Real Men Sow

I’ve Got the Cauli-Power, Mark II

Back in 2010, I successfully grew a cauliflower. It had taken three seasons, but I’d finally broken the cauli hoodoo with a 4lb corker.

Overjoyed, I was sure that I’d mastered this notoriously fickle vegetable. However, 2011 came and went with a cauliflower blank, and checking my plants recently, it looked like 2012 would go the same way.

But no! From nowhere, this popped up:

Vegetables Make Me Jump
As silly as it sounds, some things genuinely make me jump on the plot, and I don’t mean the wind blowing the shed door shut, or a cat jumping unexpectedly out of my compost heap. I mean the vegetables. For example, I’m often startled by the manner in which a courgette visibly grows during a summer’s day.

Likewise, the growth of cauliflowers surprise me. This has happened at both successful cauli harvests. I don’t know if it is just me bloke looking, but I surveyed my plants just a few weeks ago and there was no sign of any maturing cauliflowers.

Cheered Up by Nature
Sometimes, nature has a funny way of cheering us up. After a tough season when very little went right, I’ve managed to grow a really difficult vegetable for only the second time in 5 years of allotmenteering. That’s enough to bring a big smile to my face as I gently picked the big yellow treat and dreamt of smothering it in a bucketful of cheese.

A Cauli Reprieve?
Ironically, I was going to give up growing cauliflowers next year. We don’t eat many, and with a lot less space available in my garden, I was all ready to strike them off my seed list.

Could a reprieve be on the cards? I’ll need to give it some thought, once I’ve got a rough plan for my Patch from Scratch down on paper. I could fill the space that four cauliflower plants take up with something far more reliable, productive and expensive to buy.

Then again, having caulis in the garden rather than the plot gives me the opportunity to give these challenging plants the regular attention they require.

Decisions, decisions.

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8 Comments

  1. Thirsty GardenerNovember 17, 2012 at 6:09 pmReply

    Congratulations. I have cauli envy. Seeing a bright white curd on the plot is one of the most exciting sights there is. For the past three months I’ve had the repeated pleasure of spying a golf ball sized cauliflower, only for it to be turned to grey pulp by wildlife the following week.

    Today, the last of the cauli plants reached the golf ball stage… and I picked it. I’ll probably eat it whole, leaves and all. Not exactly a meal, but at least it’ll be me eating it.

    Though I doubt I’ll bother next year…

  2. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening!November 18, 2012 at 3:31 amReply

    What’s the biggest challenge for you with cauliflower?

  3. Jono

    JonoNovember 18, 2012 at 8:00 amReplyAuthor

    Hey TG and Alan, thanks for your comments.

    TG – I haven’t eaten the leaves, but heard that they are tasty? Not sure why I haven’t done this, as all I normally manage is a load of leaves!

    Alan – I think the problem before has been keeping an eye on them on a daily basis. I tend to forget about them as they’re at the allotment and not under my nose. I don’t protect them when I should, feed them or tie the leaves up quick enough. Hopefully next year I’ll be able to do this.

  4. Alan @ it's not work, it's gardening!November 18, 2012 at 2:02 pmReply

    Tie the leaves up? Please explain!

  5. Dee SewellNovember 18, 2012 at 10:46 pmReply

    Have to agree on the fickleness of the cauliflower… definately a hit and miss here too, but strangely given the rubbish weather, had my best year with them too! I think I grow them more for the challenge than anything else!

  6. Jono

    JonoNovember 19, 2012 at 7:00 pmReplyAuthor

    Alan – I’ve read that you’re supposed to tie up the leaves around a small developing cauliflower to protect it. One of the jobs I always forget!

  7. Real Men Sow » Blog Archive » What Not to Grow 2013November 25, 2012 at 1:13 pmReply

    [...] I’ve Got the Cauli-Power, Mark II [...]

  8. Georgina at The Old Wash HouseDecember 7, 2012 at 4:32 pmReply

    “bloke looking” HAHAHAHAHA so true!! Never had a name for it before but that is perfect! Thank you for outting a smile on my face!

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About Real Men Sow

meIn 2007, I took on a redundant allotment plot with my gardening-mad mum Jan. As all good mums do, she went along with it, but I don’t think she held out much hope. However, over a decade later, and she now lets me do stuff without watching over my shoulder, so I must be doing something right. [ read more ]

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