How To Grow A Bounty Of Beautiful Brussels Sprouts
First of all, Brussel sprouts are so tasty, right?
Have you ever tried growing them in your vegetable garden? They are easy to grow and bring lots of health benefits!
The sprouts, which look like mini cabbages, form along the 2- to 3-foot stems under umbrella-like foliage, and need up to 100 days to mature.
These plants take up a fair amount of space, and the reward is an amazing bounty of beautiful brussel sprouts!
Planting Brussels Sprouts
Brussel sprouts can survive freezing temperatures a lot. Time your plantings in order for the overnight fall frosts bring out the sprouts’ sweetness. Plant this crop late, after you set out warm-season crops like peppers and squash. To determine the timing of planting, count back the number of days to maturity from your first fall frost, this is the day to set transplants in the garden.
To start them from seeds (both indoor or outdoor), sow seeds 1/2 inch deep. When the seedlings are 5-7 inches tall, thin or space them to two feet apart. Then, set transplants deeper than originally, and make sure the lowest leaves are above the soil. Firm the ground around the plants and water them well.
Growing Brussels Sprouts
Mulching is important to retain soil moisture so don’t forget to do it. Also, hand pull any weeds to avoid damages to the roots of the plants. Foliar feed lightly, 1-2 a month with compost tea or seaweed extract. Stake in areas with strong winds. As the sprouts mature their leaves turn yellow. Remove these leaves and give your sprouts some room to develop.
Harvesting Brussels Sprouts
The most tender ones are the small sprouts (about 1 inch in diameter) Harvest them as soon as they mature from the bottom of the stalk upward. Remove them by twisting them from the stem. Pinch off the plant to make them mature faster. Before a severe freeze, uproot the sprouts, remove the remaining leaves, and hang the “logs” upside down in a cool place for more harvesting.