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. .

Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Brussels Sprouts

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

Common Name Brussels sprouts Botanical Name Brassica oleracea (Gemmifera group) Family Brassicaceae Plant Type Annual vegetable Size 30 in.wide Sun Exposure Full sun Soil Type Loamy Soil pH Neutral (6.5 to 7) Bloom Time Non-flowering Flower Color Non-flowering Hardiness Zones 2 to 9 Native Area Mediterranean.Brussels sprouts require a long growing season of 80 days or more, and they improve in flavor after being subjected to a light frost.In colder climates, you can start brussels sprouts seeds indoors around early May, and transplant the seedlings to the garden in mid-June, or about four months before the first fall frost.Brussels sprouts like a slightly acidic to neutral soil that is fertile, well-drained and moist, with plenty of organic matter.A good amount of organic matter will help maintain the moisture they need for their intense growth.They'll tolerate a couple of days below freezing, and even improve their flavor with a bit of light frost.'Bubbles' F1 (85 to 90 days to maturity): This variety tolerates heat and drought, and grows 2-inch sprouts that are resistant to powdery mildew and rust.F1 (85 to 90 days to maturity): This variety tolerates heat and drought, and grows 2-inch sprouts that are resistant to powdery mildew and rust.'Long Island Improved' OP (90 days): This variety is another small but high-yield plant that stands up to wind and tolerates freezing.OP (90 days): This variety is another small but high-yield plant that stands up to wind and tolerates freezing.F1 (85 days): ''Royal Marvel' is an early and productive plant that is resistant to bottom rot and tip burn.Cutting the tops is a good way to speed up the development of the remaining sprouts, at the end of the season.Bare root plants stored in a cool cellar will give you an additional two to three weeks of harvest.If you live in an area with cold winters, start your seeds indoors about two to three weeks before the last spring frost.If you live in a region with warm winters—where temperatures are rarely below freezing—start seeds outdoors in the late summer for a mid- to late-winter harvest. .

Growing Stages of Brussel Sprouts

This member of the cabbage family and close relative of broccoli, cauliflower and kale grows best in cool, humid climates.Brussels sprouts have a long growing season – 80 to 100 days, depending on variety – and are best harvested in cool weather.Seeds will germinate at temperatures ranging between 45 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit; expect seedlings to emerge within five to eight days.Brussels sprout plants will reach heights and spreads of 2 to 3 feet at maturity, so proper care during their early development is essential for healthy growth.Use a commercial ammonium nitrate product or an organic liquid fish emulsion, depending on your preference. .

How to Plant, Grow, and Harvest Brussels Sprouts

Planting Brussels sprouts from seed outdoors requires a very long, cool growing season.In mild-winter regions plant Brussels sprouts in late summer or autumn for winter or cool spring harvest.Time planting so that Brussels do not grow in periods of extended warm weather much above 70°.If clubroot disease has been a problem in the past, add lime to adjust the soil to 7.0 or slightly higher.Crop rotation is important to prevent soil nutrient depletion and soilborne diseases.To determine the best time to plant Brussels sprouts, estimate the date of the first fall frost then count back the number of days to maturity for the variety you are growing; that is the date to set Brussels sprouts transplants in the garden.Sow seed directly in the garden 10 to 12 weeks before the first average frost date.Mature Brussels sprouts plants are not suited for temperatures greater than 80°F (26°C); sustained warm temperatures will leave Brussels sprouts bitter tasting and may cause their tight cabbage-like heads to open.Sow Brussels sprouts seeds ¼ to ½ inch (6-12mm)deep.Grow a single plant in a container 12 inches (30cm) wide and deep or larger.Feed plants compost tea or diluted fish emulsion solution every three weeks.Keep the soil around Brussels sprouts evenly moist; water at the base of plants.If Brussels sprouts develop hollow stems or small buds, the soil may need the plant nutrient boron.Plant Brussels sprouts with beets, celery, herbs, onions, potatoes; avoid pole beans, strawberries, tomatoes.Cultivate shallowly or weed by hand to avoid disturbing roots; Brussels sprouts are shallow-rooted.Cabbage yellows are a fungal disease; lower leaves turn dull green then yellow and then the disease spreads upward; the stem and vascular system become brown and rot.Sprouts begin to form in lower leaf axils first and then continue to develop and mature upward.Break or cut off yellow leaves above developing buds as you harvest upwards.Cool temperatures and frost will sweeten the flavor of buds coming to maturity.Brussels sprouts buds will keep in the refrigerator unwashed for 3 to 4 weeks; keep them in a plastic bag or air-tight container.Stems loaded with buds in late fall can be harvested and kept in a cool (30° to 40°F), dry place for several weeks. .

