Preparing the Soil for Cauliflowers

All plants need nutrition from the soil not just to survive, but to thrive.  Cauliflowers are especially heavy feeders and require much more nutrients from the soil than other vegetables.

To be able to stock the odds on your side and achieve a successful cauliflower harvest, it is best to prepare the soil a few months in advance before planting ideally in autumn.  Cauliflowers also need firm soil so working the plot at this time will give the soil enough time to settle.

Cauliflowers also prefer sweet soil – those that have acidity between 6 to 7pH.

To prepare the soil for cauliflowers, test the acidity of the soil first to determine if there’s a need to neutralize its acidity.  If you find that it’s too acidic, you will need to use lime or dolomite to achieve the required acidity for cauliflowers.

Once this has been done, dig in at least two inches of well-rotted cow, stable or green manure, compost or organic matter into the soil.  Then pack the soil down to firm it in place.

However, make sure that there is a six-week gap between liming and fertilizing the soil.

If you have not tested the soil, it is generally recommended to add 80 lbs of nitrogen, 15 to 20 lbs of borax, 80 lbs of P2O2, and 80 to 100 K2O per acre of soil.

Fertilizing the soil is not done only before planting but all throughout the growth of the cauliflower.  You can add 10-10-10 fertilizer at a rate of 5 pounds per 100 square feet to provide continuous nourishment.

Frequently feed your crops with side and top dressings of fertilizer such as seaweed fertilizer to ensure proper growth.   Some home gardeners also mix borax to the fertilizer to prevent clubroot.

Fumigating the soil to prevent weed growth will also immensely help your cauliflowers.