Cultivation Of Cauliflower

Nutritive Value: As a member of the Cole crop vegetable, cauliflower is one of the important vegetable that can be used in various formulations of mixed vegetables in the kitchen. It can be grown in soil as well as in pots on terraces. Cauliflower contains 91 percent water, 4.0 percent carbohydrates, 2.6 percent protein and is rich in vitamins A, B, C, phosphorus, calcium and iron.

Soil and Climate: Cauliflower can be grown in heavy to medium welldrained soils having little acidic soil, the pH value ranging from 5.5 to 6.6. It is basically a cool climate crop of European origion and is well grown in the temperature range of 25 to 27 °C.

Important Varieties: Pusa snowball, Pusa early synthetic, Early kuwari and Pusa deepali are popular varieties of cauliflower grown under South Indian climatic conditions.

Planting and Irrigation: The seeds of early maturing varieties of cauliflower are sown in the month of June to July, mid season varieties in July to August and late season varieties in September to October in the South Indian plains to raise seedlings. Three grams of seed are needed for approximately 1 m 2 size area on a
raised bed. For transplanting, seedlings of 1.0 to 1.5 months are used followed by supporting the planted seedlings with soil, which is highly beneficial for establishment of seedlings in the soil. Manure in the form of compost mixed with bone meal and oil seed cakes like neem cake, karanj cake, etc., are applied at the time of transplanting. Since the cauliflower crop is shallowrooted, less
irrigation water with more frequency should be given.

Plant Protection: The cauliflower crop is mostly attacked by aphids, leaf miner and leaf eating caterpillars that can be controlled initiallyby spraying systemic insecticides. At later stages when the crop grows towards maturity botanical insecticides can be used to protect the vegetable from insect infestation. Besides that, poor nutrition, sudden climatic changes and transplanting overage seedlings
cause bolting and buttoning in cauliflowers.

Harvesting: The quality of head which is also called as curd of cauliflower can be protected by covering the lower leaves of the same plant on head and tied with leaves only. Head or curd of cauliflower can be harvested after 60 to 90 days in early maturing varieties while it takes 90 to 120 days in mid and late maturing