Cauliflowers insist on a pH of about 6.5. Add lime to the soil and maintain moist growing conditions for optimal growth, colour and flavour. In warm regions, plant seedlings in late summer and autumn to avoid the heat, which will make them bolt. The size of the head is determined by growing conditions, spacing and time to harvest.
Although cauliflowers have been cultivated for almost 2000 years they did not become widespread until after their introduction to Italy 500 years ago. In the 19th Century they were a symbol of luxury, especially in the US, where the perfect cauliflower dome doused with bechamel sauce would be served to guests to highlight the prestige of the host.