Browning is not something that takes place in a sauté pan. It is a symptom of boron deficiency in cauliflower characterized by hollow stems and curds that turn brown and bitter.
How do plants use boron?
Boron (B) is a micronutrient that helps maintain plant cell walls. It helps produce and transport sugars, seeds, pollen, and flowers. And it helps metabolize nitrogen. In the world of plant food, micronutrients are only used in tiny amounts, but they are critical to plant growth. The optimal range for boron found in a soil sample is 0.1-0.5 parts per million (ppm). The only way you can determine how much boron is in your soil is with a laboratory soil test. Take my word for it, it’s the best investment you can make in your garden, next to mulching. Back to browning.
Boron deficiencies are more common in areas with frequent rainfall and acidic soil. If a lab-based soil test indicates a boron deficiency, you can apply borax to your soil. How much your soil needs will depend on how much is already there. Too much can be just as bad as not enough. If you need help figuring it out, you can always contact me. Boron-deficient heads that otherwise look normal may be saved if they are protected from sun exposure. You can do this by simply pulling leaves up and around the curds and tying them in place with a string. If the deficiency is bad, the curd will still taste bitter.
If you grow cauliflower, a soil test is a good investment.
And if you happen to have better photos that I could use, please let me know. Thanks!
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