Growing Brussel Sprouts

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Rita, Oct 24, 2004.

  1. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Has anyone had experience (good or bad) growing brussel sprouts. ? I am not real crazy about the ones you buy in the store but since everything tastes better fresh from the garden thought I would try some. I will read up on how to grow them but just thought maybe I could get some homegrown info. Are they started from seed or plants? I thought they might add another vegetable to our menu. thanks, Rita in TN
     
  2. Marcia in MT

    Marcia in MT Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you can grow cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower, you can grow brussels sprouts -- they're in the same family and have similar requirements. Plants can be started from seed, or sometimes you can find them locally as plants.

    The "sprouts" form at the leaf axils, where the leaf stem meets the plant stem. They're usually picked after the weather turns cold in the fall, as after it cools down they are at their tastiest. Some advocate waiting until after frost to pick them, but we start earlier and don't notice much difference as long as its cold enough, long enough.
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Rita,
    There is no comparison of a good home grown variety of brussel spouts to those commercially offered on the grocery shelf. I know that brussel sprouts are sweeter and better tasting after nipped by a couple of frosts.
    To get faster ripening and bigger heads, remove the growing leaves just below each bud as it's formed. By seasons end your plants look like a small palm tree. Don't remove the top leaves or if there is a tip bud.
    I'm not sure about your zone or climate, but here in zone 2b, brussel sprouts as a cool crop is ideal. The best results I've seen from past experience is with a variety called 'Oliver'.

    Rich
     
  4. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the information. I sure will try some Oliver sprouts this coming Spring! I have never seen them in the garden centers so will start them myself. Rita
     
  5. treeguy

    treeguy Active Member

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    Brussel sprouts like a nuetral to slightly alkaline soil...ph of 7 to 7.5 and full sun, however they can take cold quite well.if you have alot of wild strawberries yhen your soil ph is low. If you have alot of clover then your soil is probably more sweet. use wood ashes if you have them. when it comes time to harvest them, pull them up out of the ground, brush off the dirt from the roots and hang them upside down in a shed...unheated is great.they will continue to grow some in the shed and the frost makes them sweeter tasting, and you can enjoy well into winter.
     
  6. treeguy

    treeguy Active Member

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    almost forgot.... spray with hot pepper spray to kill cabbage lopers. you can make it yourself with hot peppers garlic and a few drops of dish soap per gallon, as a spreader.
     
  7. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Treeguy, Thanks for those great hints. We definitely have acid soil so I'll use our wood ashes. They certainly are unusual plants to be able to hang them and use them during the winter. We are fairly mild here and I will check to see how long I can leave them in the garden in the Fall. Rita
     
  8. sisterpine

    sisterpine Goshen Farm Supporter

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    Was just browsing and reading about this brussel sprout business. i love brussel sprouts but never thought of growing them. now i will! i am in zone 3-4 so if 2b can do it i can do it! thanks again, gonna order some seed right now! kathleen in montana
     
  9. treeguy

    treeguy Active Member

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    2b or not 2b whether tis nobler in the minds of men to resist the slings and arrows of misfortune....blah blah blah! Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't the trees migrate south from 2b?
     
  10. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    :haha:

    2b in 2b with our tree is northern glee which neither shall migrate south nor be of noble frozen mind yet resist the slings and arrows of misfurtune. The brussel shall ripen it's tender sprouts upon the October nip of frost and delight in winter forage. :confused:
     
  11. Klapton

    Klapton Voluntaryist

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    Anyone have any information about seedsaving Brussel Sprouts?
     
  12. Freeholder

    Freeholder Well-Known Member

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    The first time I saw brussels sprouts growing, it was about Thanksgiving, in Pennsylvania, with six or eight inches of snow on the ground. The sprouts were standing up green and tall through the snow. When we grew our own later on, we were surprised at how much better the home-grown ones were, especially after they'd been frosted a couple of times.

    As for saving seed, I think they are biennials like cabbage, so you'd have to pot up a few plants and store them over the winter someplace cool, then re-plant in the spring.

    Kathleen
     
  13. hillsidedigger

    hillsidedigger Well-Known Member

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    Maybe this is odd (maybe due to last summer's extreme drought) but the row of brussel sprouts I planted from seed last spring which grew fairly well all summer survived this winter with numerous mornings of 10 to 12 degrees and now have finally started forming sprouts.
     
  14. pickapeppa

    pickapeppa Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like they'd survive a nuclear holocaust along with roaches and rats. :D

    It's amazing the temps they'll endure before giving up the ghost. Mine have kept in the garden up until the dry freezing winds of January and then turned brown. Chard lasts here until January, same conditions. Not sure if it's the deeper soil freeze or the above ground conditions that does them in - or maybe a combination of both. But they are one of the hardiest veggies around.
     
  15. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    They take a long time to mature.
    The first year I tried them, I figured they were a dud and pulled them out when I pulled out my (harvested) broccoli plants.

    The second year I let them grow and they developed sprouts but I failed to keep up with the loopers so lost the crop (only about 5 plants as an experiment).

    THIS year I'm armed to the teeth and I've got 18 plants started. I think DH and I can get 3 meals off of each plant. They get tall and FULL of sprouts. Wish I'd kept up with the loopers last year. Dangit.
     
  16. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have 6 plants I'm growing in a plastic tote, about a 10 gal. size. They are up about 6 to 8 inches tall. I'm in zone 8. A lady I talk to from another board lives on the Texas coast and she said she has really good luck growing brussels sprouts.