How to Grow Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a nutritious, cool-season crop that can be grown in the fall. They require a long growing season but are worth the wait. Here�s a guide to growing Brussels sprouts organically.

Essential Materials

  • Brussels sprout seeds or transplants
  • Rich, well-draining soil
  • Compost
  • Mulch
  • Watering can or hose

Choosing Varieties

Select the right type for your garden:

  • Long Island Improved: Heirloom, reliable producer.
  • Jade Cross: Hybrid, disease-resistant.
  • Red Ball: Unique red sprouts.

Soil Preparation

Brussels sprouts prefer fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-7.5:

  1. Tilling: Loosen soil to a depth of 12-15 inches (30-38 cm).
  2. Composting: Add 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) of compost.

Planting Seeds or Transplants

Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the last frost or buy transplants:

  1. Spacing: Plant seeds 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) deep, 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart.
  2. Transplants: Space transplants 18-24 inches (45-60 cm) apart.

Watering and Mulching

Maintain consistent moisture:

  • Watering: Water regularly, especially during dry periods.
  • Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.

Organic Fertilizing

Brussels sprouts benefit from regular feeding:

  • Use compost tea or a balanced organic fertilizer every 3-4 weeks.

Harvesting Brussels Sprouts

Harvest when sprouts are firm and 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in diameter:

  • Method: Twist or cut sprouts from the stalk.

Storing Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be stored for short periods:

  • In the Fridge: Store in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer. Use within a week.
  • Freezing: Blanch and freeze for up to 6 months.

Growing Tips

  • Plant in the fall for a sweeter taste after the first frost.
  • Rotate crops annually to prevent disease.

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