Charm and the all year round cauliflower

Person Author: Ryan Lewis Calender March 9, 2012 Posted Tags: , , , Comment No Comments

When I was young cauliflower was one of those dishes that I had serious problems with. A vegetable with a watery consistency and a typical brassica taste, the dish wasn’t for me. But then later in life, after realising the cauliflower I had eaten years before had been cooked to a point close to total annihilation, I tasted beautifully cooked al dente cauliflower and cauliflower cheese. I was converted.

If you can’t get enough of cauliflower cheese and other cauli dishes then look no further as with these two great cultivars we have no excuse not to grow it year round. In years gone by most people have tended to restrict themselves to growing Cauliflower for cropping in late Autumn or Winter but by sowing indoors now, or outside in around a month, you can harvest crops in Summer. You can then make successional sowings throughout the growing season to give you delicious crops for months to come.

Two to try:

Cauliflower ‘All the Year Round’ – A great choice of Cauliflower that can be grown for harvesting throughout Summer, Winter and Autumn. This plant has a dwarf nature but produces large dense heads making it an excellent choice for the allotment or garden. Heads freeze well and make good additions to preserves, such as piccalilli.

Cauliflower ‘Candid Charm’ F1 – Ideal for close spacing this quick maturing hybrid is an excellent choice for smaller gardens or raised beds where space is at a premium. These upright plants produce dark green leaves that cling tightly to the curd giving it extra protection. Harvest when heads are tennis ball sized or leave until larger.

Sowing:

Sow seeds in to good quality seed compost in modules or trays and water well. Place plants in a heated propagator or alternatively cover seed trays with a plastic bag and place on a warm windowsill away from direct sunlight. When plants have germinated and are large enough to handle, prick them out in to individual pots and grow them on until they have 4-6 true leaves. Harden plants off prior to planting outdoors. Once planted, ensure crops have adequate protection from pests, such as slugs, snails and pigeons.

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