Thursday, May 21, 2015


I don't mean the things that keep your clothing from flying open. My cauliflower is misbehaving.

Amazing Taste cauliflower plants
Six plants, all doing this.

Making little tiny heads.

It's called buttoning. It's pretty common because it's really easy to make any one or more of the mistakes that can provoke your plants to prematurely go from producing leaves to producing flowers, which is pretty much anything that stresses the plants. I suspect that these plants are buttoning because they sat in their pots too long before I planted them out and they most likely wilted in their little pots while I was away for a week. It might also be because I started them earlier this year. Or it might be because the weather has been all over the map, anything from 80ºF "winter" days to spring nights below 40ºF and lately it has been consistently gray, cool, and moist. (May Gray is giving us a preview of the coming June Gloom). I know it isn't a problem with the variety of cauliflower because I had spectacular success with it last year (big time beginner's luck).

2014 harvest of Amazing Taste cauliflower
There's four plants of Sicilian Violet cauliflower in the garden and they are still putting out leaves so far. Maybe I still have a chance at getting something bigger than a button. And there's a second chance for a fall crop.

Sicilian Violet cauliflower
On a more cheerful note, the tomatoes are huge and ready to go into the garden, some of them even have flowers already. The peppers are doing their usual looking crappy act, but they generally seem to pull through and produce a decent crop.


  1. Too bad about the buttoning. I keep thinking I need to try cauliflower. I've never ever grown it. I can't believe I've never tried, but I haven't. Maybe because it is supposed to be such a hard crop.

  2. Sorry to hear about the caulis - but then at least I have learned something new from you again! I have never attempted growing cauliflower, simply because of its reputation for difficulty. Actually it has low VSR too - takes up the ground for a long time, but produces a crop that is usually cheap (say about £1 per head), and easily obtainable. Your chillis and tomatoes are just like mine - good toms, poor chillis.

  3. Buttons in the garden usually are not good! I'm not sure I've ever grown more than one or two good heads of cauliflower in my life. At some point I just gave up trying. I get more bang from broccoli (normally) and like Mark just buy cauliflower. The leaves on those Sicilian Violet are huge!

  4. I have better luck with cauliflower than broccoli, generally. I have one really nice head about ready to harvest. The others are still small, even though they should have headed up long ago. Global weirding. We had a very warm winter in so Cal, and a quite cool spring.

  5. Cauliflower has always struck me as being one of those difficult to grow veg, and it looks like I'm not the only one. I'll likely grow it at some point...but that won't be anytime soon. I still need plenty of practice with the "easy" veg! And those tomato plants are huge...oh the shame...mine have just put on their first set of true leaves.

  6. Oh No! I only grew cauliflower once, it came out okayed, but it took so long and took up precious space, I gave up. My peppers are pretty crappy also, the tomatoes are doing good despite abnormal rainstorms and hail, we have the coolest spring since we moved here 14 years ago.

  7. I haven't tried cauliflower, or cabbage for that matter, because of the space issue and they are relatively cheap. And I too have similar transplants waiting to go out: great tomatoes and puny peppers that just sit there. I am starting to pot up some of them as I have space under the lights, and that seems to help.


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