Everything You Need To Know About Growing Brussel Sprouts

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Brussel sprouts are a slow-growing cool weather crop that will improve in flavor with a light frost or two.

Brussel sprouts are native to Brussels in Belgium where they got their name and have been cultivated since the 1500s.

They are slow-growing cool weather crops that is a biennial but they are often grown as annuals.

PLANTING BRUSSEL SPROUTS

Brussel sprouts are best grown in hardiness zone 3 through 10 in well-drained soil with full sun and a soil pH range of 6.0 through 7.0.

They can be sown straight into the soil after the last frost or started 8 to 10 weeks before the last frost indoors using a cardboard seed starting tray.

They are best planted 18 to 24 inches apart and about half an inch deep.

Brussel sprouts are a cool weather crop therefore they are best started in the fall for an early winter harvest.

If you are short on space then they can be grown in potting containers that can be placed anywhere.

FERTILIZING AND WATERING

To avoid any possible issues of over-fertilizing your brussel sprouts, you should test your soil before adding any fertilizers.

Brussel sprouts are best fertilized every two weeks with a balanced granular fertilizer such as 10-10-10, 5-10-5, 5-10-10, or a homemade liquid fertilizer.

They prefer soil that is consistently moist but not soaked and they will require about 1 to 2 inches of water per week.

BLOOMS

Brussel sprouts produce blooms that have four yellow petals in the second growing season.

The term bolting is a term used when a plant goes to seed for the next season and it can bolt early if started during warm temperatures.

HARVESTING

Brussel sprouts are ready for harvesting in 80 – 100 days after the seeds have been sown into the soil and ripened from the ground up.

When harvesting only choose sprouts that are one inch, start at the bottom of the plant, and remove the leaves with the sprout.

PROPAGATING

Brussel sprouts can be propagated from the sprouts by cutting the bottom off the sprout and placing it in a shallow container with the cut end down.

Add enough water to slightly cover the bottom of the container and replace the water daily.

Within about two weeks roots should have formed and it is ready for planting.

PESTS

Romaine lettuce has few pests that feed on them but using natural methods such as attracting predators and using natural insecticides such as essential oils, diatomaceous earth, or insecticidal soap will keep your pest control organic.

  • Aphids
  • Cutworms
  • Leaf miners
  • Armyworms
  • Cabbage loopers
  • Cabbage whites
  • Flea beetles
  • Thrips
  • Wireworms
  • Slugs
  • Snails
  • Root-knot nematodes
  • Earwigs
  • Diamondback moths

DISEASES

Brussel sprouts can develop mold and mildew issues during times of high humidity especially when planted too close together.

If this is the case then preventive measures may need to be taken.

VARIETIES

Brussel sprouts have different sizes sprouts with some varieties having small but crowded sprouts while other varieties are rather large with sprouts that are spread out.

There is also a difference in flavor with some having an earthy flavor and others having a buttery flavor.

CATSKILL BRUSSEL SPROUT

Catskill brussel sprouts are an heirloom variety that was developed in 1941 in New York U.S. by Arthur White.

  • Plant size – grows to about 24 inches wide and 12 inches around
  • Foliage – large green leaves
  • Sprout quantity – about 10
  • Days to germinate – 7 to 14 days
  • Days to harvest – about 90 – 110 days for mature leaves

REDARLING BRUSSEL SPROUT

Redarling brussel sprouts are a large variety with a sweeter flavor than other varieties.

  • Plant size – grows to about 40 inches wide and 30 inches around
  • Foliage – large purple leaves
  • Sprout quantity – about 10
  • Days to germinate – 5 to 17 days
  • Days to harvest – about 140 days for mature leaves

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