I planted cauliflowers this year. None of them formed heads I replanted the seedlings twice and I have since heard that this is bad for them so maybe this is why. Now I have 2 rows of giant cauliflowers, still going strong despite the frost. I'm in the south of the UK. Should I leave them and see whether they grow heads next year? Or are they likely to just take up space and produce nothing?

1 Answer 1


Caulis are grown as a cool weather crop. Either fall or spring, avoiding the summer which can spoil the heads. As with any annual, they expect to be smoothly grown quickly through the vegetative phase (leaves, stems) and then switch to fruit or flower stage which calls for a different internal chemistry. Once that stage is done they are at end of life and croak. What can happen is that the plants grow so well and luxuriantly that they don't smoothly transfer from vegetative to fruiting, so they keep producing lovely leaves and no heads.

This could be what happened in your case. They may go to sleep over winter and suddenly produce a few small heads in spring that quickly go to seed and become compost material.

However all is not lost - cauliflowers, particularly those grown in rich conditions, grow nicely edible leaves, the older ones for soups and the younger softer ones for salads. You might consider thinking in terms of delicious leaves rather than nice big heads. In order to profit from the leaves you don't have to interfere with the possibility that normal heads might appear, but I think it would be unlikely.

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