high in the missing nutrient(s) every two to three weeks. You can also apply seaweed extract to supply boron, it is an important nutrient.

For a very large greenhouse, you can easily use a mixture of 5 quarts of fertilizer for every 100 feet or 30.5 m of plant row.

You can use a technique called side-dressing to administer your fertilizer to the maturing plant. Dig a very shallow, narrow furrow parallel to each row of plants nearly about 6 to 8 inches away from the plants’ stems. You need to pour the fertilizer into this furrow, rake the soil, and then water them. This will ensure that the fertilizer can be administered in equal, constant proportions to each plant and this helps to minimize the danger of over-fertilizing.

How to Blanch the Head of Cauliflower?

As the cauliflower grows, a small “head” will begin to form at the centre of its leaves that which is sometimes also called the “curd”. For very ordinary white cauliflower, if this head is exposed to light while it is growing, it will be yellow and darken. Though a darkened head of cauliflower remains edible, it’s less visually appealing and can have a less-tender texture. Thus, it is vital to use a process called “blanching” to stay the top pale and white. When the top is roughly the dimensions of an egg, bend the plant’s leaves over the top so that it’s shaded from sunlight. If necessary, you can use twine or rubber bands to hold the leaves in place.

Trapping the moisture around the head will cause the plant to rot out. Confirm the top is dry before blanching, and lookout to not get any water on the top while it’s bound.

You should not bind the leaves so tightly around the head that air cannot reach them.

Common Pests and Diseases of Cauliflower

The common diseases of cauliflower are listed below:

  • Bacterial soft rot
  • Blackleg
  • Black rot
  • Club root
  • Downy mildew
  • Powdery mildew
  • Sclerotinia stem rot
  • White rust
  • Cauliflower mosaic
  • Ring spot
  • Wire stem

The common pests of cauliflower are listed below:

  • Beet armyworm
  • Cabbage aphid
  • Looper
  • Cucumber beetles
  • Cutworms
  • Diamondback moth
  • Flea beetles
  • Large cabbage white
  • Thrips
  • Root-knot nematode

When and How to Harvest Cauliflower in Greenhouse

You need to harvest when heads are very large, white, and firm. After blanching, you need to continue caring for the plant as normal; occasionally removing the leaves around the head to monitor its growth is very important and allows moisture to escape after watering. When the head is large that is roughly 6 inches or 15.2 cm across, white, and firm, then it is ready to be harvested. This can be done anywhere from a few days to a few weeks even after blanching, depending on your suitable climate which means growth is generally faster in hot weather. Cut the head from the base of the plant with the help of a knife, by leaving a few leaves attached to protect the head. After that rinse, dry, remove the leaves, and enjoy the harvest.

Commonly Asked Questions about Growing Cauliflower in Greenhouse

How long does it take for cauliflower heads to form completely?

For very large and firm heads will form within 4 months.

How long does it take to grow complete cauliflower?

It takes nearly about 55 to 100 days to grow.

Common time from planting to harvest is nearly about 55 to 100 days for cauliflower grown from transplants is nearly about 85 to 130 days for cauliflower grown from seed. Under very good growing conditions, the heads will develop rapidly to about six to eight inches in diameter. The mature head should be very compact, firm, and white.

How many heads of cauliflower do I get from one plant?

Cauliflower only produces a single head which means that you have only one chance to get it right. The main thing to remember is that the plant survives in temperatures around 16-18°C

Why my cauliflower heads do are not tight?

Also, give your cauliflower plants ample water and room enough between plants for very vigorous growth. Consistent and plentiful irrigation is very essential to prevent very loose cauliflower heads. Excessive nitrogen can also cause loose heads in not only cauliflower but also in broccoli as well.

Does cauliflower regrow even after cutting?

Your cauliflower plant will continue to regrow even after you cut off the head of it. To maintain your plant, you need to give it 1–1.5 inches or 2.5–3.8 cm of water once a week.

Can I grow cauliflower in winter?

There are three types of cauliflowers. They are summer, autumn, and winter varieties. Summer varieties can be easily sown in the cold frame in September, indoors in January, or outdoors in April and some other varieties may be harvested easily in June or July while other outdoor sown varieties or types will be ready during August.

Why my cauliflower heads are turning purple?

The most edible portion of the cauliflower plant is the round head of compact flower buds which is called the “curd.” The purple colour in cauliflower is caused by the presence of anthocyanin, which is a harmless and water-soluble pigment in the curd. Sun exposure can exaggerate its effect on the developing cauliflower head.

How cold can a cauliflower tolerate?

It can easily tolerate nearly about -3°C.

Cauliflower can usually survive in temperatures as low as -3°C with only very minor damage to the leaves. They may easily survive even lower temperatures if they are acclimated, but usually, anything below -3°C will kill the plants if the weather or climate was warmer leading up to the cold snap.

Why my cauliflower is turning yellow?

As the cauliflower plant easily matures in the field, the sun may naturally alter the colour of the head. If the head is exposed too long to the sun, the curds may turn a dull yellow. This will not affect the taste of the cauliflower vegetable, in fact, it very likely produces more phytonutrients but it will not affect our desire to buy it also.

How do I grow a big head of cauliflower?

Cauliflower mostly likes to grow in full sun and very rich, moist, and well-drained soil with a pH between 6 and 7. Till the soil very loosen it to a depth of 12-15 inches. Then, work in a 3-inch layer of very high nutrient-rich compost or garden soil, such as Miracle-Grow garden Soil used for Vegetables & Herbs, into the top 6 inches of native soil.

Why my cauliflower is bolting?

Bolting means where the plant thinks it is coming to the end of its life span because of some sort of stress, so it needs to reproduce again– it goes to seed. It can be any type of cauliflower seed used by the grower, look for a variety that is very slow to bolt.

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