Romanesque cauliflower seeds

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

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Primrose
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Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby Primrose » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:42 pm

I'm just looking at my recently arrived free packet of seeds and wondering if there are any special secrets to growing these before I try and sow a few late ones. I've never succeeded in growing a cauliflower with a decent head on it and wonder if this variety is as tricky to grow as the ordinary white ones.
Any magic tips or shall I stick to my fail safe kale varieties ?
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Jun 06, 2015 6:53 am

Primrose wrote:I'm just looking at my recently arrived free packet of seeds and wondering if there are any special secrets to growing these before I try and sow a few late ones. I've never succeeded in growing a cauliflower with a decent head on it and wonder if this variety is as tricky to grow as the ordinary white ones.
Any magic tips or shall I stick to my fail safe kale varieties ?


I've tried with Romanesque two years running and had no joy at all, whereas I have had success with 'normal type' cauliflowers.
I think there must be something about their requirements that I'm not giving them.

Perhaps I don't talk to them enough :D

If you have enough space I'd say give them a go, if we all just stuck with just our tried and trusted we might miss out on learning something.
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby Pa Snip » Sat Jun 06, 2015 8:09 am

I should have said that sowing germination rate has been about 50% but have yet to have any heads develop, all my sowings have been blind.
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby robo » Sat Jun 06, 2015 9:23 am

I planted all year round caulies last year only about 10 made it over winter 6 weeks ago just before i went to spain i was going to pull them up as they had grown long and leggy i put this down to growing under netting, on my return from spain after about a week of playing catch up i decided to clear the cauli patch to my suprise i found a small hart on the first one over the next 2 weeks i was the talk of the allotment all of them produced big clean heads , one of the mates down the allotment had the same result out of the small seedlings i gave him his grew long and leggy but where not grown under netting it must just be that type of cauli that grows that way
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:09 am

They need just the same treatment as all the other brassicas. They make lovely tender heads - not as coarse textured as caulis and they are a bit prone to frost damage if sown late but fleece will usually protect them.
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby FelixLeiter » Sun Jun 07, 2015 10:10 am

Romanesco / Romanesque is more like summer broccoli than a cauliflower in how it's grown. Sow as soon as possible, direct where it is to grow, and thin to the strongest seedlings at a 30cm spacing. They enjoy full sun, plentiful moisture and a rich soil. Heads mature in early autumn. Those green curds are quite something to look at, but have absolutely no flavour, which could be why it's never really caught on. It is not winter hardy, and curds are only formed in autumn.
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby Johnboy » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:02 am

Hi Felix,
I feel I should take you to task with your description of Romanesco.
If you steam Romanesco and serve with a white sauce the flavour is wonderful. Maybe to some it is tasteless because they have boiled the hell out of it. It needs the minimum of steaming and then the flavour is wonderful.
I think that it is not as popular as it might be because it needs to be attended more regularly than Broccoli to get the full potential of the plant and people do not realise this.
JB.
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby retropants » Mon Jun 08, 2015 11:02 am

just a note, the plants are huge, much bigger that normal caulis or calabrese plants, so make sure you have enough room. They get quite tall also (approaching PSB height). Quite often we get a blind plant among the ones we grow, but I like the flavour, as caulis are too strong a flavour for me (I know I am a wimp) :lol:
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Tue Jun 09, 2015 9:43 am

I agree with Johnboy and Retropants that they have a very nice flavour. I wouldn't really compare them with a cauliflower for taste or texture. They are large plants and the shape of the curd is amazing. Geometrically it is a fibonacci spiral.
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby Stonecoloured » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:06 am

I've not tried these, although I've got them to sow for next year :) it's good to see all the tips / recommendations :)
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Re: Romanesque cauliflower seeds

Postby Johnboy » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:30 pm

Hi Stonecoloured,
Romanesque needs a considerable amount of nutrition and should never be allowed to go short of water. Not drowned but kept well moist.
I haven't grown them for a while now but bought some superb specimens in Hereford Market the last time I ate them and they were really well grow and tasted wonderful.
Best of luck growing them next year.
JB.
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