Brussels Sprouts are a traditional winter vegetable and the plants can stay outside all winter.
To grow Brussels Sprouts:
- sow seed from the middle of April in a seedbed
- plant out the young plants six weeks later. Some gardeners choose to buy young plants in from a garden centre rather than sow their own seed.
The Brussels Sprout plants prefer soil to be:
- dug in autumn
- firmed well down before the seedlings are transplanted
- fertile – compost or well rotted farm yard manure can be mixed in when dug in autumn
- not acid – add lime if necessary
Planting out seedlings:
- plant so lowest leaves are just above surface
- firm in well
- leave about 60-80cm (2-2.5ft) between plants
- water well after planting
- cover with protective netting against insects & birds
Looking after Brussel Sprouts:
- keep weeds down by hoeing regularly
- keep birds off
- watch out for cabbage whites and aphids
- stake the plants if they are blowing in the wind
Harvest Brussels Sprouts:
- when the lowest buttons are the size of a walnut
- pick about a third of the sprouts at the base of the stem
- pick the next third in about 2 weeks time when they have grown
- the top third of the stem are picked last
- the sprout tops can be broken off & eaten as greens around Christmas time
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