How to Harvest Brussels Sprouts

While brussels sprouts may get a bad rap in some culinary circles, they don’t fare so poorly in my household.On the contrary, my family will happily wolf down an entire pan of brussels without a second thought, particularly if they are glazed in maple syrup and accompanied by bacon.I consider brussels sprouts – members of the Brassicaceae family – to be a real delicacy, slow to mature and expensive to buy.While you may be inclined to feel intimidated by these strange towering stalks with their funny little edible buds we refer to as sprouts, the process of harvesting brussels is actually not too complicated.Throughout the growing season, observe your plants regularly and strip off any leaves that start to turn yellow.Comparable to collard greens in texture, with a flavor reminiscent of kale, the baby leaves are quite yummy in a simple stir fry.To do this, cut off the growth tip where new leaves are forming at the top of the plant, above the first developing sprout.These sugars act as a natural antifreeze by lowering the freezing point of the liquid in the plant cells.Twist or snap off the buds, or cut them with a knife at the base where the sprout meets the stem.Removing the lower leaves below the sprouts you’ve picked will encourage the plant to grow upwards and continue to produce new buds.As you pick them, new ones will develop quickly, but growth and production of new buds will slow as the weather gets colder.After you’ve got the stalk out of the ground, simply twist or cut off the individual sprouts, discarding any that are yellowing or rotten.Place a thick layer of straw or hay in mounds up to the top leaves, moving the mulching material out of the way when you want to harvest.Once spring is in the air, however, they’ll quickly bolt and will start forming flower stalks in place of sprouts. .

Growing Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are hardy, cool season, slow growing vegetables that are a part of the cabbage family.Growing Brussels sprouts can be a bit tricky compared to other garden vegetables due to their temperature and soil requirements.Planting in the summer for a cooler fall harvest will give the most successful results in most parts of the county.Brussels sprouts are usually transplanted from seedlings in early to mid-summer or about 90-100 days before the first frost date in the fall.Starting the seed indoors where you can control the climate and later transplanting to your permanent garden space will bring the best results.If Brussels sprouts grow in hot, dry conditions they can take on a bitter flavor; for this reason it is usually best to plant in summer for a fall harvest.You can purchase a starter solution or make your own by using a 5-10-10 fertilizer and mixing it with 12 quarts of water and letting it sit for a few hours before using.Once the lower leaves start to yellow, the sprouts will quickly over mature and loose their tender texture and delicious flavor.If you do not consume the sprouts right away they can be refrigerated for 7-10 days or stored at 32 degrees with high humidity (around 95%) for several months.Brussels sprouts are biennials, meaning they will grow for two years before producing seed and requiring replanting.They need to be started indoors about four weeks before your last frost date, as it is not recommended that you plant Brussels sprouts seeds directly into the garden.They are a long season crop and they need the extra time that starting indoors provides, and they should be transplanted outdoors in the spring for a fall harvest, so a little bit of patience is also required when growing Brussels sprouts.Yes, Brussels sprouts are heavy feeders, so you will want to provide nutrients at several different points during their development.Stack, slice and saute the sweet and nutty leaves with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.Steam then whole, then stuff and roll them for a tasty snack, as they make a healthy wrap alternative for bread to house your favorite sandwich fixings.Brussels sprouts taken from plants that have been ravaged by worms are said to be safe to eat, as long as they are washed and thoroughly examined.After they are steamed and separated from their tough exterior, the edible inside portion of Brussels sprout stalks can be eaten all by themselves, shredded and used in a coleslaw or salad, or added to a vegetable stock to infuse the stalk’s rich, sweet, and creamy flavor.However, storing your Brussels sprouts in the refrigerator in an airtight plastic bag, will help to maximize their shelf life.The moment when the sprouts are ready for harvesting is the exact time that you should also prune the leaves of the plant.As you are twisting off the sprouts on the lower portion of the plant by hand, also remove any yellowing or deteriorating leaves using a pair of scissors or garden shears.Before cooking or eating Brussels sprouts, clean the heads and slice off about one fourth of an inch at the bottom of the core.Leave smaller sprouts whole before cooking and halve or quarter larger heads into similarly sized pieces.To dissipate the strong odors of cooked Brussels sprouts, put a few drops of vinegar into a pan and simmer it on the stovetop.Adding a few drops of vinegar into the water before boiling or steaming your sprouts, cabbage, or broccoli helps as well.Give them plenty of room to spread out as they grow, spacing plants about two feet apart in a sunny location with well-drained, fertile soil with a pH around 6.8.Before planting, improve the soil by mixing in several inches of compost or another form of rich organic matter.Mulch your beds or containers to boost water retention, to keep the plant’s roots from overheating, and to prevent weeds.Generally, Brussels sprouts take around 3 months of time after transplanting to mature, depending on the variety.Harvest the sprouts from the bottom up as they will mature earlier than the top ones, picking when they are 1 to 2 inches in diameter, and looking firm and green.Brussels sprouts that are still attached to the stalk will stay fresh for a little bit longer than those stored individually.Brussels sprouts, especially those which are still on the stalk, will keep for up to one week in the fridge, they start to lose flavor and are best when prepared within three to four days after you harvest or purchase them.Brussels typically take anywhere between 26 and 31 weeks to fully develop and become ready to harvest sprouts.When properly spaced, Brussels sprout plants will grow to two and a half feet tall.Brussels sprouts left at room temperature will start to turn yellow once they have gone bad.Yes, prior to cooking, wash your Brussels sprouts, trim the ends and rinse in a bowl of cold water.Though sprouts aren’t generally a very dirty vegetable, any sediment that is lodged inside the layers of the compact heads should float to the surface with a quick cool water bath.Rabbits, voles, chipmunks, deer, woodchucks, and squirrels are all known to pick and eat brussel sprouts, taking the fruits of your labor before you have a chance to harvest.You can prevent getting your sprouts hijacked by putting a wire mesh row cover over your plants.Yellow Brussels sprouts in the garden are usually not an indication of disease or pest infestations, but simply leaves that have started to decay.Brussels sprouts in room temperature storage will start to turn yellow when their shelf life has expired and should be discarded immediately. .

