When to cut cauliflower outdoors

In order not to make a mistake with the timing of harvesting cauliflower, you cannot focus only on the time of year. First of all, they monitor the ripeness, checking each head of cabbage. When the first signs of ripening appear, the vegetable is cut and stored.

Appearance of formed and ripe cauliflower:

  • milky head;
  • textured and dense to the touch;
  • diameter from 10 to 20 cm, which depends on the varietal characteristics;
  • minimum weight 300 g, maximum – 1.5 kg.

You can't wait for the cabbage to get bigger. This will lead to over-ripening.

Important! If cauliflower is overgrown, its flavor deteriorates, it becomes yellow-purple and bloated, and nutrients are lost. Such specimens are not suitable for long-term storage.

In what month

When to Harvest Cauliflower:

  1. In early varieties, inflorescences are formed 2-3 months after the shoots appear. Such heads are harvested at the end of June - the first ten days of July.
  2. In the middle-late ones, formation takes 100-150 days. The right time for them is July - early August.
  3. Late-ripening varieties ripen in 5 months or more. Such heads of cabbage are cut at the end of August and September. These varieties are the easiest to grow.

At what temperature to harvest

For harvesting, choose cloudless and dry weather. The optimal air temperature is +15…+20°C. The minimum permissible norm is +8°C. At lower rates, a critical situation will arise for forced collection.

When the average daily temperature is less than +15°C, cabbage growth slows down or stops altogether. In such cases, the development of the vegetable is monitored for 3 days. If during this time there is no increase in mass, and the inflorescences are more than 10 cm, then they are cut off.

Morning and evening are not suitable for work, as condensation will accumulate on the foliage. Cleaning starts at noon and ends around 19:00. Do not cut cabbage during heavy rains or immediately after rain. It will be watery, lose its taste and will not survive long-term storage.

Time to harvest

If from the beginning of the season you have properly cared for your vitamin plantings, then in the middle of summer you will receive a well-deserved reward - a lot of dense, snow-white (or purple, orange, emerald) inflorescences. And now the main task is to collect what has been grown on time and preserve the harvest for as long as possible. The timing of harvesting primarily depends on the characteristics of the selected variety.

  • Early cabbage will form full-fledged inflorescences in 2–3 months. Thus, the first fruits can be tasted at the end of June - beginning of July.
  • Mid-season varieties require an active growing season lasting from 100 to 130 days. They will decorate the garden with cabbage “bouquets” in the second half of summer.
  • Late varieties will delight you with a bountiful harvest only at the end of August or September, since they require at least 5 months to grow and develop. But such cabbage will be stored much longer than its earlier relatives.

Interesting: You Can Store Red Caviar in the Freezer

Experienced gardeners know that stated ripening dates do not always coincide with actual ones. After all, the growing season is influenced by many factors.

  • The optimal temperature for timely ripening should be in the range from +15 to +20° C. At lower values, plant growth slows down significantly, and too warm air (above +25°) leads to the formation of defective (small and loose) inflorescences.
  • A lack of moisture in the soil can lead to sad results. With a lack of water, heads that are too small and not dense enough are formed.
  • Cauliflower is very sensitive to light levels. With an excess of sunlight, inflorescences not only form too quickly, but also tend to grow. To prevent this from happening, during long daylight hours it is recommended to shade the barely formed heads.
  • The intensity of development and fruiting of plants depends significantly on the fertility of the soil, including the content of necessary micro- and macroelements in it. On poor soils, cabbage develops more slowly and later forms inflorescences, which rot very quickly.

Harvesting cauliflower from the garden

Collection rules:

  1. Mature cauliflower should not be left on the plant. Since each specimen’s readiness for cutting is different, the beds are inspected every 2-3 days. When it is not possible to harvest the crop, the heads are covered from the sun. This technique will help slow down ripening.
  2. 2 weeks before the start of harvesting, the plantings are sprayed with an anti-pest preparation. Most often they hide in the crevices of inflorescences and under leaves.
  3. A kitchen knife with a sharp and heavy blade is perfect for the job. They also use a small ax, but they are not always able to cut the stem to the required length. Pruning shears are undesirable - they make too uneven cuts that do not heal well.
  4. Cloth gloves are put on your hands. They will reduce the risk of damaging the vegetable with your nails.

Cleaning algorithm

Rules for harvesting cauliflower in open ground:

  • grab 5-6 leaves;
  • a cut on the stem is made 3-5 cm below the head;
  • the tops of the foliage are shortened to the level of the inflorescences;
  • The harvest is immediately transferred to a clean, dark and cool place.

Cannot be placed on bare ground. To collect cabbage, prepare wide boxes, racks in advance, or spread film under a canopy. Cabbage left in the sun will wilt within a few hours.

Ways to preserve the harvest

Cauliflower is a very delicate crop. In a freshly cut state, it can be stored for no longer than 7 weeks, and only if certain requirements are met.

