Vegetable Overview: Brussels Sprouts

brussels-sprouts

Discover how to grow Brussels sprouts with instructions on starting seed, transplanting, site selection, care and maintenance, water and fertilization requirements, pests and disease, and harvesting and storage.

Brussels Sprouts Stats at a Glance

Soil Conditions: Fertile, well-drained soil

Sun: Full sun

Soil pH Conditions:

Planting Instructions

Can I Start Brussels Sprouts from Seed?

To start indoors, fill individual peat pots with a fertile commercial soil starter and moisten.  Sprinkle the seeds on the surface of the soil. Press them lightly into the soil to ensure contact with growing medium. Place in a room with a constant temperature of 70-75°F.  Cover with clear plastic wrap to maintain the soil moisture and temperature.  Keep the soil moist.  When seedlings appear, remove the plastic wrap and move to a sunny location.

 

When to Start Seeds: 6 weeks prior to planting.

Time to Germination: 7-14 days

 

Seeds can be direct sown into the garden four weeks prior to the last frost for your area.  Sow ½” deep, 3-4” apart.  Thin to final spacing when the plants reach 6” tall.

 

When Do I Plant Brussels Sprouts?

Brussels sprouts are a cool season crop.  They will perform best when temperatures do not exceed 70°F.  Time the planting so that the sprout development will occur in early fall.

Transplants can be set in early summer for fall harvesting.

 

Where Do I Plant Brussels Sprouts?

Brussels sprouts prefer a soil that is well-drained with plenty of organic matter incorporated into the soil, in an area that receives a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day.

Soil Type: Fertile, well-drained

Sun Exposure: Full sun

Soil pH: 6.8

 

How Far Apart Do I Plant Brussels Sprouts?

Set plants 24” apart in rows that are 30” apart.

Brussels Sprouts Plant Care and Maintenance

How Often Should I Water Brussels Sprouts?

Brussels sprouts require consistent moisture levels to perform well. One to two inches per week is optimal.  Mulching around the plants will help to retain soil moisture levels.

 

Should I Fertilize Brussels Sprouts?

Fertilizing decisions should be based on a soil test.  If a soil test cannot be obtained, Brussels sprouts generally perform well with a 5-10-10 fertilizer worked into the soil one week prior to planting.  Water newly transplanted plants with a starter solution.  Fertilize the soil at least 3” away from the base of the plant.

Because Brussels sprouts require large quantities of available nitrogen, side dressing with a nitrogen fertilizer might be necessary. Three additional fertilizing applications may be necessary at two week intervals.

Do not fertilize during sprout formation.

 

Brussels Sprouts Diseases

The most common diseases associated with this plant include clubroot.

Brussels Sprouts Pests

The most common pests associated with this plant include aphids, cabbage looper, cabbage root maggot, cabbage worms, and Harlequin bugs.

Harvesting and Storing Brussels Sprouts

When Do I Harvest Brussels Sprouts?

Harvest when the heads are firm and green. Quality is best when they are 1-2” in diameter.

 

How Do I Harvest Brussels Sprouts?

Harvest the sprouts lowest on the plant first. Remove by twisting the sprout head from the plant.  Remove the yellow leaves.

 

How Do I Store Brussels Sprouts?

Store sprouts in cool temperatures (32°F) and high humidity.  Under these conditions they should keep for 6-8 weeks.

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