How to get a good harvest of cauliflower?
Since ancient times, man has grown and used cabbage for food. As a vegetable culture, cabbage in the diet of Russians appeared in the 11th century, but only relatively recently began to use cauliflower for food. By taste and nutritional qualities, cauliflower, perhaps, leads the food row of vegetable crops necessary for a person. When growing through seedlings in June, you can harvest. Cauliflower, in addition to vitamins and minerals, contains vegetable protein, carbohydrates, amino acids and nitrogenous compounds, which are easily absorbed by the human body. The product is so hypoallergenic (i.e. does not contain allergenic elements) and is useful that it is recommended for infants to be first fed.
Cauliflower activates the formation of red blood cells, helps reduce blood sugar. In older people, cauliflower reduces bone fragility, while in children it promotes the growth and strengthening of the skeleton. All positive properties can not be counted. But even the ones listed indicate that cauliflower is a necessary vegetable in the garden. What prevents gardeners from getting large, high-quality tasty cauliflower heads?
Reasons for the fineness of cauliflower
One of the main reasons for the fineness of cauliflower is the wrong variety. Most varieties of cauliflower are of foreign origin, and even when zoning does not tolerate sharp temperature fluctuations in the spring and summer periods in the climatic conditions of Russia.
The period of sowing cauliflower
It affects the number of flower shoots, their size and sowing period. Cauliflower is a short-day plant. At 13-14 hours, mainly leaves develop. Also, the culture does not tolerate even temporary shading. Plants develop normally in bright conditions throughout the daylight hours. Otherwise, they do not form developed inflorescences.
Optimum temperature for cauliflower
Cauliflower needs moderately warm temperatures. Optimal for the development of inflorescences are in the range + 17 ... + 18 ° С. In cold nights, the development of inflorescences slows down, but they turn out to be large, and on hot (more than +25 ° С) they remain small, look loose, sparse, each flower shoot with unblown buds is separated from the general stem. The inflorescence looks like a fading disheveled bouquet.
The size of the inflorescences of the culture is affected by food availability. Cauliflower absolutely does not tolerate “hunger” and an excess of nitrogen, violation of the ratios of the main nutrients, lack of organic matter in the soil. During overfeeding, only a huge leaf mass of cauliflower is formed, which is not used for food. With a lack of nutrients, plants form buds that never open, but simply disintegrate and hang loose individual small, inferior inflorescences.
Proper watering of cauliflower
Violation of the irrigation regime adversely affects the formation of cauliflower leaves and the development of ovaries. Dry soil at an early age is almost impossible to fix by abundant watering during the rest of the growing season.
How to get a good harvest of cauliflower?
Preparing Cauliflower Seed
Harvest begins with seed. Cauliflower seeds are more practical to buy than to grow on your own. You need to buy seeds only from trusted sellers. The package must contain the following data:
- name of the variety or hybrid (F1),
- indication of zoning,
- the year of receipt of the seeds and the duration of storage of viable seed,
- approximate date of sowing in the area for seedlings and in open ground,
- maturity dates of the variety (early, medium, late) and approximate harvesting dates.
When buying cauliflower seeds, there is no need to prepare them for sowing, which significantly saves time.
What kind of cauliflower to choose?
Varieties of cauliflower differ in appearance in color of mature inflorescences. However, color does not affect product quality and depends on gourmet preferences. Some love snow-white inflorescences, others - purple or gently beige.
For a summer cottage it is better to purchase zoned domestic varieties of cauliflower obtained in the climatic conditions of a region or a specific district in a region. It is better to grow early or medium varieties that can form a finished product in 70-100 days.
Later varieties of cauliflower, especially in regions with a short summer period, may not mature and will need to be transplanted into a greenhouse or under cover. This is an additional job that requires the skills of more experienced gardeners, the presence of heated greenhouses.
Given that the full cycle of development of cauliflower even of early varieties is more than 100 days, it is most often grown through seedlings. The seedling period allows you to get an early (sometimes already in June) crop.
Of the early domestic varieties of cauliflower recommended by the State Register of the Russian Federation for cultivation in all regions of Russia, are Koza Dereza, Movir-74, Garantiya, Snezhinka. Variety Dachnitsa and the Incline F1 hybrid stand out for their resistance to adverse weather conditions. Varieties of cauliflower Movir-74 and Guarantee form high yields that are resistant to bacteriosis when grown in all regions, including Western Siberia, the Urals and the Far East.
Of the hybrids of cauliflower, the earliest are Daria, Anfisa, Tsarevna, Otechestvennaya, Gribovskaya early, Moscow Canning, Alla F1, Snegurochka F1.
Breeders annually offer new varieties and hybrids of cauliflower with improved qualities that can be selected from catalogs.
Preparing the soil for cauliflower
Cauliflower is a special vegetable crop. Plants cannot tolerate low-fertile, dense, heavy, clay soil with high acidity. Highlighting the bed in the cultivation of cauliflower, it is necessary to carry out all the work related to soil preparation in the fall. To deoxidize the soil in the fall, you need to add lime or dolomite flour. The soil acidity is considered optimal for cabbage at pH = 6.5-7.5.
