Common Name Brussels sprouts Botanical Name Brassica oleracea var.gemmifera Family Brassicaceae Plant Type Biennial, annual, vegetable Size 2–3 ft. tall, 1 ft.
wide Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Loamy, well-drained Soil pH Neutral Bloom Time Summer Hardiness Zones 2–10 (USDA) Native Area Mediterranean.Brussels sprouts require a growing season of 80 days or more, and they improve in flavor after being subjected to a light frost.In general, plant seeds approximately four months prior to your area's projected first fall frost date.Brussels sprouts perform best in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight on most days.It's ideal to mix a thick layer of compost into the soil prior to planting.Brussels sprouts prefer temperatures between 45 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, though they can tolerate short spells below freezing.Humidity typically isn't an issue as long as their soil moisture needs are met and there's good air flow around the plants.Use an organic vegetable fertilizer that’s high in nitrogen starting once the seedlings reach around 6 inches tall.'Jade Cross' is a compact, high-yield plant that's good for windy locations and can withstand some hot weather.is a compact, high-yield plant that's good for windy locations and can withstand some hot weather.'Long Island Improved' is another small but high-yield plant that stands up to wind and tolerates freezing.If you don’t have a suitable garden site for a Brussels sprouts plant, container growth can be a good option.Unglazed clay is an ideal material because it will allow excess soil moisture to evaporate through its walls as well.However, you should promptly remove any damaged or diseased portions before they weaken the entire plant.You also can remove yellowed leaves to allow the plant to put its effort into sprout production.Because most people grow Brussels sprouts as annuals, they won’t be able to collect seeds in the plant’s second year for propagation.Position the cut piece with the stem side down so that it’s just submerged in a shallow dish of water.Brussels sprouts seeds germinate best at temperatures between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.To start plants in containers, gently press the seeds into a moist seed-starting mix.Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and put the container in a warm spot with bright, indirect light.Just make sure to plant early enough for your area to be able to harvest before frigid temperatures set in.Brussels sprouts are prone to the same problems as other plants in the cabbage family.Several fungal diseases also can affect Brussels sprouts, including black rot, clubroot, downy mildew, and white mold. .
Growing Brussels Sprouts: Planting, Growing, and Harvesting
As long as you plant them at the right time, keep them cool and well watered during the heat of summer, and protect them from pests, Brussels sprouts are a rewarding vegetable crop to grow—an accomplishment!Brussels sprouts form as buds along the main stem of the plant, just above each leaf axil. .
How to Grow Brussels Sprouts
Sprouts are hardy plants and will grow in most sites but will need to be staked in Autumn in exposed areas to prevent blowing over in high winds.If you choose staggered planting dates sprouts can be harvested for a long period from September to February.You do need to be careful, however, not to let the compost plug completely dry out or it will form a crust on top and won't absorb the moisture the next time you water.You can leave the cloche off the plants on dry frost free days and replace at night.Gradually increase the time with the cloche removed until the end of the week when can you leave it off day and night.If you have started your seeds on a windowsill you will need to leave them in an unheated room for a day or two before moving outside to the cloche.Make a hole in the soil with a trowel or dibber slightly deeper than the seedling root ball.A light sprinkle of seaweed/poultry manure around the planting hole will help your broccoli get off to a good start.Keep your sprouts well watered in dry weather, all brassicas prefer a moist soil.Our 'Seamungus' seaweed-chicken manure pellets are an excellent source of nitrogen which will be perfect for leafy crops like cauliflower.Hoeing not only removes the weeds but it also breaks up the surface of the soil and creates a fine texture or 'tilth'.A good tilth lets air and moisture in to the roots of your plants thus increasing their vigour.Recent transplants are most vulnerable and will die, when plants are lifted you will find small white maggots around the roots.Use cabbage collars fixed around the plant stems or cover the crop with protective mesh or fleece.Cabbage caterpillars are active between may and October and lay clusters of yellow eggs under the leaves.Leather jackets and Cutworms are a similar grey/brown colour and live below the surface of the soil where the emerge from at night.Clubroot likes acid soil so adding ground limestone or calcifies seaweed will help prevent it's spread.Remove any yellowing leaves as you go as they can harbour disease and restrict airflow around the ripening sprouts.If you're heading up to the in-laws for Christmas and have told them you're bringing your homegrown sprouts harvest cut the whole stalk, they'll keep longer. .
