Growing Brussels sprouts and enjoy the health benefits that they offer over other vegetables. Grow them in the ground or containers with our guide.
Brussel sprouts are an excellent way to enjoy healthy nutrients without a lot of cooking. They can be added to stir fry dishes and even taste good with seafood. Growing your own allows you to reap them fresh for any dish you have in mind.
We will discuss several things to consider as a gardener when you want to ensure that you get healthy, delicious Brussel sprouts for your kitchen.
Details for Growing Brussel Sprouts
April and May ( late spring, early summer)
End of July, August
Temperature to Plant
Soil 60 F (15.5 degrees Celsius)
1.5 inches (4 cm)- Spacing: 9-12 inches (23-30 cm)
Rows 12-15 inches apart
South or areas with lots of sunlight
Keeping the soil moist – well-drained
5.8 – 7 pH
Vitamins B, E and C, magnesium, zinc and Magnan
Seven Steps to Growing Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are like a lot of other vegetables and like soil that is well-drained. Ensure that the soil you use for them is fertile. You can prepare compost from scraps in your kitchen as you get ready for planting them. This will add the nutrients that the Brussel sprouts need to thrive.
Select Clay Soils
The delicious sprouts you want to enjoy can be really heavy when a lot of them are on a single plant. Clay soils are better than thin, lightweight sand because they provide the support needed. Your Brussels sprouts are less likely to topple over in clay and remaining upright, letting them access more sunlight.
Best pH for Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts like acidic soil that contains a lot of organic material. Ensure that the pH is about 6.8. This will also help to deter some of the pathogens that attack this plant. Acidic soils help to discourage club root.
Soil pH Testing
You need to make sure that you accurately test your soil to give your plants the best chance. This Apera kit has ±0.1 pH accuracy, see the star ratings over at Amazon.
When to Start Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are best started indoors. The seeds should be sown 1/2 inch below the soil. Mist the soil just enough to ensure that the seeds do not dry out.
Start them before your last frost date and then transport them to a bed outdoors. These plants like cool weather so they will not suffer in the cold. Be careful to select a spot for them that allows them to keep cool.
Ideal Temperature for Brussels Sprouts
Freshly planted Brussels sprouts do not like temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Move the young plants outdoors when you are sure the temperature will consistently be cooler than this.
The best way to germinate your seeds so that they have a great start is with a germination kit. Seeds that are grown this way produce greater results. Check the specs of the MXIC over at Amazon.
Prepare the bed for your Brussels sprouts with compost. The seeds usually sprout and grow strong enough to be moved to the bed into 20 to 30 days.
Spacing Requirements for Brussels Sprouts
When they reach about 5 inches tall, they will be ready for transplanting. Keep the seedlings 2 feet away from each other and endure that the lowest leaves are just above the fertile soil.
Light Requirement for Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts like cool weather but they also need lots of sunshine. Each plant must receive 6 hours or more of sunlight per day. Brussel sprouts really are unlikely to get too much sun, as long as they stay cool and the nutrient-rich soil does not completely dry out. If they don’t get enough sun your crop will not be as bountiful.
Brussels Sprouts like to be around plants that help them to fight off pests and share nutrients without taking too much from them. Beetroot us a good choice and can also be added to salads containing sprouts and other good companion plants, like lettuce. Carrots are beneficial as well.
Brussels sprouts require a lot of water, and you should ensure the soil is moist. Consider using grass cuttings as mulch to keep the soil moist. They require around 1 inch of water per week depending on the location. It is best to monitor the soil moisture as a guide.
Aphids are one of the typical threats to Brussel sprouts, and they like it when plants topple over. Remove the Brussel sprouts that topple over since these attract aphids Spray the remaining plants with insecticidal soap to get rid of these and other pests. Your local farm store can usually recommend a good insecticidal soap that has been proven effective on aphids in your area.
The use of fertilizer is essential with Brussel sprouts since each plant produces so many sprouts. If they cannot get enough nutrients, they simply won’t bear as much as you desire. Some people like to give their Brussel sprouts additional nutrients in the form of a compost tea. This is easy to prepare and helps you to avoid other, manufactured options if you wish.
Nitrogen for Healthy Sprouts
If you do not have access to chicken manure that you can add to your compost, consider adding a little commercial nitrogen from the farm store. You could also have a special mulch using nitrogen-rich cuttings from your garden, which will prevent moisture loss and slowly release nitrogen to the growing plants. Gungo peas plants provide cuttings that are excellent for this purpose.
When the leaves on your Brussels sprouts start turning yellow, you can get your butter, olive oil and green onions ready because that yellowing indicates that harvest time is near.
How to Harvest Brussels Sprouts
To harvest, simply twist the sprout away from the stem. The small sprouts near the base are usually the most tender ones. Some people are in a hurry to add the delicious sprouts to their salads and twisting the tops off plants will make those sprouts mature even faster.
Sprouts are so tasty that they may not last very long, but if you’re really determined to store some, take up the plants by the root and remove all the leaves. Turn them upside down so moisture can drain away from the log. Hang those logs in a dry, cool place.
Wash and blanch your Brussels sprouts in boiler water for 1 minute, then transfer to ice-cold water. Allow them to cool and rinse. Once they are dry then, place in freezer bags, remove the air from the bag and zip the top.
One of the issues people have is that their crops produce all at once. The best way to overcome this is with a dehydrator so you can store your food for years and the flavor is amazing. The best one on the market is the Excalibur with a 10 year guarantee, see it at Amazon.