Cauliflower Curd Problems – Reasons for Lost Cauliflower Heads

Cauliflower, a member of the Brassicaceae family, is a cool-season vegetable that is more difficult to grow than its Brassicaceae siblings. As such, it is susceptible to several cauliflower curd problems, including the loss of the cauliflower head.

Why is my cauliflower curd loose?

The cauliflower is a bit picky about its environmental conditions. For optimal results in cauliflower cultivation, it is best to start with transplants for spring and fall crops. Cauliflower is much more sensitive to cold temperatures than its cabbage counterparts, so it is imperative that you do not transplant until two to three weeks after the last frost date in your area. Cauliflower should be grown early enough to mature before the heat of summer, but not too early for the cold to damage it.

Any inconsistency in the environment of the cauliflower, such as extreme cold, heat or drought, can lead to malformation of the head or curd of the vegetable.

To answer precisely the question of why you have lost heads on your cauliflower, it’s because of the hot weather. Cauliflowers don’t like high flow rates in the thermometer, they prefer cooler temperatures. Be sure to plant the cauliflower early enough to avoid this cauliflower curd problem.

Also, give cauliflowers enough water and space between plants for vigorous growth. Regular and abundant watering is essential to prevent cauliflower heads from coming loose.

Excess nitrogen can also cause head losses not only in cauliflower but also in broccoli. Curd is still edible, but not as attractive.

Appropriate care to prevent cauliflower curd problems

As mentioned, cauliflower should be planted when the weather is cool but after a possible frost. The seeds should germinate at a temperature of 45-85 degrees F. (7-29 C.) and will germinate in five to ten days. Start indoors and transplant in early spring or sow directly in mid-summer for an autumn harvest.

Space plant 18 x 24 or 18 x 36 inches in moist, well-drained soil with a high organic matter content. It is wise to supplement cauliflower with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer when the plants are half developed and to maintain regular watering.

Some varieties of cauliflower need to be blanched; blanching involves tying the outer leaves around the head to protect it from sunburn. This process prevents sunlight from stimulating the production of green chlorophyll in the head. Some varieties have a natural tendency to wrap the leaves around the head and therefore do not need to be scalded. Blanch cauliflower when dry to prevent disease. Once scalded, the ripe head should be ready to harvest in seven to twelve days.

Loose heads in cauliflowers, as well as a number of other problems, are caused by stress during the growing process. Take care of your cauliflowers and avoid large changes in temperature and humidity.

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