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It's Time for Cauliflower

Not Just a white veggie anymore!
Not Just a white veggie anymore!

Yes, it really is time for cauliflower, if you are a gardener here in Zone 6. Oh, not time to go out and hack through the ice covering the raised beds and sow some seeds, hardly that, but time to think about starting your plants in doors.

Cauliflower is one of those plants which react very badly to heat, and often putting in seeds around the last frost date can get the plants in trouble just about when the heads were starting to look good. What the gardener may end up with are malformed, browned and dry florets, virtually inedible and not in the least desirable.

But by starting the plants indoors we can steal a march on time and weather, and almost guarantee a delicious, cosmetically appealing crop.

If we consult our gardening literature we find that cauliflower can be transplanted to the garden 4 weeks before until 2 weeks after the last frost date. Zone 6 has an anticipated last frost of April 20th, let us split the difference and go for a transplant date about one week before, or around the 14th.

We can start the seeds 6 to 8 weeks before planting, with an additional seven days for germination. If we back off 8 weeks from April 14th we are already at February 15th. Obviously, the moment is upon us. Have you ordered your seeds?

Keep in mind that when you do you have wealth of varieties to choose from, with various growing maturation times, head size and colors. Colors now include tradition white, yellow, orange, green and purple.

Cauliflower is rich in good things like vitamins C, K, B-6, pantothenic acid, choline and folate and has many other vitamins and minerals in lesser amounts. Other phytonutrients are important detoxifiers, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Cauliflower has been shown to be an important supplier of compounds which aid the fight against diabetes, cardio vascular disease, obesity and digestive ailments.

Orange cauliflower possesses 25 times the beta carotene of the white variety, and purple heads have many times the amount of anthocyanins.

Cauliflower tastes good, is good for your health and needs to be started early.

What are you waiting for?

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