Cauliflower (Brassica oleracea L. var botrytis) is another popular crucifer grown mainly in cooler areas. It is steamed, stir fried, or pickled.
Broccoli and cauliflowers grow well in mid- and high- elevation areas like in Benguet, Ilocos Sur, and Bukidnon throughout the year. These crops can be planted in most soils but clay loam to sandy loam is best.
Prepare the land thoroughly by plowing and harrowing several times. In low and mid elevation areas, make deep furrows 0.5 m wide. In high elevations, prepare beds 0.75-1.0 m wide. Apply 1 Kg fully decomposed chicken manure and 300 g carbonized rice hull/m2. Incorporate thoroughly with the soil.
For single row planting, make holes 0.3 m between hills, and for double row planting, 0.3 m between hills and 0.4 m between rows. Wet the holes, apply 10 g 14-14-14 in each hole, then cover lightly with soil.
Prepare 1.0 m wide seedbeds at any convenient length. One hectare would require 50-70 m2 of seedbed. Incorporate manure and rice hull ash or wood ash. Line sow 280 g/ha of seed with furrows across the bed 7-10 cm apart. Sow thinly to prevent damping-off. Mulch with rice hull or grass clippings and water regularly. Provide nylon net tunnel as shade and rain barrier. Spray with pesticides when needed. Expose to full sunlight one week before transplanting. The seedlings are ready four weeks from sowing.
Water the seedbeds and gently uproot the seedlings. Transplant in rows 0.5-0.75 cm apart and 0.3-0.5 m between plants. Apply basal fertilizer at 10 g 14-14-14/hill. Irrigate before and after transplanting. Mulch with rice straw, rice hull or plastic to prevent weed growth and conserve soil moisture. It is best also to intercrop with bunching onion, bulb onion, garlic, kutsai, tomato, marigold, and other crops to minimize insect pests.
Fertilization and Weeding
Side-dress with urea (46-0-0) at the rate of 5-10 g/plant 2-3 weeks after transplanting with 10 g/hill of 2:1 mixture of 46-0-0 and 0-0-60. Fertilize only after weeding. Tea manure may be applied weekly as source of micronutrients. To prepare, soak 3/4 sack cow/ horse manure in a plastic drum filled with 189.25 L water for seven days. Fermented plant juice may also be used every two weeks to boost plant vigor. To prepare, mix equal parts of chopped actively growing plant parts and molasses or brown sugar. After one week of fermentation, extract the juice and apply as foliar fertilizer at 1 tbsp/ 3.785 L water.
During the dry season, irrigate before transplanting. Repeat every 7-10 days (furrow irrigation) or 2-3 times/week (sprinkler irrigation). Mulching helps minimize irrigation frequency.