15 of the Best Brussels Sprout Varieties
I won’t lie, I enjoy them shaved into wispy threads and tossed with a vinaigrette in the summer.Cozy sweaters and fuzzy slippers come out of storage, warming up next to a real fire in the fireplace becomes an option… and there are brussels sprouts.There’s nothing that I can grow in my vegetable patch that reminds me of the coming winter in quite the same way as garden-fresh sprouts, roasted with some balsamic vinegar and pine nuts.There are brussels sprouts for those who struggle with mildew in their gardens, and varieties for people who worry about wind gusts wreaking havoc on their harvest.I like to picture old Arthur playing a pickup game of baseball with his grandkids, using sprouts as the ball and the stalks as the bat, but I have been accused of being overly imaginative with my crops.Regardless of whether you need to go on a little narrative journey like the one I’ve provided to be convinced that this cultivar is worth your while, the little heads will win you over with their rich flavor, and texture that holds up well to freezing.While you may not get a massive harvest with this variety – since each stalk only holds about 10 buds – the well-spaced sprouts make the plant less likely to contract Alternaria, thanks to the good airflow.Brussels sprouts sometimes don’t produce good yields if they develop too late in the spring growing season, because that’s when the weather can become unexpectedly hot.And when I say high yields, I mean it – you can bring in over 14 ounces of veggies per plant, which is impressive.‘Dagan’ grows straight and tall, which is perfect if you’re looking for a bouquet of sprouts for your dinner table or farmers market stand.This hybrid variety takes 100 days to mature and the sprouts hold well in the garden too, so you won’t ruin your harvest if you don’t get to them right away.That means they snap off of the plant easily, and don’t have a big base that you’ll need to trim away when you’re ready to eat them.This pretty hybrid plant grows two feet tall and produces smooth, solid, medium-sized heads.When the plant is hit by a frost, the buds turn incredibly nutty and sweet – perhaps like Beelzebub himself will, once hell freezes over?The plant is slow to mature, taking around 110 days, so it may lend itself better to growing in the fall rather than the spring, particularly in warmer zones.That way, you can avoid the early heat that may destroy spring crops that stick around in the garden for too long.You can also start seeds early indoors if you just can’t wait for fall, and transplant seedlings as soon as you can work the ground in the spring.Ready to harvest in just 85 days, the hybrid plants reach up to 36 inches tall, and you get plenty of veggies on one stalk.‘Gustus’ is newer on the scene, but it’s quickly making a name for itself as a hybrid cultivar that deserves a spot in your garden.I don’t want to admit how long I let mine linger in the refrigerator one year, but let’s just say the pages of my calendar definitely flipped more than once.If you are experimenting with new types, even though this one isn’t as popular on the brussels sprout scene, give it a chance.There’s a general rule with brussels sprouts: the early maturing varieties tend to not hold well in the garden.As if that’s not enough to recommend it, this is only the second brussels sprout variety to win the All-America Selections (AAS) award in the vegetables category, in 2015.The bright green buds have a buttery yellow interior and they grow uniformly on the stalk.While all sprouts taste better after they experience a frost, this hybrid type doesn’t need to get as cold as some others to develop that sweet flavor.The hybrid plant is disease resistant and, because it grows with a compact habit, it doesn’t tip over as easily as some of the taller varieties.And for good reason – the medium-sized heads of this heirloom variety have a nutty, earthy, buttery flavor that’s pretty hard to beat.These picture-perfect little veggies have a lovely deep green color and a robust, nutty flavor packed into a small, one-inch package.The buds are ready to harvest in 120 days, at which point you’ll be greeted by tender, sweet treats.But the thing that really makes this variety stand out is that the heads are well-spaced on the stalk, so they get plenty of air circulation to help avoid disease problems.That’s because it rewards your growing efforts with tons of dark green buds that are filled with a surprisingly intense, sweet, nutty flavor.Topping is the process of cutting off the topmost tip of the plant to discourage it from growing taller.‘Octia’ is a hybrid and produces well-spaced buds on a stalk that grows up to 36 inches tall, which discourages Alternaria thanks to good airflow, and makes the harvest super easy.The purple heads are ready to pick in 140 to 145 days, and this cultivar is best suited to cooler growing zones.With such a short number of days to maturity, you should be able to grow these even in warmer zones without fear of bolting.But I know that if my mom had presented me with a stalk of brussels sprouts that we got to play with before we roasted the heads with some butter, I might have had an entirely different take on them when I was young.If you have room, I think you should plant multiple varieties so you can have all kinds of sizes suited to different culinary uses, and different maturation dates for a continuous supply.Product photos via Amazon, Burpee, Eden Brothers, Gurney’s, Pase Seeds, and True Leaf Market. .
