First time for cauliflower.

sphinx_faceJuly 13, 2014

I think a mistake we made was planting them too close together, the leaves weren't able to fully grow so when I tied them there were holes in which the blooms escaped making strange shaped heads. Also, despite multiple treatments of ladybugs and the presence of soldier beetles, there was a sizable infestation of mealy bugs. While I think they stuck mainly to the leaves, I think their droppings got onto the heads.... I'm just not sure about the quality of the final product, I also am unsure as to how to properly clean them. There was a small number of cabbage worms which I mostly picked off but how am I supposed to know if they have bored their way inside? I'm sure there are other things I'm not taking into account... Im just leery of eating them now... I have them soaking in cold water like in the picture but I don't think that's gonna do much?

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It looks like you waited a little too long to harvest. They went past the point where the heads are nice and tight and started to open up.

You can put a little salt in the water and soak for a few minutes and that will make any that are on there let go. I'm not sure about the burrowing.

Next time try Bt for the cabbage worms, it works really well on all caterpillars. And harvest earlier.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:56PM
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I Added salt and vinegar to the water and the mealy bugs are still attached. It seems like some parts of the cauliflower create bubbles when submerged. The heads started coming apart like that from when they were first growing because the leaves weren't leafy enough to cover them all...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 3:54PM
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Tying up the leaves is just for blanching. There are many varieties available now that don't require it. gin_gin is right-- you let them go too long before harvest.

Regarding the bugs, use a bit more vinegar. They'll dislodge eventually. If not, just cook it up well.. a little extra protein ain't gonna hurt you. ;)


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 4:06PM
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I think I'm gonna leave the califlower and broccoli to the experts... The more I go looking the more bugs I find, a huge cabbage borer just emerged I have no idea how I couldn't see him... I can only take so much of bugs before I start to have day/nightmares...

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 5:54PM
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Don't do that! Broccoli is one of the easiest and cauli is a bit more heat sensitive, but they're pretty easy to grow. About the only problem I ever have with them is caterpillars, like gin-gin mentioned. And, occasionally, cauli doesn't get to full head because of a freak heat wave. Brussels sprouts, on the other hand, are a complete pita! I think it's just too warm here, for them.


    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:00PM
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The mealy bugs are a bit more challenging than the caterpillars, as gross as they are I can deal with them.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 8:06PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

Row covers are a good idea for such non-flowering plants as cauliflower.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:15PM
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