A guide to successful Cauliflower farming

A sample of Cauliflower head on a farm at Ihwa Village, Nyeri County. [Kibata Kihu, Standard]

Cauliflower, a member of the Brassica oleracea species, shares its botanical family with cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli. Recognizable by its dense, compact head formed of undeveloped flower buds known as the curd or head, cauliflower comes in various colors, including white, green, purple, and orange, depending on the variety.

In regions like Kiambu, cauliflower farming is gaining traction among farmers. Kennedy Kamau, a cauliflower farmer, shares essential steps to successful farming.

Selecting the right variety

Begin by selecting a cauliflower variety suited to your climate and growing conditions. Popular varieties include Cauliflower Bella F1, Early Snowball, White Fortress F1, Andromeda F1, Ferrera F1, Plenty F1, Amazing, Self-Blanche, and Graffiti (for colored varieties).

Preparing the Soil

Cauliflower thrives in well-drained, fertile soil with a pH between 6.0 and 7.0. Enhance soil fertility and structure by incorporating compost or well-rotted manure.

Sowing Seeds or Transplanting Seedlings

Cauliflower can be cultivated from seeds indoors or directly sown into the garden. Begin seeds indoors four to six weeks before transplanting. Once seedlings have developed a few true leaves, transplant them outdoors.


Plant cauliflower seedlings in rows with 18 to 24 inches of spacing between each plant. Ensure they are planted at the same depth as they were growing in the seedling tray.

“Providing at least six hours of direct sunlight per day promotes healthy growth and proper head development,” advises Kamau.


Consistent moisture is essential for cauliflower development. Water deeply, providing about one to 1.5 inches of water per week, either through rainfall or irrigation. Avoid overhead watering to prevent diseases.


Apply a balanced fertiliser before planting and again when plants are halfway to maturity. Follow fertiliser package instructions for proper application.

Weed/ pest and disease management

Maintain weed-free surroundings around cauliflower plants to prevent competition for nutrients and water. Mulching can aid in weed suppression and soil moisture retention.

Vigilance against common pests like aphids, cabbage worms, and cabbage loopers is crucial. Employ organic pest control methods like handpicking or insecticidal soap if necessary.


To preserve the white color of cauliflower curds, blanch the heads once they reach about two to three inches in diameter. This involves tying outer leaves together over the developing head or using a cardboard collar to shield it from sunlight.


Harvest cauliflower heads when they reach the desired size, maintaining tightness and compactness. Cut heads from the plant using a sharp knife, leaving a few inches of stem attached. Ideally, harvest in the morning when heads are cool to avoid loosening and yellowing.


Kamau sells his produce to supermarkets, and farmers’ markets, with 500 grams of cauliflower fetching approximately Sh200.

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