Vitaverde | F1 Cauliflower seed
$3.85 – $160.00 AUD excl gst
For both cool and warm weather production
Big, heavy, green heads mature early on large plants. Can be grown for traditional harvest in autumn, but is also suitable for summer production in areas with moderate heat, and winter production in mild areas
- Nice firm green curd
- Not prone to riciness
- Good vigour
- 65 – 75 day maturity summer, 70 – 80 day maturity spring and autumn
- Best suited to harvest from spring to autumn in temperate areas
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Brassica oleracea
CULTURE: Cauliflower prefers a well-drained, fertile soil high in organic matter, a pH of 6.0-7.5 with consistent moisture throughout the growing season. Irrigate regularly for best results. Cauliflower does not do well in hot weather; the best success is with spring and autumn crops.
- 2 rows per bed spaced every 45cm on the row
- Broccoli, cabbage and cauliflowers are all heavy feeders that require lots of compost, +/- 5cm all across the bed. In rich soils, compost can be replaced with a buried cover crop of leguminous nature, but in both cases, we add nitrogen- rich organic fertilizers like pelleted chicken manure (5-3-2) to help the plant quickly develops its canopy.
- A second boost of nitrogen is added to the crop +/- 14 days after the transplant by amending the soil with blood or alfalfa meal (or equivalent).
- Drip tape or Techline (4 per bed) or sprinkler Irrigation Management
- Root depth: Shallow 15-60cm
- Critical period: Head development
- General: Needs even moisture or heads might crack.
We plan different successions of cabbages in the spring and later in the summer for autumn crops, avoiding plantings in the heat of the summer. We plant cabbages with other heavy feeding crucifers like, broccoli, cauliflowers and kohlrabi, all crops which spend +/- 60 days in the field.
- Rotary harrow. Option 1; R2 power harrow. Option 2; Tilther.
- Broadfork. Option 1; 6 tyne Broadfork with hardwood handles. Option 2; 5 tyne, 7 tyne, metal handled extra heavy duty.
- Row markers. Option1; Neversink Gridder, Option 2; 75cm bed prep rake + marking tubes
- Declumping tray
- Anti-insect net and hoops. Net option 1; Woven insect net. Net option 2; Horticultural fleece.
- Remove silage tarp and-or clean large debris. Use the rake if needed. *
- Uniformly apply compost and amendments and pass with the rotary harrow at a depth of 5cm. To make transplanting easier (seeing as the soil is loose after being harrowed), we only prepare the beds when we are about to transplant.
- Using the bed prep rake and 2 tubes, mark the rows both lengthways and sideways. Bring the well-watered trays.
- Using the declumping tray to facilitate clump extraction, 1 person will drop the seedling while 2 others transplant the plants as fast as possible. 3 people/30m bed is a good ratio for efficient workflow.
- Bury the seedling all the way to where the leaves start to branch out.
- Install the hoops every 1.5 metres and cover the crops with the anti-insect net. Set sandbags on every hoop.
- Install irrigation and water the soil until it is deeply moist.
* If the previous crop is too well established, or if the bed is too messy, mow the crop as low as possible and harrow at a depth of 5cm. Add 2.5cm of compost evenly spread on the whole wilih of the bed and transplant into compost following a no-till strategy.
- 14 days after the transplant, the crops are cultivated using a stirrup hoe and amended bed with blood or alfalfa meal. Hoeing will take care of the weeds, break the crust and mix your amendments in the soil.
- Cover the beds with a +/-10cm of straw mulch 10cm. This will keep the soil cooler, which is beneficial for the crop.
- Immediately after transplanting, install anti-insect net on the crop. Place sandbags every 1.5 metres to make sure the nets are sealed down.
- After transplant, seedlings are sometimes being attacked by white or gray worms in which case, they’ll need to be replaced. For this reason, keep leftovers seedlings another week in the nursery after the transplant.
- Slugs can also be an issue. But, unless there’s a major infestation, we don?t worry about them.
- To protect the crop against the cabbage moth, systematically spray BT+/- 25 days and another 10 days later. When spraying for BT, add boron and seaweed (or compost tea) together and apply foliarly. This is better done early morning so to let the leaf absorb the foliar application. Avoid spraying during or before a rain, as it will diminish the effect of the application.
- If sweet midge is a problem of if flea beetles are very problematic, crops should be covered with insect netting all the to harvest.
- Cabbage is harvested standing upright using a field and tree planting bags. Push down the side leaves using both hands and cut the cabbage at its very bottom.
- Do not overfill the harvest containers so to be able to stack them.
- Cabbages are not washed and simply put storage bins. Do not overfill bins, so not to bruise the top cabbages.
- Cabbage heads are stored in cold room kept at 2C and can be stored many months.
*The following modified excerpt from ‘The Market Gardener’s Masterclass” technical sheets (JM Fortier 2018) is a reference to cabbage but closely applies to caulies, broccolis and kohlrabbi. This reference material is intended to support the development of bio-intensive small mixed production for profit.
EARLY SPRING CROP: Use early and midseason varieties. Sow in 72-cell plug flats. Seedlings should be ready to transplant in 4-6 weeks. If possible, keep soil at least 21C until germination, and 16C thereafter. Transplant outdoors when seedlings are no older than 4-5 weeks old. Older plants tend to be stressed and do not perform as well as actively growing seedlings. Harden plants carefully by gradually increasing cold before transplanting out, 45cm between plants and 60-75cm between rows.
AUTUMN CROP: Use midseason and storage varieties. Start seedlings as above in November and transplant to the garden in December-January. To ensure mature heads, seed the crop early in areas where heavy frosts occur early in autumn.
WINTER CROP: Successful cauliflower crops can be grown where winters are mild (temperatures rarely below 0C). Transplants can be set out from March to August in these regions.
DIRECT SEEDING: Sow 3-4 seeds 35cm apart, 12mm deep, rows 60-75cm apart, thinning to one plant in each group.
DISEASES: Adhere strictly to a preventive program including: (1) long crop rotations with non-cruciferous crops, (2) clean starting mixes and outdoor seedbeds, and (3) strict sanitation practices. Black rot can be seed-borne.
NOTE: A disease-free test result means that in the sample tested, the pathogen targeted was not found. It does not guarantee a seed lot to be disease-free. However, no method of seed treatment can positively insure freedom from disease. We are glad to help with specific questions.
INSECT PESTS: Repel flea beetles and root maggots on young seedlings by covering with floating row covers from day of planting. Treat flea beetles with insecticides such as pyrethrin or azadirachtin if heavy pressure is observed. For cabbage worms and loopers, use Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) DIPEL. Cutworm prevention: Cultivate soil 2-4 weeks before planting to work in cover crops and destroy weeds.
BLANCHING: When small white heads become visible through leaves, gather the outer leaves over the head and tie with string or a large rubber band to preserve white curd colour. Although tying is not necessary to grow cauliflower, the practice helps prevent yellowing of the curd due to exposure to sunlight and results in better head quality when curd develops during hot weather.
HARVEST: Keep an eye on development, cutting heads when desired size is obtained but before the curds becomes loose, or “ricey.”
STORAGE: Store at 0C and 95-98% relative humidity for 2-3 weeks.
SIZED SEEDS: Standard except where noted.
SEED SPECS: Seeds/500g: 84,000-164,400 (Avg. 105,800)
- Latin Name: Brassica oleracea var. botrytis
- Days To Maturity: 78 Days