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Will cauliflower do anything after you pick the main flower like broccoli or should I just pull the whole plant out when I'm harvesting?

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Cauliflower does not usually develop side shoots, therefore most people will dig up the whole plant after harvesting the heads.

Put the dug up plants in your compost pile, but if there is any sign of disease on the plants dispose of them via other means ie Not via your compost pile.

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Not to over emphasize the particulars, but is there any reason why would you harvest the heads, then dig up the whole plant? Why not just dig up the whole plant, then harvest the heads? – Peter Turner Jul 7 '11 at 15:31
@Peter Turner, cauliflower heads (curds) are fairly delicate, therefore removing them (with a very! sharp knife) from the plant before hand greatly reduces the risk of damaging them... – Mike Perry Jul 7 '11 at 15:37
FWIW, I've seen advice (in multiple places, but I can't remember where now) regarding composting brassicas that you should never put the roots into the compost because of the risk of disease. – bstpierre Jul 7 '11 at 15:40
@bstpierre, please feel free to edit my answer and add in that good piece of advice (better to be safe than sorry). – Mike Perry Jul 7 '11 at 15:43
I think that's good fodder for another question altogether! I couldn't find the answer on the internets. – Peter Turner Jul 7 '11 at 15:55

My dog figured out that cauliflower is delicious. Two plants survived with just a nub of the flower intact. They have regrown and I now have two more heads! They are not as tightly packed as the first ones were. I have also cut off some of the leaves and eaten them as well. I am going to cut off the majority of the head and see if it will do it again.

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Maybe we should rethink the way we garden! I, too cut the main head off that was huge on my fall cauliflower. But it had been planted next to a new fruit tree and I did not want to disturb the roots so I left it there thinking that it would decompose on its own. In the spring it produced 4 side shoots - each producing a very full head. I cut those off and guess what - it produced again in the fall. Unfortunately, my chickens got out and ate the plant for dinner one cold morning. I have an eggplant that is 3 years old and still producing along with various peppers and a cabbage that has 3 medium size heads on it at the moment. All of these plants are heirlooms and maybe we should all take a look to see if traditional pulling and replanting is really the optimal way to go. Good luck!

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What zone are you in? Bet that won't work in wisconsin, I left my Cauliflower out all winter and now it's a gnarly fibrous shaman stick. – Peter Turner Apr 12 at 16:50
Many vegetables are perennials in some climates, and being frost tender, are annuals elsewhere. Tomatoes are one such, as egg plants. – Graham Chiu Apr 13 at 1:13

Unlike some of the responses, I have experienced secondary growth after harvesting the main Cauliflower head. So, I would suggest keeping the plant and giving it a change, assuming you don't have any other use of that space i.e. you are not ready to plant something else.

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