  • The most common and effective way to preserve ripened heads is to put them in wooden or plastic containers, and then send them to a room with high humidity (up to 95%) and a temperature of 0–2° C. This way, the cabbage will remain fresh for almost two months.
  • If, under the same conditions, you simply hang the cabbage upside down, it will be stored without loss for 3–4 weeks.
  • The labor-intensive, but longest-lasting way to store fresh cabbage is to transplant it into boxes with soil located in a dark and cool (+4–10° C) cellar. To do this, pre-watered plants are dug up along with their roots and planted very tightly in a prepared container, covering them with soil right up to the leaves. The main condition for such storage is absolute darkness. Therefore, if there is a light source in the room, the cabbage should be tightly covered with any opaque material. In this state, the crop will not lose freshness for several months (from 1 to 4, depending on the variety), and small specimens will even grow.
  • You can save part of the harvest in the freshness zone of the refrigerator if you tightly wrap the inflorescences in cling film, after cutting off the leaves and stumps. If there is no film, use a regular plastic bag and seal it tightly.
  • The longest storage of the crop (up to 12 months) is possible in frozen form. To do this, the heads should first be disassembled into separate fragments, thoroughly washed and dried, and then frozen. Some housewives recommend lightly boiling the cabbage with this storage method.

Experienced gardeners know that stated ripening dates do not always coincide with actual ones. After all, the growing season is influenced by many factors.

07 Jul 2020 foodhranenie 124
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Harvest storage

The inflorescences are carefully sorted and discarded. Characteristics of suitable inflorescences:

  • moderately loose;
  • no damage;
  • no rot, stains or black spots;
  • The foliage is green, without yellowing.

Overripe heads are immediately eaten.

How to store fresh

There are several ways to keep cauliflower fresh:

  1. In a refrigerator. The leaves and stalks are removed from the heads and wrapped in a bag or film so tightly that air does not pass through. Place in the vegetable compartment. In this way, cauliflower is stored unchanged for more than 2 weeks.
  2. On the glassed balcony. Wooden boxes are insulated with foam plastic. The heads are cleaned, wrapped in paper or film and placed in prepared containers.
  3. The storage method in the basement has several options:
      Cabbage is placed in cardboard, wooden or plastic boxes, covered with film or plywood. Periodically, the cover is removed to dry it from condensation. At humidity up to 95% and temperatures from 0 to -2°C, the crop is stored for about 2 months.
  4. The stems are cleared of leaves, wrapped with rope and tied to the ceiling beams.

The ripening method is used when collecting not very mature heads in the autumn, when it is no longer possible to leave them in the garden:

  1. Prepare boxes with soil.
  2. The cabbage is watered and dug up with roots and a clod of earth.
  3. They are transferred to the basement and buried at a short distance from each other.
  4. The soil is covered up to the leaves.

At a humidity of 70-90% and a temperature above +15°C, ripening occurs in 20-25 days, at +8°C in 40, if +5°C, then the time will take 50-60 days.

Important! Once a week the condition of the vegetables is checked. Heads of cabbage showing signs of spoilage are thrown away.

How to freeze correctly

Freezing will preserve cauliflower for a year:

  1. The heads are washed and divided into small parts.
  2. Place in boiling water for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Remove and immerse in cold water with ice.
  4. Place in flat containers or trays so that the pieces do not touch.
  5. Place in the freezer.
  6. When the heads are frozen, transfer them to bags and return them to the cold.

This cabbage is prepared without first thawing.


The shelf life of dried cabbage is 60 days. For this:

  1. The inflorescences, separated into parts, are washed and dried on a towel.
  2. Heat the oven to +60°C, place the baking sheet with the prepared vegetable for 12-15 minutes.
  3. After cooling, distribute into plastic or glass containers with lids.

Store in the refrigerator, basement, pantry.


Only ideal raw materials without stains and uniform white color are suitable for canning. All preparations are stored in a cool, dark place.

Marinated cauliflower pickles with peppers and carrots

Products per 1 liter jar:

  • cauliflower - 200 g;
  • carrots - 100 g;
  • red bell pepper - 150 g;
  • water - 400 ml;
  • sugar - 2 tbsp. l.;
  • salt - 1 tbsp. l.;
  • natural vinegar 6% - 70 ml.


  1. Cabbage is divided into inflorescences. Chop the carrots, peel the peppers and cut them into squares.
  2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, then transfer to a jar.
  3. Dissolve salt and sugar in boiling water and immediately pour in the pickles.
  4. Add vinegar and place in the oven for 20 minutes at +120°C.
  5. Afterwards, the jars are sealed and covered with a warm blanket for 10-12 hours.

