Cauliflowers do best in very fertile soil, and digging in a bucketful of well-rotted manure or organic matter before planting, and raking in 150g per sq m of Growmore or other general purpose fertiliser, will help growth. Firm the soil by treading before planting.
If growth is checked, at any time during growth, they produce small, deformed heads. To avoid problems, water plants well the day before transplanting and make a hole deep enough to hold the plant with the lowest leaves at ground level. Fill this hole repeatedly with water. This will fill the hole with soil and ensure the plant is sitting in a large area of moist soil. Firm the soil very well against the roots.
Space summer and autumn cropping types 60cm (2ft) apart and winter cultivars around 75cm (2.5ft) apart; spacing of 30-45cm (12-18in) apart, provides mini, 'one person' curds.
Water well in dry weather, watering every 10 days, and apply sufficient water to thoroughly wet the root zone. Once the plants are growing well, add 30g (1oz) per square metre of high nitrogen fertiliser such as sulphate of ammonia to boost growth and curd formation.
Start cutting when the heads are firm; once the florets start to separate, it is too late.
‘Cheddar’AGM: Has orange-yellow flower-heads.
Skywalker’ AGM: Autumn use with particularly large white curds.
‘Clapton’: With large, white heads, this is for summer to late autumn harvest. Club root resistant.
‘Graffiti’AGM: Has deep purple heads.