How to Grow Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts -

How to Grow Brussel Sprouts

Brussels sprouts, a member of the cabbage family, have the same basic garden growing requirements as cabbage. The small cabbage-like heads normally grow to about 2” in diameter and grow from a tall central stem.

Growing Brussels sprouts requires a long growing season of approx. 130 days. When planning your garden, be sure to allow enough time for this vegetable to mature.

 

Nutrition Information
Contains: dietary fiber, Vitamin A, C, K, B6, Folate, Chromium, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Copper, Potassium, Manganese


Climate & Growing Conditions
Brussels sprouts prefer cool growing season. They tolerate frost, but don’t grow well in extended cold or hot periods. It's not advisable to try growing Brussel sprouts if you're in a hot subtropical climate.


Preparing the Garden Soil
Brussels sprouts thrive in deeply dug garden beds rich in humus, with full sun and good drainage.


"How to" Tip for Growing Brussels Sprouts
The heads of Brussels sprouts won't form well when grown in sandy soils.
Growing Brussels sprouts takes approx 5-6 months. You will want to protect the plants from wind damage by hilling soil around the plants during the growing season. If you would like the sprouts to mature together at the same time, removing the terminal bud once the plant is about 15” tall.


"How to" Tip for for Growing Brussels Sprouts
It is important to remove weeds, but be gentle as to not disturb the Brussels sprouts shallow root system.


Planting
Sow seeds, well-spaced, in seed trays. Transplant the seedlings when the plants have grown to 4” tall. Plant outside when the garden soil is workable and danger of frost has passed.


For the best conditions for growing Brussels sprouts, the garden rows should be 2 feet apart. (You can sow rows of lettuce between to make the most of your space!).


Watering
Water frequently. Once the plants are well established in the garden, mulch around them to help keep the soil evenly moist. Reduce the amount of watering a week or two before harvesting.


Fertilizing
Provide the best conditions for growing Brussels sprouts by preparing their garden bed several weeks ahead of planting. Recommended fertilizers for this plant are: poultry manure, complete fertilizer. Fertilize again once you see the buds starting to form.


Gardening Challenges
When growing Brussels sprouts, you'll find that they're very prone to pests and diseases. Cabbage moths, aphids, slugs, and snails are the primary offenders. Downy mildew and club root are possible plant diseases. Yellowish areas around the leaves tell you that there’s a magnesium deficiency (to resolve: water the soil around the plant with 1 oz Epsom salts in 5 qts of water.)


NOTE: Providing well drained soil is your best bet for avoiding most of these gardening problems.


"How to" Tip for Growing Brussels Sprouts
Practice good vegetable gardening by rotating your crops within your garden space with each new season. This will prevent many plant diseases.


Harvesting
Harvest Brussels sprouts in late summer through to spring (depending upon the temperature extremes in your area). Harvesting after a frost improves their flavor.


Brussels sprouts should be harvested as soon as they are large enough to use. Pick from the bottom of the stalk first. Also remove the lower leaves on the stalk to help the buds at the top of the plant grow. Harvest frequently to promote a better yield.


Storage
Set the plants close together in a cold frame or cold cellar, with soil around the roots. Or, store in a shed or garage, under hay, for “fresh” Brussels sprouts all winter long.