Fruit & veg
Yes, I thought about the reply afterwards! We do get off the beaten track a bit!! Leaves nourish a plant, any plant. So I wouldn't nip anything at this early stage. They are a vital part of the life cycle of a plant. Like flowers to complete the life cycle.
I like the pale delicate leaves of a mature cauliflower. They are nice in a salad if they are tender enough. Even the outer leaves can be used in a stir fry etc. Perhaps not the extreme outer leaves - they could be - could be, fibrous. Depends on your taste!
Enjoy your garden.
A good hoeing is worth two waterings.
I would be very surprised if that pot of compost had a pH of 8 as the meter is showing.
But that pH won't be a problem for the brassicas, they don't like to be warm either so get them out from under that plastic.
Brassicas transplant well, every cabbage and cauliflower you buy in the shops has been transplanted, all be it a bit smaller than those you have there.
When you transplant them remember that they like to be firmly bedded in.
They can go a bit deeper than they are at the moment too.
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.
They need to be transplanted. I would bury them up to or just past the 1st leaves and firm them in. All brassicas like to be firmed in to prevent wind rock especially sprouts. You will be surprised how quickly they will establish once you have transplanted them. I grow about 50 odd cauliflowers a year always club root resistant ones.
I'm certainly NOT God's gift to gardening but a) I merely repeated what I'd been told about acid soil for florets and b) the opening question did say the plants are 2', i.e. two feet, tall which is no mean cauli? Some of our other members seem to lump all brassicas together, whereas my postie info is that some, like caulis, need to be treated differently. Let the experts decide.