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A person wearing a red T-shirt with "Warehouse Saving" written on it is holding a basket filled with cauliflower

Overview

Cauliflower is an underrated garden staple, but it’s one of the most rewarding things you can grow. It's easy to cultivate and has grown in popularity, thanks to its ability to step in as a lighter and healthier alternative to favourite dishes like pizza bases, rice and mash. Cauliflower is full of essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamins C and K, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium.

We’re sharing tips for growing cauliflower at home. We’ve also included a crowd-pleasing Korean Fried Cauliflower recipe that is absolutely delicious.

Safety tip: Always wear the appropriate safety equipment (safety glasses, ear muffs, gloves and mask, for example) and always follow the instructions for the product or equipment. Always wear gloves and a mask when handling potting mix, mulch and compost, and store products out of the reach of children and pets.

Steps

1Choosing cauliflower varieties

Cauliflowers come in different shapes, sizes and flavour profiles. Snowball cauliflowers are ideal for smaller gardens. If you’re in a warmer area, Cheddar and Graffiti cauliflowers thrive in the heat. Minuteman cauliflowers are more disease-resistant, which will save you time and money.

Take these factors into consideration, but grow the variety you love to cook with and enjoy eating.

A gloved hand is holding a seedling while others are placed in the soil

2Preparing the soil

Start by selecting a spacious spot in your garden that gets ample sunlight, ideally at least six hours per day. Cauliflower thrives in nutrient-rich soil, so mix in some quality organic compost or well-rotted manure to fortify the soil.
A Bunnings team member is filling the garden bed with Osmocote Compost Premium Soil Improver

3Planting

When it comes to planting cauliflower, you have two main options: starting from seed or transplanting cauliflower seedlings. If you're planting from seed, begin about 6-8 weeks out from winter in a seed raising tray. Once your seedlings have 4-5 leaves, they’ll be ready to transplant outdoors.

If you’re opting for seedlings, refer to the planting guidelines to determine the appropriate spacing, typically around 45cm apart. Remember, consistent moisture is key for optimal growth. Stick your finger into the soil; if it feels dry, it’s time to water. Cauliflowers need about 2-4cm of water each week, depending on your rain and sun conditions.

Protect your cauliflowers by laying down a good organic mulch like pea straw. This will help retain moisture, suppress weeds and regulate the soil temperature.

Lastly, fertilise your cauliflowers every fortnight with an organic liquid fertiliser like Seasol.

A person in a red T-shirt and gloves is using a watering can to water the seedlings in the garden bed

4Harvesting

Your cauliflower should be ready for harvesting within 12 to 14 weeks of planting when the head is fully formed. To harvest, carefully remove the cauliflower heads from the plant using a sharp knife. Be sure to keep a few of the outer leaves intact to shield your cauliflower. This will help protect the florets and keep your cauliflower fresher for longer until you’re ready to use it.
A person is holding a plate of crispy Korean fried cauliflower

5Korean Fried Cauliflower recipe

If you’re on the hunt for a vegetarian or vegan alternative to buffalo wings or bites, this is a healthier, tastier, Korean-inspired version. This crowd-pleasing favourite is the perfect snack for a get-together or movie night.

A person is chopping cauliflower with a knife on chopping board

Ingredients:

Battered cauliflower

  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1⁄2 cup / 75g corn starch
  • 1⁄2 cup / 70g plain flour
  • 1 tsp / 5g baking powder
  • 1 tsp / 5g table salt
  • 1 egg
  • 250ml water
  • canola oil, for deep frying

Korean sauce

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 10g ginger, minced
  • 50g gochujang
  • 45g soy sauce
  • 45g mirin
  • 15g rice wine vinegar (or just white vinegar)
  • 250g water

A hand is tossing cauliflower to evenly coat it in a tasty, sticky glaze

Method

1. Starting with the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a wok or large saucepan over high heat.

2. Bring to a boil and gently reduce, whisking occasionally to keep the sauce from burning.

3. Reduce to a glaze, for about four minutes. Set aside, keeping the sauce in the wok or saucepan.

4. Moving on to the cauliflower, take a large pot and fill it about halfway with canola oil. Place over a high heat, using a heat thermometer to bring the oil to 180°C.

5. While the oil is heating, wash the cauliflower and cut it into bite-sized florets.

6. Pat your cauliflower with a paper towel to remove excess water. Allow it to dry completely.

7. To prepare the cauliflower batter, whisk one egg with half a cup of cold water in a large bowl.

8. Slowly whisk in the cornstarch, flour, baking powder and salt, ensuring there are no lumps and the batter is smooth. The batter should resemble a smooth pancake batter.

9. Add your cauliflower pieces to the batter, tossing them to ensure each piece is evenly coated.

10. Working in batches, use a slotted spoon to place the cauliflower into the oil, tapping off any excess batter beforehand.

11. Fry for five minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oil, placing the cauliflower pieces into a bowl lined with paper towel.

12. On low heat, bring your sauce back to a gentle simmer and drop your cauliflower bites in. Give it a good toss to coat each piece in the tasty, sticky glaze.

13. Place it in a bowl and serve immediately with toasted sesame seeds and freshly chopped spring onions. Enjoy!

The ingredients are boiling in a wok or large saucepan over high heat

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.