Watering and Fertilizing Cauliflower Plants

There are two basic components in achieving a successful cauliflower harvest –regular, consistent fertilizing and even watering.

Fertilizing

Although it is a pre-requisite to establish good soil by adding fertilizer to it several months before actually planting, it doesn’t stop right there.

Understand that cauliflowers grow rapidly and are vigorous feeders.  This means that they would continue to need to be fertilized for the whole duration of their growth so they can produce quality heads.  If not, subsequent crop failure is sure to happen.

Begin by determining the condition of the soil through a soil test and fertilize accordingly months ahead before setting out the plants.  If a soil test has not been taken, you can apply 5-10-10 at three pounds every 100 square feet of soil.

Once the cauliflower plants had been established – about three to four weeks after they had been set out – you can use a side dress of ammonium nitrate at a pound every 100 feet of row.

You may also use calcium nitrate.  Cauliflowers need sufficient supply of nitrate to be able to stimulate continuous growth.  Do this every couple of weeks throughout the crop’s growth.

Side dress with urea once you see the cauliflower heads begin to appear.

Watering

Cauliflowers are sensitive to drought or any drastic changes not just in the climatic conditions, but in how they are watered.

Basically, this vegetable needs an inch of water per week.  In cases where rain is not sufficient, you should water them yourself to provide the required water supply.

Take note that too little or too much water is harmful.  The water must be able to reach the soil at the depth of at least six inches to prevent shallow rooting of the plants.  They key is to provide even and uniform moisture supply.

Avoid watering the plants overhead as moist leaves can encourage the growth of fungi and diseases.  It is advisable that they be watered in the morning so that their leaves are already dry when the night comes.

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