Saturday, July 11, 2020

Say Farewell to the Cauliflower

This is the last year I'm going to grow cauliflower.  (Will someone please remind me of this next spring?  Thank you.)

1)  It takes up a lot of garden real estate as the plants are tall and spread their leaves out a couple of feet in all directions.

2)  I dislike the task of tying up the leaves over the growing heads in order to keep them uniform and white.

3)  We don't eat cauliflower that much when we have a choice of other (more interesting and colorful on the plate?) vegetables.

At least I cut the number grown this year down to six rather than the usual nine.  This was because (I'm finally getting smart?  Nah, that couldn't be . . . ) I still have many servings in the freezer from last year.

Considering the fact that some very industrious, and hungry, insects ate so much of the leaves that they resembled lace, the heads themselves look fairly good.

I maybe coulda/shoulda let them grow a while longer, especially that little one on the front left, but I was super tired of untying and then typing up again the leaves when I checked the development of the heads.

Right now I've got the flowerettes soaking in salt water before I blanch them as I'm taking no chances with any relatives of the ugly-buglies that have been dining well on the leaves.  I even found one little green worm (eeek!) when I was cutting the heads apart.

What will I plant next year in the space previously allotted to cauliflower?  Oh, how about something that will give me real fits?  Eggplant!  I've NEV-ah been able to successfully grow that.


Goatldi said...

Note to self remind Mama Pea NO CAULIFLOWER IN 2021 unless there is an election then a lot of cauliflower.

Whew that is done. MP jump over to my blog and check out my delightful little Patio Baby Eggplant. This is the Queen of my garden. Even I grew it. Is that in itself not enough of an endorsement?

Personally I think the little one on the left is adorable and I avoid cauliflower like the plague.

Most sincerely your friend in blog.

Leigh said...

I don't think I've ever tried to grow cauliflower. I like it okay, but I guess not well enough to try to grow it. I definitely wouldn't like tying up the leaves for blanching either. I have a hard time making myself do that with my cardoon. I've not had much success with eggplant, although my excuse for not growing it is that Dan doesn't really care for it. Even so, I think it's a good choice over cauliflower!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I bid you farewell, cauliflower. If you were at my house, only two out of four of us would eat you. Yes, you should try eggplant. Very pretty! -Jenn

Michelle said...

I really like cauliflower and buy quite a lot of it. Never tried to grow it, though; doesn't sound like a good choice for my small plot. I almost always plant eggplant; the skinny Japanese varieties grow best for me, and the plants stay small. I use it in recipes but like cauliflower better. Now off to Google "cardoon"!

Vera said...

My husband said that since we have a range of market gardens in our area there is no need to grow large vegetables, but I have had it on my mind to concentrate on micro greens and pick and come again lettuce, but they often soggy and wilted when I get them from the shop. Love cauliflower, but never had success with growing them, but I do love them!

SmartAlex said...

Nope, I can't accept that. You should grow our favorite Flame Star orange cauliflower. Colorful on the plate, and does not require leaf tying. It was my husband's favorite last year for taste. This year I tried the deep, berry colored "Graffiti". Haven't cut one yet to taste but the color is amazing Not sure how I expect a berry-colored cauliflower to taste!

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - I'm not sure, but I think the reason I've always had trouble with eggplant is because it requires more heat than we have. However, THIS year (sigh), I probably could have made it happy because we've gone from too cold to grow anything to hot, hot, hot and humid! Wouldn't ya know? I'm counting on you to forbid me to start any cauliflower seeds next spring, okay?

Leigh - Ha, Dan and Papa Pea are of the same mind regarding eggplant. My husband says the only eggplant he'll eat is if I grow it myself. (None from the store is allowed!) So far, he's been totally safe 'cause I've not been successful growing eggplant in many tries.

Jenn - Gotta say the only good reason I have for growing cauliflower is the Cheddar-Cauliflower Soup I make that everyone loves. But how many times a year do I make that? Apparently, not often enough to use up all of the stuff I grow!

Michelle - All of you are pushing me to try eggplant again next year. (My husband will thrilled to hear this. Not.)

Vera - Yay, for close-by markets where you can get fresh veggies! I do agree, however, that there is nothing like hand-picked greens from your own garden. The ultimate in fresh, succulent, crunchy, crispy eating! (And I do love small flowerettes of cauliflower in a big tossed salad.)

Mama Pea said...

SmartAlex - Okay, you are bad. You are very, very bad. How can I possibly restrain myself with a recommendation like that? Goatldi, I'm counting on you to uphold your promise to keep me away from any and all cauliflower seeds this coming spring!! (Now I'll never admit to this if asked, Gardening Guru SmartAlex, but I am writing down those two varieties. You know, just in case. Sometime. Some way. Some day.)

Rosalea said...

Those are beautiful cauliflower, MP! I have been toying with the idea of trying to grow them next year. I like to grow broccoli, as it gives side shoots until very late in the fall, or in our case, until the deer get nervy enough to start nibbling on the garden! That is my cue to pull them and the turnips, and encase any other green thing I keep going til late. (like kale, carrots, and greens). Maybe eggies would work for you if you raised them as you do your sweet peppers? I took a page out of your book and have my bed of 12 pepper plants encased in a fence of 'row cover' cloth, and put big granite rocks in between the plants to absorb heat and radiate it back during the night. Best patch I've ever grown, but then, it has been stupid hot for the last week or so.

Rain said...

Hi Mama Pea :) I think your cauliflower looks great. This is the first time I'm planting it this year, I wonder if I planted too late though. Time will tell!

Mama Pea said...

Rosalea - What a great idea the big rocks in the bed are for those heat loving plants! So simple, inexpensive and (certainly in our case) available! Loved your wording about the weather -- stupid hot -- that's what ours has been for sure. I undoubtedly brought it on by my constant whining about our cold, cold spring and early summer!

Rain - Cauliflower supposedly likea to grow and mature in cool weather so that's another reason I decided to harvest ours. In this stupid hot (see Rosalea's comment above!) weather we're having I was kinda afraid the heads would bolt and not be as "preservable." Good luck with yours! And, yes, time will tell . . .

BethB from Indiana said...

They may be a pain to grow, but your cauliflower look great. I've never tried to grow anything except for some lettuce and greens via a grow light system. We did that a number of years ago, and I don't know why we quit, but the grow light is still on our kitchen counter between our two corner windows. The light is wonderful for illuminating our double sink/food prep area, and we have an African violet and an aloe plant on the the stand to "beautiful" things.

My mom was an avid gardener for her whole life. I wish I'd had her green thumb and an area in a yard to use when I was physical able to garden.

Mama Pea said...

BethB -Thanks! Your grow light in the kitchen would be great for growing greens in the winter time. Your own little mini-greenhouse.

Our situations are the reverse. My mom (or dad) never did any gardening, but I had the interest and started gardening right away when I was married. Haven't stopped yet and still enjoy it.

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