It Seems Like It Takes Forever To Grow a Cauliflower

It seems like it takes forever to grow a cauliflower. I know the packet of seeds says they mature in 65 days but walking by them every day makes it feel like two thirds of the summer. To keep the fresh cauliflower pipe line full requires 37,000 acres of planting, far more than I can even imagine. It’s the most difficult of the brassica family to grow because it’s extremely sensitive to heat. That’s what I attribute my fall failure on. We had a heat wave at the time they were supposed to be forming heads, and I thought it would just hurry them along. Instead it stopped them. When the cold temperatures returned the nights dropped into the high teens. They just “noped out” on me, but they are still in the ground because the plants look cool. They droop when it freezes but perk up when it’s warm so I’ve let them entertain me.

It’s time to cut down the Aster bushes. The rain has weighted the branches and they are all ground bound. They are the busiest bushes in the fall, with lots of pollinators swarming them all day long. The flowers must release small amounts of nectar throughout the entire day because the pollinators visit the same flowers over and over. I’ve read that nectar is sweetened by the flowers in response to the vibrations of insects wings. I plan to add more flowers to the garden this year because when my son did, it made a huge aesthetic difference. His green jungle transformed into a picturesque landscape that drew in your attention like stealing your soul. Words don’t adequately describe our recognition of beauty because our vocabulary is finite.

I continue to scavenge trampled hay for garden mulch. It’s the funnest thing to do for the winter garden. It’s killing weeds, amending the soil, feeding the soil dwelling composters and decorating all at the same time. The garden is now full of circles, triangles, rectangles and lined pathways. It looks the best it ever has in the winter, and I’ve put the least amount of work into it. The hay is light so it’s not strenuous work, but it keeps me moving, which is thought to reduce the onset of Alzheimer’s in old folks. Arthritis makes us want to sit, and moving compost in a wheelbarrow wears us out, so straw and hay are here to save the day. I’ve still got a whole bale of straw in the barn from Christmas that I haven’t needed because of all the free hay. Mulching has always been the most significant thing you can do in a garden, but when you start decorating with it you add a new dimension to it’s benefits.

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