Cauliflower soil needs to be seasoned with mature humus, compost or ready biohumus. Depending on the state of the soil (its fertility and type), to normalize the processes of water and air exchange, the amount of organic matter can be 1-3 buckets per square meter. m
Young seedlings and cauliflower seedlings are very sensitive to a lack of essential nutrients and trace elements, especially boron, molybdenum, and magnesium. Therefore, together with organic fertilizer in the fall, you can make nitrofoska or Kemir with a dose of 60-70 g / sq. m
It is possible to add half the norm of nitrophosphate in the fall, and in the spring, before planting cauliflower seedlings, supplement kemir, which contains the necessary trace elements. Autumn dressing with mineral tuks can be selected independently, depending on the condition of the soil.
Dates of sowing cauliflower by region
Regardless of the method of harvesting (through seedlings or direct sowing in open ground), it is necessary to observe the sowing dates recommended by the agricultural technique of growing cauliflower (Table 1).
If the cultivation of cauliflower is carried out through seedlings, then sowing is best done in peat pots or other utensils, but such that they do not disturb the root system of the crop when planting in a permanent place.
It is very important during seedling cultivation to prevent stops in the growth and development of plants. Long survival of the root system during planting in the ground will halt the development of the culture, and this failure in time will lead, ultimately, to the formation of a shallow head.
Table 1. Sowing cauliflower seeds for seedlings by region
|Regions||Seeding time for seedlings, date||The appearance of seedlings, days||Seedling age, days||Planting seedlings, date||Note|
|Southern regions||February 20 - April 20||4-5||30-35||March 20 - May 20||Sowing in several terms in 10-15 days. The first planting seedlings under cover. Direct sowing of seeds into the ground when stable weather sets in at a temperature not lower than + 17 ° С.|
|March 01 - May 25||35-40||April 25 - June 30|
|Central Black Earth regions||March 15-30||3-5||25-45||April 5 - May 5||Early planting seedlings under cover.|
|March 05 - April 05||35-50||April 15 - May 15|
|Middle zone||March 5 - 30||4-5||25-60||April 25 - May 15||The sowing and planting periods, respectively: 1 - early, 2 - medium, 3 - late.|
Sowing in several terms in 10-15 days. The first planting of seedlings in the greenhouse, later - under cover in the open ground.
|April 10 - May 10||35-40||May 20 - June 15|
|May 25 - June 10||30-35||July 1 - July 10|
|Ural and Siberian regions||March 5 - 10||5-6||45-50||May 25 - 30||To the greenhouse|
|Far East||March 10 - 15||5-6||45-60||May 25 - 30||Under shelter|
Planting Cauliflower Seedlings
In regions with a short warm period, it is more advisable to plant cauliflower seedlings in open ground or under light shelter at the age of 50-60 days, so that less time the plants have to be at risk (temperature changes, etc.).
To plant cauliflower in a permanent place, you need only absolutely healthy seedlings with an age of at least 35-40 days, a height of 15-17 cm, having a well-developed root with a large number of small fouling roots, 3-5 developed leaves, saturated green color. Seedlings elongated, pale, overgrown will not form a good large head.
For cauliflower, legumes, onions, and pumpkin are good precursors. Before planting, it is advisable to add 2-3 tablespoons of ash to each well. It will scare away pests and serve as a fertilizer with trace elements that seedlings are very needed in the first days of growth.
The planting scheme for cauliflower seedlings with an ordinary arrangement of plants is 50x25 cm. Planting cauliflower is carried out on a warm, cloudy day when the sun is hidden by clouds. Seedlings are buried in the planting hole to the first true leaf. After planting, the plant must be watered under the root with a solution of biofungicides planriz or phytosporin. Planted seedlings of cauliflower for 2-3 days (no more), cover from direct sunlight with any material, but not with a film.
Reckless way to grow cauliflower
With the seedlingless method of growing cauliflower in appropriate climatic conditions, the seeds are sown in the soil when the soil is heated in a root-inhabited 10-20 cm layer not lower than + 14 ... + 15 ° С, and air + 17 ... + 19 ° С.
A distance of 40-60 cm is left between the rows. The first time the breakthrough (plucking) of cauliflower is performed in the phase of 2 real leaves. Between plants leave a distance of 10-15 cm. Weak and thickening planting pluck.
In the phase of 5-6 leaves of cauliflower, the final formation of plant standing density is carried out. The distance during the breakthrough is 20-25, sometimes up to 30 cm (on highly fertile soils and strong tall varieties with a large aerial mass). Before breaking through cauliflower, the soil is well moistened. If there is free space, and the root system of the pulled out plants has no damage, then these plants can be transplanted to free space.
After the final formation of standing density, care for seedling and seedling crops does not differ from each other.
Care for cauliflower during the growing period
Regardless of the method of growing cauliflower (through seedlings or direct sowing into the soil), care includes tracking and maintaining moisture, lighting, nutrition with the recommended limits, and timely protection against diseases and pests. The soil under the plants after top dressing is loosened and spudded or (which is less painful for the plants) they add soil to the stems to the first leaves. Hilling or adding soil is combined with the first and second top dressing.
