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About Snowball Y Improved Cauliflower: In spite of Mark Twain's opinion that cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education, this vegetable enjoyed extreme popularity in the palaces of French royalty such as Louis XIV. Its origin is thought to be Cyprus, though records also show its presence in Arab, Mediterranean, and African countries and the Roman Empire. By the 17th century, cauliflower had reached England; Italian immigrants were the first to appreciate its culinary qualities and bring it to America, where it soon grew in nearly every family and commercial garden.
Snowball Y Improved Cauliflower Germination: For an early crop, start your seeds in peat pots to avoid disturbing the roots later. Plant the seeds 1/2" deep, 8-12 weeks before the last expected frost. After gradually exposing the seedlings to the weather for several hours each day, plant them about 2 weeks before the last expected spring frost; cauliflower grow best at temperatures from 57-68 degrees F (14-20 C). They should be spaced 15-18" apart. Cauliflower also grows exceptionally well when planted in midsummer for a fall crop. For companion planting benefits, plant cauliflower with celery; this repels the destructive white cabbage moth. Avoid planting cauliflower with tomatoes.
Growing Snowball Y Improved Cauliflower Seeds: Keep the soil consistently moist and well enriched with compost or organic material; cauliflower tastes most tender when it is able to grow quickly. Since the Snowball varieties of cauliflower are self-blanching, no tying is necessary.
Harvesting Snowball Y Improved Cauliflower: Gather the heads of cauliflower while the tiny buds still feel firm and tight. Mature heads usually reach a size from 6-12 inches. Cut them off at the base of the head, including a few leaves.
Saving Snowball Y Improved Cauliflower Seeds: In areas where the ground freezes over winter, it will be necessary to dig up the cauliflower before the first heavy frost; store the plants in sand or sawdust over winter, and plant them again in the spring. Gathering seed from about six plants preserves the best genetic diversity. In warmer climates, leave the cauliflower in the ground and cover them thickly with mulch over winter. In the spring, allow the plant to flower; when the pods on the stalk grow brown and dry, cut them off and allow them to fully dry. Remove them from the pods, then store in a cool, dry place for up to five years.
Detailed Snowball Y Improved Cauliflower Info: Brassica oleracea var. botrytis. Also known as Snowball Improved. Biennial. 65 days. 7,200 seeds per oz. 12-18" height. 24-30" spacing. Curds reach 6-7" in diameter.
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