Growing Brussels sprouts isn’t as difficult provided you know basic facts about this plant. In this instance, the location and the timing is of the essence.
Where to Plant Brussels Sprouts
The planting area needs to have full exposure to the sun. The soil must also have good draining. At the same time, the soil needs to be fertile. The pH level should be 6.5 to 7.5. You can also use alkaline soil. Always use lots of organic matter to ensure consistent growth.
Timing is also crucial. Ideally your Brussels sprouts should mature during warm days and chilly nights. If you live in a warm climate, the ideal time for growing Brussels sprouts is late summer. You can also plant during early fall.
This means you can harvest around the winter or spring. For other places, just count back four months to the last frost. That’s when you should plant.
Planting the Seeds
If the growing season is long, sow the seeds into the ground. If time is short, grow the seeds indoors. If planting indoors, top with ¼ of soil. Plant the seedlings four or six weeks later. Spacing should be a couple of feet apart.
Dig a hole for each seedling. Toss in a good amount of compost. If you transplanted, wait a month before side dressing the seedlings with compost. Alternatively you can spray it with fish emulsion.
Proper Care and Maintenance
Make sure the soil is level and moist when growing Brussels sprouts. Do not drench the soil. Put in some mulch so that moisture is retained. Mulch also deters weeds. It’s also a good idea to use floating row covers to keep pests at bay. You can also use cutworm collars.
Fertilizing should be done twice per season. This would be when the plant is 12” high. The other time is 30 days before harvest time.
Pinching off the growing tips and top leaves promote growth. But do this only when the lower sprouts are half an inch in diameter. Cutting it when the sprouts are smaller will reduce the yield. If you top it right, the sprouts will be ripe for picking after two weeks.
Leaves will appear along with the sprouts. Remove them. Get rid of yellowed leaves too. If you’re growing Brussels sprouts, harvest them before they exceed 1 ½ inches. When you harvest them, allow it to ripen for a few weeks.
Again, timing is crucial. It’s true that Brussels sprouts can deal with frost. But they cannot survive freezing. You probably won’t get the ideal crops right away. In fact it may take a year or so to get the timing correct.
Keep in mind that its roots are thin; to keep it upright, put plenty of soil around the foundation of each plant. While the soil needs to be firm, it should not be packed in too tightly.
When it comes to growing Brussels sprouts, you can expect to get the good yields. You may need to experiment with the dating, but you’ll get the timing right and enjoy the fruits of your labor.