How to Grow Brussels Sprouts

My introduction to the infamous cruciferous veggie was in the form of the heads dumped out of a can and broiled within an inch of their lives.Maybe you like them drizzled in olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and roasted in a hot oven.As opposed to the bushes of heat-loving tomatoes and peppers that just everyone seems to grow in their backyard gardens in the heat of summer, brussels sprouts prefer a chilly nip in the air.The first general description of these tasty green gems was recorded in 1587, according to Texas A&M Agrilife Extension experts.In the 1990s, growers cultivated old varieties to create a modern sprout that wasn’t as bitter as the one most people were familiar with.Brussels sprouts and their close relatives cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli are colloquially referred to as “cole crops” and “cruciferous vegetables” – all varieties of the same species, Brassica oleracea.They can be grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 2 to 9, but you might need to start them indoors if your growing season isn’t long enough before the heat or freezing weather arrives.Northern gardeners can direct-sow as early as mid-June, reap the taste-enhancing benefits of a frost or two, and enjoy these tasty treats at Thanksgiving.Then, you can start them in June or early July and keep them inside for up to six weeks, provided they have full sun or supplemental lighting.Plan on starting your seeds four to six weeks before the last projected frost date in your area at the latest.But if you experience wind or extreme temperatures, place the seedlings outside in a protected area for an hour and then bring them back inside.Don’t risk planting directly in the soil if you have a limited number of cool days available in the spring in your region.You can even place the seeds directly in the soil several weeks before the last projected frost date to maximize the number of cool growing days.If you think you can plant a spring crop early enough for it to enjoy a bit of frost, but not too much chill, and have them vegging out before daytime temps get above 75°F, go for it!According to the Cornell University Gardening Guide, shorter plants tend to mature earlier and be more tolerant of the cold.I love CowPots because they’re made out of a renewable resource (cow poop) and they feed your plants as they compost into the soil.If you keep the seedlings indoors for more than four weeks, they’ll need supplemental lighting unless they’re receiving eight hours of direct sunlight each day.While they’re exceptionally easy to start from seed, you can also often find seedlings at the nursery or garden center for transplanting.These vegetables prefer well-drained, loamy, fertile soil with lots of organic matter, and a pH of 6.0 to 6.8.To achieve your brussels sprouts dreams, head to Arbico Organics to grab a one- or five-pound box.Because there are quite a few pests and diseases out there waiting eagerly for their chance to chomp on any available cole crops, don’t plant your brussels sprouts near any of their close relatives, except mustard.You can also companion plant with nasturtiums and marigolds, which attract beneficial insects such as ladybugs and lacewings that can help to deal with problem bugs.Some gardeners remove the lowest leaves on the stalk to speed up the development of the edible orbs.This is when the plants start to fall over or tilt, usually because the heavy heads act like sails in strong wind.To help prevent this, you can heap six inches of soil up the base of the plants once they’ve reached their mature height.