Cauliflower

Introduction | Climatic Requirement | Soil Requirement | Varieties
Field Preparation and Sowing | Nutrient Management | Water and Irrigation | Weed Management
Disease Management | Harvesting | Post Harvesting | Miscellaneous
 
Disease Management:

Major diseases of cabbage are as follows:

Club Root of Crucifers (Plasmodiophora brassicae Wor.):

The club root or finger and toe disease is potentially the most dangerous disease of cauliflower and closely related crops. Once the disease has appeared in the area, it becomes very difficult to raise a profitable crop in that area. Affected plants are usually a total loss.

Symptoms:
The earliest above-ground symptoms are unthrifty development of the plants and flagging of the leaves in the hot sunny days, as if the plant is suffering from lack of water. When such plants are uprooted, the hypertrophy of the root system can be seen. The infected roots enlarge relatively rapidly to form “clubs”.

Individual infections on roots progress in both directions along the main axis, and spindle-shaped clubs result. The hypertrophy causes malfunctioning of the xylem which results in flagging of leaves.

Predisposing factors:

a) Soil temperature of 9 to 300 C.
b) Slightly acidic soils,
c) Use of high dose of Phosphorus and Potassium fertilizers. d) High soil moisture. 

Control Measures:

a) Eradication of cruciferous weeds such as wild mustard.
b) Use of well-drained, pathogen-free plots.
c) Use of seedlings raised in pathogen-free soil.
d) Very long crop rotations avoiding any type of cruciferous crops.
e) Addition of dolomite @200 gm/m2 during field preparation
f) Use of resistant varieties if available. 

Black rot or Black Vein of Cauliflower (Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris):

Symptoms:
Blight of leaves from the margin to mid-rib in ‘V’ shape is the most characteristic symptoms of this disease. Blackening of the vascular bundle occurs which is also another character of this disease. 


Control Measures:
a) Rouging of the infected plants as soon as the disease is detected in the field followed destruction by burning.
b) Hot water treatment of the seeds at 500 C for 30 minute gives good control of the disease. 


Insect-pests:
Cauliflower suffers from a number of insect pests. The main pest are as follow: 

Cauliflowr Diamond-black Moth (Plutella xylostella L.):
The moths are small greyish brown insects with wing span of 1.6 mm. the forewings bear 3 whitish triangular spots on their posterior margins which together form a diamond pattern when the insect is at rest with wings folded along the body. 



Host Plants:
Mainly cauliflower and cauliflower but can also feed on other cruciferous, solanaceous and liliaceous plants.



Damage and Symptoms of Attack:
A serious pest of Cauliflower all over the world. Inner leaves get riddled with caterpillars showing round transparent cuticular patches caused by feeding.

Control Measures:
a) Spraying of Bt product like Delfin 3G @ 1 gm/litre.
b) Spraying of neem based formulations @ 4 ml/lit gives good result.
c) Removal of host plant   


Cauliflower Butterfly (Pieris brassicae L.):
It is a large 5.5-6.6 cm white coloured butterfly with back fore-wing-tips and two prominent black spots on the forewings of the females alone. 

Host Plants:
It is a serious pest of cauliflower, cauliflower and knol-khol, but can also attack turnip, radish, mustard and other cruciferous crops. 

Damage and Symptoms of Attack:
Serious damage is done to the leaves. First instar caterpillars only scrape the leaf surface but later ones eat away the leaves at the margins ineards, leaving intact the major veins alone. 

Control Measures:
d) Frequent monitoring of the field, collection and destruction of the caterpillars are the ways to control it like neem or Bt products and Removal of host plant 

Head Borer (Hellula undalis Fabr.):
The moth is greyish brown, forewings having wavy grey markings and hindwings are pale dusky. 

Host Plants:
It is a serious pest of cauliflower and knol-khol, but can also attack turnip, radish, mustard and other cruciferous crops.

Damage and Symptoms of Attack:
The larvae in its first two instars mines the leaf along the sides of the vein and tenders it a papery white structure with excreta filled in it. Thereafter, it nibbles the leaf and later feeds within the curd. In severe attack, the plants become weak and produce deformed heads. 

