Thursday, February 21, 2008

More Of The Wet Stuff

Looks like I won't be in the garden anytime soon...

Monday, February 4, 2008

After The Rain...

California was hit with a winter storm that included heavy rain, snow in the 2,000 ft elevation, mud/rock slides and even tornadoes...yes, I said tornadoes. The rain finally dissipated after about 1 1/2 weeks of on again off again rain. Today was the first day of sunshine in a while and also the first day that I was able to come out to the garden. To my surprise, nothing was washed away but actully thrived with all the excess water and freezing temperature. So check out what's for dinner tonight: broccoli and rappini!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

I am back...

It's been quite a while since I've posted anything but I should hope to be a bit more regular with the postings starting with my first cauliflower!

How To Grow Cauliflower

Cauliflower is part of the cabbage family along with broccoli, turnips, and brussels sprouts. It is important that cauliflower be planted early. It should be planted about three to four weeks before the last spring frost. If cauliflower is left to mature in the heat, it can acquire a very bitter taste.

1. Cauliflower seeds should be started indoors about eight weeks before the last expected frost of spring.

2. Seedlings need to be transplanted into the garden about three weeks before the last expected frost. Seedlings should be about six inches tall at this time.

3. Plant your cauliflower about eighteen inches apart in prepared garden soil. Cover the roots with dirt until you are just shy of touching the bottom leaves. Next, build out a little ring of soil around each plant. This will help hold moisture.

4. When the heads are between three to five inches across, you should prepare to blanch them. Blanching blocks the cauliflower heads from receiving direct sunlight. This keeps them sweet tasting and creamy white. To blanch, you should tie the leaves up around the cauliflower head. Just be certain that you do not tie the leaves too tight around the cauliflower heads. You want to allow the heads adequate room so they can continue growing as well as air circulation around the head. Blanching takes between five and eight days.

5. Depending upon the variety of cauliflower you have, you will harvest when the heads are between six and twelve inches across. You should harvest your cauliflower before the tight flower buds open. If you wait until the flower buds open and the flowers becomes loose, your cauliflower will start to loose its sweet taste. To harvest, cut the cauliflower just below the head.