‘Dagan,’ ‘Gustus,’ ‘Hestia,’ ‘Jade Cross,’ ‘Nelson,’ and ‘Tasty Nuggets’ are all resistant to lodging, so these may be good picks for next season if you’d had a problem in the past.I spend a ridiculous amount of time and money enticing birds to visit my yard.But I don’t mind because I get to enjoy their antics – and they devour the bugs that like to bother my plants in exchange.Typically, the damage isn’t too serious, but young seedlings with just a few leaves might be stunted enough that they won’t grow to size in time for a harvest.Even with larger young plants, the bird nibbling coupled with pressure from slugs and other pests can prove to be too much.Wire cages can protect tiny plants, and row covers offer a multi-purpose solution for older ones.Give them a choice between a leafy head of immature sprouts and a mouthful of squash, and it’s a pretty safe bet that they’ll pick the former.Once the stalk grows tall, deer might nibble on the leaves or even try to nab a sprout or two, but the damage is usually limited at this point.Fencing that extends nine inches underground and a foot aboveground is a pretty reliable option to put a stop to their exploring.Growing a few of their favorite plants outside the fence and away from your edible garden can often be enough to distract them from the more important food crops.They can’t resist fruit trees, seeds, grasses, and plants with sweet roots like carrots and parsnips.For more information on how to identify, eliminate, and prevent these (and other) invertebrates from infesting your crop, read our guide.Do your best to avoid fungal infections and other diseases in the first place by rotating your crops every two years, keeping the weeds out of your beds, and watering at the soil level rather than on the leaves.We have a helpful guide that provides all the details you need to identify common diseases, and stop them in their tracks.Twist, snap, or cut off sprouts when they are hard, compact, deep green, and the mature size for your selected cultivar.The lower vegetables on each plant usually mature first, and you’ll want to pluck the globes of goodness before they turn yellow.Near the end of the growing season, when you know it’s about to get too cold or too hot for the plant to continue producing, you can harvest the entire stalk.The process is fairly simple, but our article on harvesting brussels sprouts has even more information to ensure success.Let them sit for a minute to stop the cooking process, then lay them out on a towel to dry completely.For pickling, you need to boil them for 10 minutes, slice the heads in half, and pack them in sterilized jars, leaving an inch of headspace at the top.Next, boil equal parts water and white vinegar, plus a teaspoon of salt for each pint of liquid.Brussels get a major makeover with this caramelized red chili version from our sister site, Foodal.Quick Reference Growing Guide Plant Type: Annual cruciferous vegetable Maintenance: Moderate Native to: Mediterranean region Tolerance: Frost Hardiness (USDA Zone): 2-9 Soil Type: Loamy, water retentive Season: Spring, fall Soil pH: 6.0-6.8 Exposure: Full sun Soil Drainage: Well-draining Time to Maturity: 80-130 days, depending on variety Companion Planting: Marigold, mustard (trap crop), nasturtium Spacing: 19 inches Avoid Planting With: Other cole crops Planting Depth: 1/2 inch for seeds, same level as pot for transplants Family: Brassicaceae Height: Up to 3 feet Genus: Brassica Spread: Up to 2 feet Species: Oleracea Water Needs: Moderate Variety: Gemmifera Common Pests: Birds, deer, rabbits, voles; aphids, armyworms, cabbage loopers, cabbage whites, cutworms, diamondback months, earwigs, flea beetles, leaf miners, root-knot nematodes, slugs, snails, thrips, wireworms Common Disease: Alternaria leaf spot, bacterial leaf spot, bacterial soft rot, black rot, clubroot, damping off, downy mildew, powdery mildew, ring spot, verticillium wilt, white rust Master This Persnickety Veggie While brussels sprouts have a reputation for being tricky to grow, it’s quite possible to grow these tasty treats in the home garden if you simply give them what they need – assuming the weather gods cooperate, that is.Who knows, if you’re really lucky, you might start a new Memorial Day tradition: Brussels sprout salad to go along with your burgers and grilled corn.Repeat exposure is key when you’re aiming to adjust a picky palate to new veggie flavors. .


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