Tuesday, 28 September 2021

In My Seed Box For 2022 - Cauliflower

The life expectancy of cauliflower seed if kept in ideal conditions is 5 - 8 years. The saved to sow by date on most packs is only 2 years, I found one pack that was 4 years, Thus seeds should be viable but with a reducing germination rate each year for an additional 3 - 5 years beyond what it says on the pack. 

New for 2022 - Dobies - Rob Smith Range - Andromeda - 15 Seeds - £3.50
Andromeda F1 can be sown successionally and crops for months! Plants have an open habit, so it's easier to see when your cauliflowers are ready to harvest, plus there are less hiding places for slugs and caterpillars. Modern breeding in cauliflowers, producing plants that keep a white curd even when they are exposed to sunlight. No need to cover the curd. Plants stand well and are slow to bolt, very good, nutty flavour. 
Height 50-60cm 
Width 60cm. 
Sow indoors or in a cold greenhouse January - May in good quality compost 5mm (1/4") deep in trays. When large enough too handle, transplant to individual pots and grow on.   
Plant out Harden off and plant out after the last frost at a spacing of March-July, at a spacing of 600mm and firm plants in well. Alternatively , sow thinly in a seed bed in April / May and transplant to final growing position when large enough to handle .
Protect plants from butterflies and pigeons by using netting. 
Harvest June - October.   


My History with Cauliflower is somewhat checkered, early on I had some really fantastic results but over the past years not so good. In my seed box for 2022 are 

White Step F1    - Thompson & Morgan  - 30 Seeds - £3.49 - Sow By 2020
Winter Aalsmeer - Thompson & Morgan - 50 Seeds - £2.49 - Sow By 2020

All Year Round   - Thompson & Morgan - 150 Seeds - £2.49 - Sow By 2021
Amsterdam F1    - Mr Fothergill's            -  25 Seeds - £ Mag - Sow by 2022

Sunset F1           - Marshalls                   -  15 Seeds - £2.29 - Sow by 2022

Orkney F1          - D.T.Brown                   -  30 Seeds - £2.59 - Sow by 2023

Cauliflower Zaragoza F1 - Dobies            - 20 Seeds - £3.49 - Saved year ending 2021

Andromeda F1 - Dobies                           -  15 Seeds - £3.50 Saved year ending 2022 


Sowing Times vary for each variety

                                Indoors      Outside     Plant Out     Harvest 
All Year Round    - Feb - May   Mar-Jun                        Jun - Sep 
Amsterdam F1    - Mar - May     June          June          Oct - Jan
Orkney F1           - Jan - Feb                       5 leaves     May - July
Orkney F1           - Sep - Oct                       5 leaves     May - July
Sunset F1           - Feb - Apr    Apr - May                       Aug - Oct 
White Step F1     -                    May - June                    Aug - Nov
Winter Aalsmeer -                    My - Mid Jun                  April

Sowing Plan

Jan - Orkney F1
Feb -  All Year Round
Feb - Sunset F1
Feb - Zargoza F1  
Mar - Amsterdam F1
Mar - Andromeda 
Apr - All Year Round
May - Winter Aalsmeer         


Cauliflower Orkney F1 - arrived 28/10/2020 from D.T. Brown added to their catalogue for those who lamented the loss of Mayflower, the earliest cropping summer cauli, DT Brown have found an excellent replacement! Orkney F1 is a high quality, reliable variety which produces dense heads of large white curds from as early as May. An excellent choice to maintain a continuous harvest.  


Winter Aalsmeer
Sow Cauliflower seed from April to June. Direct sow outdoors into a well prepared seedbed, for transplanting to their final positions later on. Sow at a depth of 1cm (1/2") and distance of 30cm (12") between rows. Cauliflower plants can be transplanted to their final positions approximately 5 weeks from sowing.
Alternatively sow Cauliflower seed indoors at a depth of 1cm (1/2") in trays of free-draining, seed sowing compost and cover with a sprinkling of vermiculite. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 21C (70F) until after germination which takes 4 -7 days. Transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3") pots and grow Cauliflower plants on in cooler conditions until all risk of frost has passed and plants are large enough to be transplanted outdoors.
Gradually acclimatise Cauliflower plants to outdoor conditions over 7 - 10 days before planting in a sheltered position on firm, rich fertile, well drained soil in full sun. Prepare the soil in early spring by adding plenty of well rotted farmyard manure to the soil to improve its structure and fertility. Apply lime to acid soils to reduce the acidity and lessen the risk of clubroot. Plant cauliflowers at a distance of 25cm (10") between plants each way for 'baby heads', and 60cm (24") apart for larger heads. Cover with a protective netting or fleece to prevent attack from birds and insects. Water the plants thoroughly after planting.
All The Year Round  
Sow Cauliflower seed from March to June. Direct sow outdoors into a well prepared seedbed, for transplanting to their final positions later on. Sow at a depth of 1cm (1/2") and distance of 30cm (12") between rows. Cauliflower plants can be transplanted to their final positions approximately 5 weeks from sowing.
Alternatively sow Cauliflower seed indoors at a depth of 1cm (1/2") in trays of free-draining, seed sowing compost and cover with a sprinkling of vermiculite. Place in a propagator or seal container inside a plastic bag at a temperature of 21C (70F) until after germination which takes 4 -7 days. Transplant seedlings into 7.5cm (3") pots and grow Cauliflower plants on in cooler conditions until all risk of frost has passed and plants are large enough to be transplanted outdoors.
Gradually acclimatise Cauliflower plants to outdoor conditions over 7 - 10 days before planting in a sheltered position on firm, rich fertile, well drained soil in full sun. Prepare the soil in early spring by adding plenty of well rotted farmyard manure to the soil to improve its structure and fertility. Apply lime to acid soils to reduce the acidity and lessen the risk of clubroot. Plant cauliflowers at a distance of 25cm (10") between plants each way for 'baby heads', and 60cm (24") apart for larger heads. Cover with a protective netting or fleece to prevent attack from birds and insects. Water the plants thoroughly after planting.

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