Control Measures:
e) The braconid wasp, Bracon hebetor (Hym.) parasitizes the larvae of this pest and removal of host plant  

Tobacco Caterpillar (Spodoptera litura Fabr.):
These are polyphagous insects occurring throughout the country. 

Host plants:
Besides onion, it also attacks potato, tomato, gram, maize, cauliflower, etc. 

Damage and Symptoms of Attack:
The caterpillars cause the damage by feeding on tender leaves, shoots and fruits at night. It is extremely destructive as it cuts leaves, shoots and defoliation are the symptoms of its attack. 

Control Measures:
• Field sanitation,
• Collection and destruction of larvae,
• Deep ploughings to kill the pupae,
• Spraying of Spodomax @ 1 gm/litre.
• Removal of host plant 

Physiological disorders of Cauliflower:
Cauliflower suffers from a number of physiological disorders, which manifest in different types of disease syndromes. Some may be genetically controlled, whereas other may be due to environmental, organic and inorganic nutritional imbalance. A brief description of these physiological disorders is as follows: 

a) Buttoning:
Buttoning is the development of very small sized ‘curds’ or ‘buttons’ while the plants are still small. The leaves become so small that they can not cover the curd. Following are some of the reasons that cause buttoning in cauliflower, and hence they should be taken care of: 

o Transplanting of over aged and week seedlings.
o Inadequate supply of nitrogen in the nursery and in the main field.
o Hot and dry weather which is unfavorable for vegetative growth but favourable for curd development resulting in very small sized heads.
o Use of poor quality seeds.
o Inadequate moisture supply and improper plant protection measures.
o Crowding of plants or late planting etc. 

b) Brown-rot or red-rot:
This disorder is due to boron deficiency. Water soaked areas are formed in the centre of curd and the affected plants have hollow stems. 

Application of borax @ 10-15 kg/ha depending upon the soil minimizes the incidence of brown rot.

c) Hollow Stem:
In heavy fertilized soils, particularly with nitrogen, rapidly growing plants of cauliflower develop hollow stem and curd. It may be corrected by close spacing and optimum use of nitrogenous fertilizers. 

d) Whiptail:
This disorder is caused due to the deficiency of molybdenum occurring mostly in acidic soils where pH is below 5.0. In this case, leaf blades do not develop properly and remain strap like and severely savoyed. In several cases only midrib development accounting for the name “whip tail”. The growing point is severely deformed and hence does not produce marketable curds. 

Application of about 30 kg Sodium or Ammonium Molybdate per hectare or raising the pH of soil to 6.5 by liming minimizes the occurrence of this disorder. Ammonium or Sodium Molybdate could be applied in a solution of water when the plants are set in the fields.

e) Riceyness:
When the surface of the curd is loose and has velvety appearance due to elongation of pedicel and formation of small white flower buds at the curding stage, such curds are known as “ricey”. Apart from fluctuating and unfavourable temperature, heavy application of N and high humidity may cause Riceyness. 

Selection of proper varieties for a particular time of cultivation, optimum application of nitrogenous fertilizer and planting of resistant and tolerant varieties help to minimize this physiological disorder.


f) Leafy:
Curds become leafy due to the growing of small green leaves between the curd segments. They may appear due to unfavourable weather conditions. 

g) Fuzzy Curds:
It is velvety in appearance and formed when flower pedicles elongate. This type of curd may result due to hereditary factors or under under unfavourable weather conditions or due to over maturity of curds. 

h) Blindness:
During early stages of plant growth, damage to growing point by insects, low temperature or frost causes blindness. Plants grow without terminal bud and fail to form any curd. The leaves of blind plants become thick and leathery owing to accumulation of carbohydrates. Damage of growing point by insects may be avoided by proper spraying of botanical pesticides. 


Introduction | Climatic Requirement | Soil Requirement | Varieties
Field Preparation and Sowing | Nutrient Management | Water and Irrigation | Weed Management
Disease Management | Harvesting | Post Harvesting | Miscellaneous