“Cauliflower is nothing but cabbage with a college education”

 -Mark Twain

In a Bengali household, cabbage and cauliflowers are spelt together, concocting the impression that they are siblings. Taking pride in providing mouth-watering tastes, these two vegetables are rarely forbidden by people. It goes without saying that I am their loyal fan! Although hybridization allows you to have your share of cauliflowers and cabbage throughout the year, it is winter when you can procure fresh dose of both of these vegetables.

Fact meter:

  • Cabbages and cauliflowers can be subsumed within the family of Brussels sprouts, collard greens, kale and broccoli.
  • Cauliflower is not simply white. Have you ever heard of the orange cauliflower? Rich in beta-carotene, it has a sweet taste and is often utilized in making pies and broth. Its mild, sweet taste will surely appeal to your taste buds. Why not surprise your spouse with some of your own recipes of desserts, especially made from orange cauliflowers?growing cabbages and cauliflowers
  • Have you heard of purple cauliflowers? They are rich in tannins and can be devoured either steamed or raw. Overcooking can lead to the loss of the purple colour. You can add some chopped purple cauliflower to your mundane salad, along with a little sesame oil and a blush of mustard sauce. Why not let innovation be your middle name?
  • Cabbages require the help of hosts of other plants, namely chamomile, rosemary, peas, onions and potatoes, in order to survive. But the twist in the tale is that, cabbages are extremely fond of nitrogen, and growing cabbages and peas will lead to inadequate nitrogen for both of them.
  • Cabbage is endowed with beta-carotene, fibre and Vitamin C.
  • Blue Jersey, Blue vantage, Ruby perfection, Early Jersey Wakefield Lei-Choy, Stone head, Golden acre and Cheers are some varieties of cabbage.


  • Cauliflowers display bonhomie towards slightly acidic to neutral soil. Hence, loamy soil is considered the best for Cauliflowers.
  • Compost should always be added to the soil.growing cabbages and cauliflowers
  • It demands the constant attention of the gardener. You need to plant the cauliflowers in a zone which receives generous sun beams and yet, they require a cool temperature.
  • Too much of warmth is averse for cauliflowers as it may cause the white curd, or the floret to develop into small-sized “buttons”, causing them to lose their billowed appearance.
  • It is judicious to grow cauliflowers from transplants, instead of seeds. The spacing between the transplants should be 18-24 inches apart.
  • Cauliflowers can be grown from seeds too. In that case, it is imperative to plant them 4-5 weeks before the planting.
  • Using starter fertilizer always remains a viable option.

    growing cabbages and cauliflowers
    Little mushroom-headed caulisheep looks startled.
  • Cauliflowers need pampering. Ensure mulching to conserve the moisture of the soil.
  • Cauliflowers can be harvested after a period of 7-12 days post blanching.
  • Always keep in mind that premature development of cauliflower can demolish the edible floret.


  • Cabbage, a hardy, cool weather vegetable, is fond of sandy and loamy soil.
  • Cabbages can be grown indoors initially, 6-8 weeks before the last frost. They can then be transplanted 2-3 weeks before the upcoming frost period.

    growing cabbages and cauliflowers
    Boy! Can you blame caulisheep? Look at doggybbage here, all grumpy and spooky-eyed!
  • In case you are transplanting, be careful about the weather. A cloudy weather is the perfect time for transplanting.
  • Once you have transplanted, fertilize only after three weeks.
  • Cabbages should be grown in a row, each row having a distance of 18-24 inches.
  • The ideal time for harvesting cabbage is 70 days from transplanting. The indicators for harvesting are green colour, as well as hard and firm texture.
  • Broccoli and cauliflower are not companion plants for your cabbage.
  • Cabbage requires mulch to retain the soil moisture. It is advisable to water 1.5-2 inches of the cabbage every week, with a gardening can or a garden hose.

Have a great time growing cabbages and cauliflowers!

Happy Gardening

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