Cauliflower is a hygrophilous plant and throughout the growing season needs enough water. There are 2 periods in the development of cauliflower, when the culture especially needs water - these are the phases of the formation of the outlet and the setting of the head of cabbage. Soil moisture should not fall below 75-85% (the lump of soil in the hand does not stick together, but does not crumble when opening the palm, remains a dense, not sticky lump).
Even short-term drying of the soil negatively affects the development of cauliflower inflorescences and causes chopping of the heads. Watering is carried out 1-2 times a week with warm, settled water to remove chlorine (if any). A sharp decrease in soil temperature when watering with cold water (from a well, artesian and other sources) will affect the formation of the size of the plant heads in the future.
The roots of cauliflower are located close to the surface of the soil, so loosening is not always justified, it is better to mulch the soil after watering. Do not forget to spray plants in hot weather, spraying water to a state of fog.
Given the great need of the culture for nutrients, the formation of a quality crop requires additional fertilizer application. Cauliflower is responsive to organics, which means that it is advisable to alternate fertilizing with organic and mineral fertilizers. When feeding, you always need to remember that with too much "nutrition" the culture will form a lush bouquet of leaves, and heads with tasty inflorescences can not be obtained.
Cauliflower does not tolerate overfeeding with nitrogen, so nitrogen may be present in top dressings before head formation begins. Later, it is impractical to introduce it so that nitrates (or rather nitrites) do not accumulate in the edible part of the culture. It is better to provide plants with trace elements. They will strengthen the immunity of plants, which will protect against the invasion of pests and diseases. Spend 2-3 feeding using basic batteries with trace elements. Varieties of cauliflower with a long growing season are additionally fed with trace elements.
The feeding scheme may be as follows:
The first feeding of cauliflower
In the first feeding of cauliflower, nitrogen must necessarily be in order to enhance the development of the leaf mass necessary for photosynthesis. The first feeding is carried out after 10-12 days with a solution of organic fertilizers with the addition of trace elements. The solution is prepared in the ratio: cow manure 1:10, and bird droppings 1:15 parts of water.
If the farm does not have organics, you can buy organic fertilizers in the appropriate stores - dry granular bird droppings, liquid extracts of cow manure "Biud" or horse "Bucephalus", "Kaury" and others. In the initial period, cauliflower plants for laying and developing inflorescences boron, molybdenum, magnesium, manganese. They can be purchased at the store and added to the organic solution, dissolving according to the recommendations.
If there is no way to feed the plants with organic fertilizers, then you can make Kemir, terraflex or master, with a dose of 60-70 g / 10 l of water. Watering is carried out under the root of cauliflower, without filling the aboveground mass with a nutrient solution. These fertilizers contain trace elements. After each watering, it is necessary to mulch the soil to slow the evaporation of water and the formation of a crust.
If the above fertilizers are not available, you can prepare a solution of nitrophoska in the same dose and add trace elements there.
The second feeding of cauliflower
The second top dressing of cauliflower is carried out in a phase of 5-7 leaves. Make azofoska or other complex fertilizer at the rate of 50-70 g per 10 liters of water or sprinkle this dose per square meter. m under watering.At the second top dressing, 1 g of boron and molybdenum are necessarily added to the nutrient solution.
The third feeding of cauliflower
The third top dressing is carried out in the head formation phase (approximately with a large walnut). The formation of the cauliflower head begins after the growth of 7-9 covering leaves. They play the role of a storehouse of nutrients from an developing inflorescence. These leaves cannot be picked. Over time, having given all the nutrients to the inflorescence, they will turn yellow and fall off.
For 1 square. m make phosphorus-potassium fertilizer, respectively, 30 and 40 g. You can fertilize with any other full fertilizer, but with a minimum nitrogen content.
During this period, you can again feed cauliflower with a mixture of organic and mineral fertilizers. Mullein is diluted 1: 8 and for every 10 liters of solution add a dessert spoon of ammonium nitrate and superphosphate or a dessert spoon of nitric fat and a tablespoon of superphosphate and potassium sulfate.
How to cover the growing inflorescence of cauliflower?
As soon as the heads of cauliflower begin to be tied up, “huts” are arranged from 3 to 4 leaves of the outlet. Leaves bind over the inflorescence or fasten in another way. Some gardeners break the leaves so that they lie on a young inflorescence. If during this period you do not cover the growing inflorescence of cauliflower, then in the light it will lose its white color, it will begin to crumble into separate flower shoots.
After the head setting phase, cauliflower top dressing is stopped so that nitrates / nitrites do not accumulate in the product.
How to determine the maturity of cauliflower?
Fresh ripe cauliflower is heavy, dense, resilient. Individual inflorescences break off with a crunch. The leaves framing the inflorescence should be richly green, fresh and resilient.
Sluggish leaves of cauliflower, an inflorescence decaying into separate parts, separate flower shoots bending in different directions, dark spots on the leaves and stem are evidence of a poor-quality product. From such a product does not prepare a delicious dish.