Brassica oleracea botrytis (Cauliflower ‘Snow Crown’)
60 days to maturity. F-1 hybrid. All America Selection winner. A favorite with home gardeners as well as commercial growers, it is one of the easiest of the early varieties and maintains its prime eating quality up to 10 days in the garden. Quite vigorous, it produces mild, sweet, high quality heads that are pure white and average 2 pounds and 7-8" across. Heads are ready for harvest when they are 6-8 in. in diameter with a tight smooth surface; once the main heads are removed, smaller side-heads will form. Cauliflower is a cool weather crop and this far south, it should be planted in the fall, insuring adequate time for harvest before consistent 80 degree spring weather causes the heads to bolt (flower and then go to seed). Prepare soil in full sun, adding nitrogen if necessary and neutralizing heavily alkaline or acidic soils. Space plants 18-24" apart in rows 24-30" apart. Cauliflower may also be grown in 7 gallon containers, 1 plant per pot.
To produce the whitest heads, cauliflower needs to be blanched; as soon as the heads are a couple of inches across, the leaves surrounding the head are loosely tied together to protect it from the sun which turns the heads creamy white or greenish. Generally within a couple of weeks of blanching, the heads are ready to harvest.