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When to Harvest Cauliflower?

Cauliflower harvesting is done when the cauliflower is large enough, firm, and compact, but when to harvest cauliflower? This is a common question, especially for those who are growing cauliflower for the first time. In this article, I will explain everything you need to know when is cauliflower ready to harvest.

Cauliflower cultivars generally have a white head, however, orange, purple and green varieties are also known. The edible part of this plant is the inflorescence, which sprouts in the middle of its leaves. This inflorescence is generally known as head. Continue reading to learn when to harvest cauliflower.

When to Harvest Cauliflower

When to Harvest Cauliflower? Depending on the variety of cauliflower you have planted, it may take between 50 and 100 days to harvest the cauliflower.

The following table shows the days of maturity for different varieties of cauliflower:

Cauliflower VarietiesDays of Maturity
Snowball55 – 65
EarliSnow (Hybrid)50 – 55
Snow Crown50 – 55
Early White (Hybrid)50 – 55
Amazing60 – 70
Twister60 – 65
Symphony95 – 100
Graffiti75 – 80
Depurple (Hybrid)65 – 70
Lavender (Hybrid)65 – 70
Cheddar (Hybrid)55 – 60
Flame Star (Hybrid)60 – 65
Fioretto 70 (Hybrid)65 – 70
Cauliflower varieties

Of course, it is not only the maturity days that must be counted to know when to harvest cauliflower. Days to maturity will vary somewhat depending on weather, soil, location, and other factors.

Before harvesting, cauliflower should be blanched so that it does not have a bitter taste. When the heads are 2” to 3” (5 to 7 cm) in diameter, cover them with the outer cauliflower leaves. You can use a string to gently tie the cauliflower leaves together. The bleaching process of cauliflower heads usually takes 10 to 14 days.

Some cauliflower species such as “Snowball Self-Blanching” do not need bleaching because their leaves naturally curl, protecting the cauliflower head.

Normally, cauliflower heads are harvested when they are 6” to 8” (15 to 20 cm) in diameter. Cauliflower heads should be compact and firm to the touch to be harvested. Once the curd begins to separate and open, harvest immediately, a curd (white head) that loosens completely will not taste as pleasant.

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When is Cauliflower Ready to Harvest

When is Cauliflower Ready to Harvest? As mentioned above, cauliflower will be ready to be harvested after 50 to 100 days, depending on the variety of cauliflower and the weather conditions of the crop.

The most important thing besides counting the days of maturity will be to observe the size of the cauliflower head, which should be between 6” to 8” (15 to 20 cm) in diameter. Never let the cauliflower head grow too long because it will taste more bitter.

Finally, it is important to remember that some varieties of cauliflower need to go through the process of blanching to have a better flavor. Simply cover the cauliflower head with the outer leaves a few weeks before harvesting the cauliflower, as explained in the previous paragraph.

when is cauliflower ready to harvest
Cauliflower ready to be harvested.

How to Store Cauliflower

How to Store Cauliflower? Leave a 2” to 3” (5 to 7 cm) stem when harvesting cauliflower for better preservation. You can also use cauliflower leaves for consumption. Cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator for two to four weeks.

The ideal temperature for storing cauliflower is 32° to 40 °F (0 to 4 °C), I recommend wrapping the cauliflower in a damp cloth and placing it in a perforated plastic bag for better preservation in the refrigerator.

Also, you can freeze the cauliflower, cut the cauliflower head into pieces and then boil it for 60 seconds. Then place the florets in cold water and let cool. Finally, drain the cauliflower florets and store them in the freezer.

As you will see, you can store cauliflower either in the refrigerator or in the freezer for quite some time and use it whenever you wish.

Final Conclusions

It is not difficult at all to learn when to harvest cauliflower, you just have to keep in mind the days of maturity of the cauliflower variety and the size of the cauliflower head to harvest at the right time.

Remember that some cauliflower varieties will need to go through the blanching process about two weeks before harvest. I hope this article about when to harvest cauliflower will be useful. I recommend our article about how and when to harvest broccoli.

how to store cauliflower
Purple Sicily Cauliflower.

About Henry Morgan

Henry Morgan is an agronomist horticulture founder of The Garden Style Company and The Garden Style Website. He previously worked for Mondelēz International as an Agronomist Engineer specializing in agricultural products management in highly populated areas. In 2000, Henry started working with farmer-producers in agricultural businesses selling wholesale fresh produce and retail plants in Van Buren, Arkansas. Nowadays, Henry lives in California, where he offers expert consulting services for organic vegetable gardening. As a science writer working with his wife, Julia, Henry shares his passion for gardening and farming, trying to reach and teach as many folks as possible.

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