Growing Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are hardy, cool-season, slow-growing vegetables that are a neighborhood of the cabbage family. Despite their reputation for being despised by children, many of us consider Brussels sprouts to be a delicacy. When cooked properly, they’re a young, delicious vegetable. Brussels sprouts are high in protein and contain significant amounts of vitamins A and C alongside other vitamins and minerals. Growing Brussels sprouts are often a touch tricky compared to other garden vegetables thanks to their temperature and soil requirements. The edible a part of the plant, the tiny cabbage-like head, grows within the axis (of middle) of the plant.

GROWING CONDITIONS OF BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Brussels sprouts do best in cooler temperatures and don’t tolerate heat well. the standard and taste are often affected when grown in hot, dry conditions. Brussels sprouts also need uninterrupted growth for a top-quality crop. due to their long season and funky climate requirements, they will be difficult to grow in hot southern states. Planting within the summer for a cooler fall harvest will give the foremost successful leads to most parts of the county.

The soil should be drained, moist, and high in both organic matter and nitrogen. The soil should be within the pH range of 6.2 to 6.5. Before amending your soil, have a soil test performed. you’ll contact your local extension office for a soil test.

Brussels sprouts need a continuing supply of nitrogen; they will receive this either from the periodic application of compost, manure, or a nitrogen fertilizer side dressing. A side dressing is just an application of nitrogen fertilizer around the base of the plant (about 3 inches out). Use about one tablespoon of dry fertilizer per plant.

PLANTING BRUSSEL SPROUTS

Brussels sprouts are usually transplanted from seedlings in early to mid-summer or about 90-100 days before the primary frost date within the fall. Starting the seed indoors where you’ll control the climate and later transplanting to your permanent garden space will bring the simplest results. you’ll also purchase seedlings to line call in the garden.

For a summer harvest, you would like to transplant seedlings very early within the spring and choose a heat-resistant variety. If Brussels sprouts grow in hot, dry conditions they will combat a bitter flavor; for this reason, it’s usually best to plant in summer for a fall harvest.

Fertilize the soil with a general fertilizer (5-10-10) before planting at a rate of about 5 pounds per 100 square feet. A side dressing of nitrogen is often applied at planting and three-week intervals.

Place your transplants 24 to 36 inches apart with 30 inches between each row. Water the plants well after transplanting. employing a starter solution will help to determine the plants more quickly. you’ll purchase a starter solution or make your own by employing a 5-10-10 fertilizer and mixing it with 12 quarts of water and letting it sit for a couple of hours before using. Add a few cups of solution round the roots before covering.

HARVESTING BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Brussels sprouts are able to harvest at about 85 to 95 days after setting plants out. Early, tender sprouts are going to be picked several times. When harvesting, pick the sprouts that are lowest on the plant first. you’ll determine harvest by visual inspection, but make certain to reap once the lower leaves begin to show yellow. Once the lower leaves start to yellow, the sprouts will quickly over mature and loose their tender texture and delicious flavor.

To pick the sprout you’ll break the leaf directly below the sprout and punctiliously remove the sprout from the plant. Picking the leaves and sprouts will send a sign to the plant to still produce new sprouts. you’ll also prefer to harvest the whole plant. If you are doing not consume the sprouts directly they will be refrigerated for 7-10 days or stored at 32 degrees with high humidity (around 95%) for several months.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS DISEASES AND PESTS

Some common pests and diseases of Brussels sprouts include:

Cabbage loopers

Cutworms

Root maggots

Aphids

Slugs

Dampening off

Daily visual inspection of your plants can help to stop heavy infestations. Physical removal and disposal of the pest could also be all that’s needed. If the infestation is larger there are commercially available products (pesticides) that will be used.

Dampening off is caused by overly wet conditions that promote fungal growth. Use treated seed and don’t overwater your seedlings.

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