If you are planting a garden this fall, cauliflower and broccoli are simple to grow and very healthy vegetables. They both have anti-oxidant & anti-cancer agents, anti-inflammatory nutrients, and are rich in vitamins and minerals. That sulfur smell of overcooked broccoli and cauliflower are the sulfur compounds that provide antiviral and antibiotic properties, which is what keeps the nutrients inside even after boiling. They are both so very good for you!
The optimal time to plant broccoli & cauliflower plants (not seed) in Montgomery County is mid-September through mid-October, although you can also plant them mid-January through mid-February. Growing broccoli in the fall usually is best. It will mature during cooler days and is sweeter than if grown during warmer temperatures, which can cause small head formation.
Broccoli & cauliflower require bright sunlight and are both heavy feeders, so provide a good amount of compost mixed in when planting. Don't forget to water regularly. Sporadic watering and drying out will cause the stem of the cauliflower to be woody and hinder the leaves from curling around the head, which serves to keep the head out of the sun. If you do have problems with the leaves, use a clothespin to fasten the leaves around the head to keep out sunlight.
Broccoli will mature within 60-80 days and cauliflower will take a bit longer to mature at about 80 or more days. Fertilize cauliflower when the first new leaves appear and at the first sign the head is forming. Harvest can happen at any time during head formation without loss in flavor. Broccoli is different from cauliflower in that it produces heads on branches more spaced out. After the first harvest, leave the plant in the ground and harvest smaller florets from the same branches over the next few weeks.
*Fall is also a great time to plant a variety of other vegetables.Click here for a helpful Montgomery County Vegetable Garden Planting Chart.
There's nothing better than picking and eating your own fresh vegetables from the garden, but perhaps you don't have the time to plan and create a vegetable garden yourself. That doesn't mean you can't have a garden!
Call Living Expression Landscapes (281-681-8715) to prepare and plant a garden for you. Let us do all the "heavy lifting" for you, then you enjoy the reward of picking and eating your own fresh fruits & veggies come harvest time!