To grow from seedlings, first prepare your soil as mentioned above. If you choose to buy nursery-grown seedlings, or you’re transplanting your own pot-grown seedlings, plant them two to four weeks before the last spring frost date for a spring crop. Plant in the cooler part of the day, morning or evening.
Plant seedlings so that the crown of the plant is below the surface of the soil to reduce damage caused by winds.
Set plants 24 inches apart with 3 feet between rows. In early spring, be ready to protect plants from deep frost by covering them with old milk jugs or heavy-duty floating row covers. Extreme cold can halt growth or cause the plant to form buttons.
For a fall crop, plant six to eight weeks before the first fall frost date, but after daytime temperatures regularly fall below 75 degrees F. Shade fall crops from heat if necessary.
Changes to temperature, moisture, or soil nutrition, or the addition of insects, are the enemies of a good cauliflower crop. These are things you’ll have to be vigilant about. Use row covers to maintain healthy temperatures. Water regularly with 2 inches of water per week, which is usually more than normal rainfall. Side dress your plants with a high-nitrogen fertilizer three to four weeks after transplanting.
Above all, be patient! Some varieties take at least 75 to 85 days from transplanting to fully form the head, which will start out loose before it takes on the appearance you’re accustomed to.
Have you tried growing cauliflower from seedlings? Please tell us how you enjoyed this method.