How To Grow Brussels Sprouts: Complete Care Guide
They do require a fairly long season and ideal conditions in order to produce a large bounty of edible heads.You will learn about watering, sun, fertilizer, soil, pest control, and much more so you’ll know how to grow brussels sprouts that are healthy and highly productive.They’re cool weather veggies that have a long growing season, and will continue producing even after frost.Jade Cross – This high yield variety grows more compactly and tolerates higher temps.Red Rubine – This heirloom variety has a gorgeous shade of purple, which is beautiful in the garden and on your plate.Many new gardeners are surprised to learn that brussels sprouts can survive the winter and grow again the next year, even in cold climates down to zone 2.The tiny heads form all along the central stem of brussels sprouts plants, where you’ll find each one just above the junction of a leaf.Choosing the right garden location with plenty of growing space is the best way to give your brussels sprouts a good start.The height and size of brussels sprouts plants makes them ideal for growing in the ground or in raised beds.Choose an area that gets full sun, has rich, fertile well-draining soil, and plenty of room.They need a very long season in order to produce mature heads, and don’t do well in extreme heat.For cold climates, start them indoors several weeks before your last spring frost date so they have plenty of time to mature before winter.If you experience high temperatures, choose a partial shade location that protects them during the hottest part of the day.The best tasting and well formed brussels sprouts will grow on plants that receive consistent, even watering.So keep the soil evenly moist at all times, but don’t water to the point of making it soggy.So it’s important to plant them at the right time of year, and mulch around the base to help keep the soil cool.So in order to encourage the largest most flavorful heads, keep them well fed using a nitrogen rich blend.Start during planting time by mixing compost, aged manure, and/or slow-release granules into the hole.As the season goes on, continue to top dress them with granules monthly, or use a liquid compost tea weekly.I recommend amending heavy, sandy, or poor quality soils with compost to improve fertility and drainage.Pruning throughout the season is a great way to refocus the plant’s energy on brussels sprout formation, rather than growing larger leaves.Toward the end of the season, when you know a hard freeze is nearing, you can remove all of the top leaves from the stalk.Bugs like aphids, cutworms, slugs, snails, flea beetles, and cabbage worms and loopers love to feast on all parts of the plant.Different fungal diseases like Alternaria blight, powdery mildew, black rot, and clubroot can damage the leaves and affect head development.It’s also a good idea to water near the roots instead of overhead to prevent soil from splashing up.Brassicas grown in the same location every year can harbor and help to spread soil borne diseases.So work from the base first, leaving the smaller brussels sprouts near the top to keep growing.Flea beetles make tiny holes, while cabbage loopers or worms will create irregular, larger ones.Hand pick off any large bugs you see, and lightly spade the soil to destroy any larvae.If the heads fail to form, or don’t seem to be getting any larger, they could be having an issue with heat, inconsistent water, or lack of nutrients.They’ll also need evenly moist, nitrogen rich soil to develop well-formed ones, as well as regular fertilizer applications.If your brussels sprouts plant is simply not growing it could be caused by highly acidic soil or clubroot disease.So while the plant can survive more than one year, in the second it’ll produce flowers and seeds, rather than edible heads. .
