Growing cauliflower in containers is an excellent method of propagation because it allows you to control and manipulate almost every aspect of the vegetable's growing conditions. Since cauliflower roots are fairly shallow, it is an excellent candidate for container gardening because its roots will not be constricted by the container sides. This article will give you step-by-step instructions detailing how to grow cauliflower from seed in a container.
Tools and Materials Needed for Cauliflower Container Growing:
- Package of viable cauliflower seeds
- Plastic wrap (to use during germination)
- 1 package of biodegradable pots (to use during germination)
- 2 lbs. gardening gravel
- 5 gallons minimum of organic potting soil mixture (specifications will be described below)
- 2 to 3 12-inch containers equipped with drainage holes
Step 1: Decide When to Plant Cauliflower Seeds
If you’re planning on growing your cauliflower plants outdoors, you will need to start the cauliflower seeds 1 month before spring and then move the containers outside after the threat of frost has diminished. However, if you plan on keeping your plants indoors, you may start the seeds whenever you wish.
Step 2: Germinate Cauliflower Seeds in Biodegradable Pots
Fill several biodegradable pots with your organic soil mix before watering each of them enough to moisten the soil. When choosing an organic soil mixture, bear in mind that cauliflower grows best in soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0 and requires well draining soil. Place the moistened biodegradable pots in a plastic container to catch any excess moisture that leaches out of the pots.
Sprinkle several seeds into each of the biodegradable pots and cover with about ¼ inch of dry potting soil. Cover the pots with a layer of plastic wrap to increase the humidity and temperature within the pots; increasing the rate of germination. In a matter of weeks, small green sprouts should appear from the surface of the biodegradable pots at which time the plastic wrap must be removed.
Step 3: Thin Seedlings and Prepare Larger Containers for Transplanting
When the cauliflower seedlings reach a height of about 2 inches, they will need to be thinned as prescribed by the back of the seedling package. It is best to thin all but one seedling; leaving the strongest and most vivacious seedling in the pot.
After thinning, you will need to prepare the 12-inch pots for transplanting. To do this, cover the bottom 2-inches of the container with garden gravel to ensure proper drainage. Fill the remaining space in the container with potting soil and water the containers to completely moisten the growing medium.
Step 4: Transplant Seedlings and Care for Cauliflower in Containers
After you have prepared your large containers, you may transplant two or three of the seedlings in the biodegradable pots into the larger containers. The roots of the mature cauliflowers will grow out of the biodegradable pots and establish itself in the larger container. Care for your container cauliflower plants in the same manner as you would cauliflower in the outdoors.