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  1. #1
    newgardengirl is offline Seedling
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    Default What should a cauliflower plant look like?

    I have four cauliflower plants which started off in pots indoors but are now on the main patch outside, under cloches (home made ones that are just the tops of old plastic bottles).

    To be fair the bottles are all of different sizes, but at the moment two of the cauliflower plants are now starting to grow through the opening at the top. Is this normal, or does this mean they have "bolted"? I'm not sure what cauliflower plants are supposed to look like or how tall they should be, so I don't know if the situation is right or not.

    Also all my pea plants are outside under similar cloches. How do I know when is the best time to remove the cloches and let the plants grow on their own in the open air? (I will need to put some support sticks in the ground soon for support anyway).

  2. #2
    Cutecumber is offline Cropper
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    Where is the growing tip of the cauliflower (the central point where the leaves come from)?

    If that is what is coming through the bottle top, and the leaves have stopped growing, it has probably bolted.

    If it is the whole plant or outside leaves growing upwards, if may be ok.

    Cauliflowers can have quite large outer leaves. They are usually a pointed oval kind of shape. A mature plant could reach a foot off the ground, say. You shouldn't see much stalk, just outer leaves and a the central head.

    If the peas are ok and not getting over-heated (i.e. wilting) I should let them get to the top of the cloche, then remove it. There isn't any harm in removing it sooner if the weather is mild, as peas are hardy.

  3. #3
    newgardengirl is offline Seedling
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cutecumber View Post
    Where is the growing tip of the cauliflower (the central point where the leaves come from)?

    If that is what is coming through the bottle top, and the leaves have stopped growing, it has probably bolted.

    If it is the whole plant or outside leaves growing upwards, if may be ok.
    Ah, that makes much more sense now, thanks!

    The growing tip is still in the ground, luckily. It's the leaves that are growing upwards so hopefully it'll be okay. But I still have a few more growing in pots in the kitchen, just in case.

  4. #4
    Cutecumber is offline Cropper
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    That's good. Doesn't sound bolted to me. It would be an odd time for them to do it, anyway, I think.

    The leaves can be really tall and pointed - I was quite surprised when I first grew some.

  5. #5
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    rustylady is offline Gardening Guru
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    Peas and cauliflowers are hardy, so really shouldn't need protection from the weather, specially as it's been so mild. What they do need is protection from cabbage white butterflies. If you grow them under plastic they will grow fast and soft, which you don't really need. I would remove the plastic during the day and cover at night for about a week, then leave uncovered (maybe put some fine mesh over them to keep the butterflies off)

  6. #6
    Snadger's Avatar
    Snadger is offline Gardening Guru
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rustylady View Post
    Peas and cauliflowers are hardy, so really shouldn't need protection from the weather, specially as it's been so mild. What they do need is protection from cabbage white butterflies. If you grow them under plastic they will grow fast and soft, which you don't really need. I would remove the plastic during the day and cover at night for about a week, then leave uncovered (maybe put some fine mesh over them to keep the butterflies off)
    My sentiments exactly...spot on rusty!!!
    My Majesty made for him a garden anew in order
    to present to him vegetables and all beautiful flowers.- Offerings of Thutmose III to Amon-Ra (1500 BCE)
    Diversify & prosper!


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