How to grow brussels sprouts: guide to planting and growing
Love them or hate them, there is no denying the health benefits from home grown brussels sprouts.Brussels sprouts will give you a healthy harvest all through the winter months, making them a great addition to consider when planning vegetable garden ideas.One of the best things about learning how to grow brussels sprouts is that they will provide you with a crop for your vegetable garden long after all summer harvests have ended when.Part of the organisation involved when you're planning when to plant vegetables is ensuring a succession of crops for as much of the year as possible.The ideal climate is the 'fog belt' of the Pacific Northwest, however, brussels sprouts can be grown successfully almost anywhere when you understand the conditions the plants need.'Exposure to a few frosts actually enhances the flavour of the sprouts,' explains Leona Bergman of Cedar Circle Farm (opens in new tab) and Education Center based in Vermont.'They don’t really like the heat but will survive through our hot summers, yielding a delightful harvest very late in the season.'.Brussels sprouts need a well draining soil and don’t require many nutrients, making them easy an crop to grow and perfect for beginners.For the best results when growing brussels sprouts, start sowing the seeds early for a long harvest.Once growing well, brussel sprout plants need to be watered regularly and staked to avoid toppling over.Just mulch around the stem as the weather cools, which is one of the ways to protect plants from frost, and you can harvest fresh sprouts all through the winter, into early spring the following year.'If any of the lower leaves of the plant show any yellowing, strip them off at once,' advises Leona Bergman of Cedar Circle Farm. .
9 Ways Brussels Sprouts Benefit Your Health
Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassicaceae family of vegetables and closely related to kale, cauliflower, and mustard greens.These cruciferous vegetables resemble mini cabbages and are typically cut, cleaned, and cooked to make a nutritious side dish or main course.They’re also high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps promote iron absorption and is involved in tissue repair and immune function ( 3 ).In addition to the nutrients above, Brussels sprouts contain small amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium, and phosphorus ( 1 ).Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, compounds that promote overall health and help prevent damage to cells ( 5 , 6).Eating Brussels sprouts as part of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help supply the antioxidants your body needs to promote good health.Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, which can promote regularity, support digestive health, and reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes.Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin K, a nutrient important for blood clotting and bone metabolism.In addition to their impressive nutrient profile and long list of health benefits, Brussels sprouts may help keep blood sugar levels steady.Multiple studies have linked an increased intake of cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, to a decreased risk of diabetes ( 9 ).Increasing your intake of Brussels sprouts alongside an otherwise healthy diet may help keep your blood sugar levels stable.Summary: Brussels sprouts are a good source of ALA omega-3 fatty acids, which may play a role in the health of your brain, heart, immune system, and other parts of your body.As mentioned earlier, Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, which can help neutralize the free radicals that can promote inflammation ( 5 , 6).Summary: Brussels sprouts are high in vitamin C, an antioxidant that’s important for immune health, iron absorption, collagen production, and the growth and repair of tissues.Brussels sprouts make a healthy addition to any diet and are easy to incorporate into side dishes and entrees.Mix the sprouts with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and then roast them on a baking sheet until they’re crispy.Summary: Brussels sprouts are simple to prepare, and you can enjoy them in a variety of delicious side dishes and main courses.Brussels sprouts are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them a nutritious addition to your diet.Adding Brussels sprouts to a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has the potential to make a major positive impact on your health. .
How to grow Brussels sprouts / RHS Gardening
For an early crop, sow in a greenhouse in small pots or modular trays in February, for harvesting from August.Brussels are traditionally sown in a separate seed bed, rather than on the main veg plot, then transplanted in early summer, once more space is available.From mid-May to early June, when the young plants are 10–15cm (4–6in) tall and have seven true leaves, transplant them to their final growing position:.Start picking the lowest sprouts first, when they are the size of a walnut, firm and still tightly closed.A mid season variety, it stands very well and produces good quality, solid sprouts.'Red Ball' Has a sweet, mild taste, a striking appearance and will retain it's colour when steamed.Ready for harvesting from late November onwards with a high yield of medium to large dark green sprouts.Buy £3.49 ‘Crispus’ AGM A club root resistant variety which has excellent standing ability and can be cropped as early as September.Uniform plants with mid to dark green, smooth, dense sprouts that a well spaced on the stalk.Birds, especially pigeons, can cause an array of problems including eating seedlings, buds, leaves, fruit and vegetables.Scarecrows and bird-scaring mechanisms work for a while, but the most reliable method of protection is to cover plants with horticultural fleece or mesh.White larvae approximately 5cm (2in) long, feed on the roots just below the soil surface, stunting growth and causing plants to wilt and die. .
How to Grow a Bounty of Beautiful Brussels Sprouts
Just before a severe freeze, uproot the plants, remove any remaining leaves, and hang the "logs" upside down in a cool place for a few more weeks of harvesting. .