- Approximately an amount of 130 to 170kg/ha of nitrogen is required for proper cauliflower production. Initially nitrogen is used with soil before planting, followed by seconds application of nitrogen in 7 to 10 days of planting. A third time nitrogen application can be done in case of very moist season. Nitrogen produces dark green leaves.
- Phosphorous is one of the necessary requirement for cauliflower growth as it helps in root development and its deficiency might lead to slow growth and delayed maturity. In case of soil of less than 50 ppm, one can apply 45 to 90 kg/ha of P2O5. In areas of lower phosphorous, P2O5 at 168 to 336 kg/ha can be applied.
- Magnesium should be applied so that it doesn’t face interveinal chlorosis. Various sources of magnesium like sulphate of potash magnesia, Epsom and Dolomite lime can be applied to the field.
- The Cauliflower plant also require certain micro nutrient for its efficient and proper growth. If it is deficient in Boron, it may cause stem discolouration, leaf rolling, deformed buds, cauliflower browning etc. Sodium borate can be supplied for maintaining boron deficiency. Manganese chelated and sulphates can be applied for maintaining manganese level as its deficiency may cause leaf yellowing. Molybdenum deficiency may cause whiptail which is deformed formation with no head and thus sodium molybdate can be supplied for addressing the deficiency.
It is very important to check the growth of weeds and needs an efficient management as they compete with the plant for nutrient and delay the growth and maturation of cauliflower. Weeds are home to many insects and nematodes and thus might reduce the efficiency of any pesticide application. Weed management can done by both cultural and chemical practices. With practices like crop rotation, hoeing and stale seedbed, weed seed production is reduced and thus makes the land efficient for cauliflower cultivation. Through the technique of stale seedbed, planting bed is prepared early by watering and allowing the weeds to germinate post which they are controlled via herbicide (Glyphosate) or by flame weeder. Hoeing can be used to control weeds that grow in close proximity to the plant. Some examples of summer weeds are pigweed, purslane, lambsquarters and ground cherry which grow August - October.
Pests and Management
Cauliflower is affected by many different types of pests.