|PLANT TYPE: Annual
SCIENTIFIC NAME: Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera
LIGHT: Full Sun
SOIL TYPE: Well Drained Loam, high organic matter
pH RANGE: 6.0 – 6.5
MOISTURE/WATERING: Keep moist, not waterlogged.
MATURITY IN DAYS: 80 – 100
KNOWN PESTS: Cabbage worms and loopers
Brussels sprouts resemble miniature heads of cabbage, but are actually buds that grow in the angle between the leaf bases and the stem. Depending on the variety of brussels sprouts plant, the plant can grow to three feet in height and produce sprouts almost two inches in diameter. Brussels sprouts colour ranges from light green through to dark green and red.
Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, E, calcium, potassium, and sulfur. Brussels sprouts are also high in carbohydrates and dietary fiber. They are best after the first frost when quickly steamed, boiled, or stir-fried. Brussels sprouts can be served alone or with a sauce, but they are not good to eat raw.
PROPAGATION / SOWING OF BRUSSELS SPROUTS:
Plant brussels sprouts seeds ¼-½” deep. Transplant or thin small plants to 15-18” apart in rows 32-36” apart. Brussels sprouts transplants can be started in April for May planting. Transplant after 4-6 weeks. Use a starter fertilizer, soaking the root ball thoroughly prior to transplanting. Direct seed brussels sprouts in late spring, as seedlings can tolerate a light frost. Brussels Sprouts can be direct seeded up until mid-late June for a continuous harvest. Soil temperature should be 21-26°C (70-80°F) for optimal germination in 4-7 days.
CARE & GROWING OF BRUSSELS SPROUTS:
Brussels Sprouts prefers full sun, but will tolerate part shade. Prepare a rich, loose soil that holds moisture well and has a pH level of 6.0-6.5. Brussels Sprout is a heavy feeder and will also benefit from applications of boron, calcium and magnesium, particularly during the early stages of growth.
HARVESTING OF BRUSSELS SPROUTS:
To encourage development of the upper sprouts, pinch out the growing tip of the brussels sprouts plant in late summer. Harvest sprouts as needed from the bottom of the stalk when they are about 1-1½” in diameter. The brussels sprouts will develop a sweeter flavour after a few light frosts.