Cauliflower with beets

Ingredients for 700 g of finished product:

  • beets - 0.5 pcs.;
  • cauliflower - 0.5 kg;
  • garlic - 1 clove;
  • dill seeds - 1 pinch;
  • bay leaf - 1 pc.;
  • water - 0.5 l;
  • salt, sugar - 1 tbsp. l.;
  • vinegar 9% - 1.5 tsp.


  1. The cabbage is divided into small pieces, the beets are cut into slices.
  2. Dill, bay leaf and garlic are poured into the bottom of the container.
  3. Vegetables are placed tightly in random order and poured boiling water for 15 minutes.
  4. After draining, put back on the fire, adding salt and sugar.
  5. Vinegar is added to the boiled marinade and poured back into the jar.
  6. Immediately seal with lids.

Korean Cauliflower

You will need:

  • carrots - 3 pcs.;
  • cabbage - 1 head;
  • garlic - 3 cloves;
  • allspice - 3 peas;
  • bay leaf - 2 pcs.;
  • Korean carrot spices - 1 package;
  • vegetable oil - 100 ml;
  • sugar - 80 g;
  • salt - 50 g;
  • vinegar 9% - 80 ml.


  1. The cabbage is taken apart and blanched in boiling water for 5-6 minutes.
  2. Then take it out with a slotted spoon and cool it.
  3. The carrots are grated into thin strips.
  4. Vegetables are placed in sterilized jars in layers, lightly compacted.
  5. Boil 1 liter of water, add salt and sugar.
  6. Add the seasoning from the pack and the rest of the spices.
  7. Cook for 3 minutes, remove from heat and add vinegar and oil.
  8. The marinade is poured into packaged jars. Sterilize for 20 minutes in the oven, then roll up the boiled lids.

Storage Features

If you have planted a lot of flowery vegetables and reaped a rich harvest, then the next equally important task is to preserve the harvest until summer. And here, too, you need to adhere to some rules so that the cut inflorescences do not wither and, even worse, rot:

  1. Overripe cabbage does not store well. In view of this, it is important to prevent the vegetable from overripening.
  2. There should be four leaves left on the inflorescence after cutting.
  3. Do not leave cut heads in the open sun.

There are several ways to store cauliflower inflorescences:

  • Unripe inflorescences are grown. How? Before digging with roots and soil, they need to be watered abundantly for 2 days. Then the plants are laid close to each other and covered with earth up to the leaves. However, it is important that there is no access to daylight in the room. The air temperature should vary within +4+10℃. Thus, the heads can be stored for up to 4 months, and in this way not only the inflorescences are grown, but also the mature heads are simply stored. It is also important here that the room has good ventilation and high humidity in the range of 90–95%.
  • At zero temperature and high humidity, cauliflower can be stored for up to 7 weeks. It is placed in boxes or crates and covered with film on top. From time to time you need to check the inflorescences, as some may begin to rot. Damaged heads should be immediately removed from healthy ones, otherwise they will all become infected and become unusable.
  • Under the same climatic conditions, cabbage can be stored for up to 21 days by hanging it by the stalks. But this is only acceptable if you have few inflorescences and during this time, you use them.
  • To store cauliflower in the refrigerator, you need to pack each inflorescence in a separate bag or newspaper. The contact of inflorescences will speed up the process of their rotting, so they need to be packaged separately.
  • If you are going to store cauliflower in the freezer, you must first wash it and disassemble the heads into inflorescences, which are then divided into portions, packaged in bags and sent to the freezer. You can store cauliflower this way for up to 12 months. However, repeated freezing of the vegetable and temperature changes in the freezer will lead to spoilage of the vegetable, so it must be packaged strictly for one serving that you can use. At the same time, the same temperature must be maintained in the freezer.

Interesting: When to Remove Leaf Celery from the Garden

So, if you have a lot of heads, then some of them can be sent to the basement, where they will last up to 4 months, and some can be placed in the freezer, which will allow you to preserve the flowery vegetable until the next harvest. When frozen, the vegetable will retain all the beneficial substances. In addition, the taste characteristics of the product will not be affected, and its natural aroma will be preserved.

Today, thanks to the painstaking work of breeders, you can grow a wide variety of varieties and hybrids of flowering vegetables in your garden. For example, the Cheddar F1 hybrid has orange heads, and the Lilac Ball variety has purple inflorescences. The Amphora variety has an unusual inflorescence shape that resembles a starfish in appearance. The original external features of the vegetable and the variety of colors allow you to decorate the table with dishes of delicious dishes prepared from different colors of this flowery vegetable.

So, from this article you learned not only how to harvest cauliflower, but also what affects the ripening period of the heads, and what weather is best for harvesting. In addition, we bring to your attention a video that will help you understand how to properly care for cauliflower in order to ultimately get a good and high-quality harvest of a flowery vegetable:

If you encounter such a difficulty, you can save the heads by collecting them and leaving them to ripen indoors. However, if you have a greenhouse in which you can maintain a stable temperature, namely +10℃, then your crop will not freeze and will ripen in the beds.

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