Violetta Italia Cauliflower (Heirloom, 62 Days)
Italian Heirloom. This fine old Italian brassica is another that kind of blurs the line between broccoli and cauliflower. Heads are quite large by broccoli standards, smallish for a cauliflower. The Violetta Italia Cauliflower has a lovely light purple color for an interesting contrast in crudite, when cooked, as with beans, the color turns green. Flavor is tasty and side shoots develop after the central head is harvested.
Germination: 4-10 days
Germination Temperature: Optimum soil temperatures 65-85ºF.
Seed Sowing Depth: 1/4” deep
Starting Indoors: 4-5 weeks before last frost. Sow 2-3 seeds per cell/pot. Thin to the strongest seedling. After germination, grow in cool conditions, 57-68ºF for best results. Fertilize the seedlings every 7-10 days with a liquid or water soluble fertilizer, diluted to ¼ of suggested measurement. Transplant a week or two before last frost. Space 18-24" apart. Sow in early to midsummer for fall crops.
Sowing Outdoors: Spring when soil temperature reaches at least 55ºF. Sow 2-3 seeds every 12-18” apart. Thin to the strongest seedling per space. Sow in midsummer for fall crops. Germination is slower at lower soil temperatures.
Harvest: Tie up leaves around heads to blanch. Watch closely and pick before the curds begin to loosen.
Tips: The Violetta Italia Cauliflower needs to be provided with fertile soil, rich in organic matter from the very beginning of its growth in the garden. Provide adequate, even moisture for the best growth. Mulching helps retain moisture.