Why Cauliflower is a Top Crop
Packed with a wide range of nutrients, its no wonder cauliflower is considered a superfood and better yet, why it’s such a popular commercial and home-grown crop.
There aren’t many things to be sown in autumn, however, this hardy and versatile vegetable has a small range of varieties that can be specifically sown at this time of year to produce early and late spring harvests.
These late season varieties will provide all the superfood qualities of cauliflower, such as improving kidney function, boosting brain development and providing antioxidants in their respective quantities.
Discover more about the individual types and how to sow cauliflower in autumn…
Cauliflower Seeds to Sow in October
Gypsy cauliflowers are dynamic in how they can be sown in both spring and autumn. Meaning they can tolerate a wide range of environmental conditions, one of which is less fertile soil. While they can tolerate less fertile soil, this would not be ideal for best results. The time of sowing with this variety is ultimately up to the gardeners preferred time of harvest.
If you’re wanting an early spring crop, then Orkney is the cauliflower to go with. This is considered a great alternative to the Mayflower variety, known for producing the earliest harvesting cauliflower crop. Orkney cauliflowers are excellent to grow for a continuous crop of large curd heads.
- “All Year Round” (pictured above)
Don’t be mistaken by the name of this variety of cauliflower. They aren’t quite ‘all year round’, hence the quotation marks. However, they are suitable for sowing between September and October. They cope well in a range of conditions and produce a decently sized cauliflower head.
How to Sow Cauliflower in Autumn
To get cauliflower sown to the best start in autumn, it is advised that you sow in deep, nutrient-rich soil with a good level of moisture retention. Maintaining soil moisture throughout the development of the cauliflower plant is crucial to prevent stunts its growth.
You don’t want to be disappointed when your crops producing small heads because of this.
Although watering may be less of an effort for gardeners since this time of year is likely to be rainier than the spring/summer growing season.
The seeds should ideally be sown into modular trays at a depth of 1 ½ cm, covered with a fine layer of compost (in rows of about 15cms apart if sown directly into the ground). If sowing directly into the soil, make sure to space out seedlings to leave about 8cm between plants.
Finally, to reduce the amount of root disturbance, transplant the cauliflowers to their permanent growing positions once 5 to 6 leaves can be observed on the plant.
Sowing in modular trays is beneficial to help establish the cauliflower seeds, making them stronger as young plants that are more resistant to garden pests and diseases. However, we would highly recommend using a cold weather fertiliser at the time of planting out to protect your plant even more from the cold autumn growing conditions, especially with the increased chance of frost.