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can anybody suggest what to do with exploding cauliflowers.  They grow and I can see a small cauliflower head - then suddenly the whole head seems to shoot up in all directions and looks more like a sprouting cauliflower - no use and have to be put on compost.  this is happening to all my cauliflowers.


  • Hello @reeveswendy and welcome to the forum  :)

    It's been a funny old season ...... looks like they need picking a bit sooner than you think ... but if they begin to 'explode' they make perfectly good cauliflower cheese or soup ... if you've room in your freezer do some batch cooking ... perfect winter 'comfort food'.   :)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • I don't know if you did any of these, but my cauli-growing tips are:
    • They won't do well on light, sandy soils but adding lots of well-rotted manure may help (they will do well on clay soils and manure helps with those, too.)
    • Plant out at 5-leaf stage and deeply, so the bottom of the leaves are at soil level.
    • Firm the soil well around the roots.
    • Keep them watered - if allowed to dry out at any stage, they are much more likely to 'bolt' (which is pretty much what you describe.)
    Having said that, I lost most of mine to slugs this year.  If it's not one thing, it's another! :D
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • My caulis are planted on light soil that is first time planted (probably was a field before it came as top soil) the caulis have been well watered and fed with a variety of things like Epsom salts and seaweed but the leaves are starting to show white patches, looks like they are bleached in patches and the edges of the leaves look more crinkly that I’ve seen in cauli plants.any ideas?
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,462
    What is the soil PH - cauliflowers apparently prefer a slightly acid soil, unlike other brassicas?  Don't know if this would cause your symptoms as I'm a cauli novice, mine  are ready and waiting to be planted, when the weather gives me and them a fighting chance :)
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 2,528
    @BobTheGardener we can't grow caulis on our clay soil and have not been able to do so since 1978 so we have never tried over the decades.
  • Apparently it’s early stages of white rust. I’ve pulled them out.
  • nick615nick615 Posts: 1,460
    Endorsing what others have said, those of the brassica family that produce florets, e.g. caulis and sprouting broccoli, need a more acidic soil to help form the florets.  Farmyard manure will help.
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