Cauliflower Growing Guide

Bursting with goodness, these hardy no fuss vegetables are brilliant crops to plant in the winter garden. Clean, fresh, white cauliflower are a sight to behold in the garden. Whether it is served with tasty cheese sauce, pan-fried with some greens, or added to soups, it’s a staple in any vegetable garden.  

Prepare

A member of the cabbage family, cauliflower enjoys similar growing conditions to its relatives. It takes slightly longer from sowing to harvest then other brassicas (approximately three to four month), but the taste is worth the wait.

Cauliflower doesn’t enjoy temperatures over 25 degrees, so check you are planting at the correct time.

Refer to our Planting Calendar.

Plant

Like building a house a good foundation is the key to success in your garden. The better the soil, the better your plants will grow. If you are starting with an existing garden bed dig in organic matter like Tui Sheep Pellets and Tui Compost to your soil. Then you can add a layer of Tui Vegetable Mix. If planting in pots and containers, fill with Tui Vegetable Mix.

The best times to plant are early in the morning or late in the day, so the plants aren’t exposed to the hot sun straight away. Always water plants well before and after planting.

Find a full sun, sheltered position to plant and space at least 50cm-70cm apart, to ensure the crops can fully mature and are not fighting for space, fertiliser and water. If you planted cauliflower or a certain variety of brassica last year don’t grow them in the same spot as pests and diseases can be lingering in the soil, read our Crop Rotation Guide here.

Planting in garden beds

  • Water plants thoroughly before planting and allow to drain.
  • Dig a hole, approximately twice the depth and width of the root ball of your plant.
  • Partly fill the hole with Tui Vegetable Mix.
  • Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the centre of the hole.
  • Fill in with Tui Vegetable Mix.
  • Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
  • Water your plant well.

Planting in pots and containers

  • Water plants thoroughly before potting and allow to drain.
  • Partly fill your container with Tui Vegetable Mix.
  • Gently loosen the root ball of your plant and position the plant in the container.
  • Fill your container with Tui Vegetable Mix up to 3cm from the top.
  • Tap the container gently on the ground to settle the mix.
  • Press soil gently around the base of the plant.
  • Water your plant well.

Nourish

Feed your plants and they will feed you. Plants use nutrients from the soil as they grow, so replenishing the nutrients ensures your plants grow to their full potential.

Select a fertiliser specially blended for your crop like Tui Vegetable Food. Feed cauliflower planted in pots and containers with Tui NovaTec Premium fertiliser. Well watered, well nourished veges will have a better chance of keeping insect pests and diseases at bay. While your cauliflower are growing regularly apply a dose of Tui Organic Seaweed Plant Tonic to give them a welcome boost.

Harvest cauliflower when the heads are still tight, once they start spreading they lose flavour. Cut off the head before you pull out the root, otherwise you could end up with dirt all through the head! If you leave the plant in new, smaller heads will appear in a few weeks below the first one and continue to sprout for the rest of the season.

Protect your plants from the elements with layers of Tui Pea Straw Mulch, to help keep their roots moist and keep your garden weed free.

Be vigilant and stop unwanted insects and diseases from ruining your plants. Slugs and snails can be an issue - lay Tui Quash slug and snail control around young plants.