Image by Lars Plougmann
By Heather Rhoades
Brussel sprouts have gotten a bad rap. These nutritious, flavor packed cole crops have been vilified in children’s books and TV. But these miniature cabbage looking vegetables are extremely tasty if eaten freshly picked. And the best way to get them freshest is by growing brussel sprouts in your garden.
How do you grow brussel sprouts?
The basic way how to grow brussel sprouts is much like how you would grow cabbage or kale. Brussel sprouts are a cole crop and like many vegetable in that group, they grow better in cool temperatures.
Because brussel sprouts take so long to mature, your best bet is to plant them in midsummer summer so that they reach full maturity in the cool fall months. Plan to put them in your garden about 3 months before the first frost for your area.
You are also better off growing brussel sprouts from transplants rather than from seeds planted straight into the garden. This will allow the seedlings to develop in a cooler shaded environment and they will have a better chance of surviving the warmer weather outside.
Plant your brussel sprouts about 36 inches apart in nitrogen rich soil. Growing brussel sprouts need plenty of nutrients and water. Never let your brussel sprout bed become too dry as this will stress the plants and result in a poor harvest. Water is vital to a good crop.
Harvesting brussel sprouts
Once your brussel sprout plant has matured, it will look like a tall green tower with knobs and leaves. The knobs will be the brussel sprouts you eat. Once the knobs have reached about 1 – 1 1/2″ wide and are firm when you squeeze them, they are ready to harvest. When harvesting brussel sprouts, work from the bottom of the plant up. The bottom sprouts will be ready first.
Use a sharp knife and cut the ready brussel sprouts off the vertical main stem.
We hope that this has help you learn more about how to grow brussel sprouts. Growing brussel sprouts in your garden is both rewarding and delicious.