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Growing Brussels sprouts

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S S T T            

(Best months for growing Brussels sprouts in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays. T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings.

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 45°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 18 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 14-28 weeks. Pick sprouts when small. .
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chili, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Mature brussels sprouts
    Mature brussels sprouts

Grown for its small (typically 2.5 cm diameter) leafy green buds, which resemble miniature cabbages.

BETTER IN COOLER AREAS.

Brussel Sprouts will not grow good "sprouts" in warm areas - they open and are floppy.

In warm areas they are likely to be infested with aphids Pick formed sprouts from the bottom of the stems leaving the plant growing. For winter use in very cold areas, dig up plants that have heads developed and set close together in a cold frame or cellar. Pack soil firmly round the roots. Keep cool but not freezing and they will continue to mature. (Planning an Idaho Vegetable Garden : Educational Communication online Publishing Catalog Gardening www.cals.uidaho.edu/ edComm/catalog.asp.)

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Brussels sprouts

Remove any discoloured outer leaves.
Cut in half and steam with other vegetables.
Do not overcook as that produces the distinctive smell that puts people off eating Brussels sprouts!
They go well with a chopped tomato and onion mix.
Traditionally served with roasted chestnuts for Xmas dinner in UK.

Your comments and tips

31 May 17, Sarah Johnson (New Zealand - cool/mountain climate)
Hi what is the best fertiliser for my brussel sprouts in pots some say Tui Vegetable food but I am reading to avoid too much nitrogen as they are 30cm tall now. some say Tui Novatec premimum or blood and bone???? so confusing thanks very much kind regards Sarah
02 Feb 17, Tony (New Zealand - temperate climate)
The only way to grow Brussels Sprouts is under fine mesh netting. This keeps off all the bugs and is true for all brassicas. Just drape the mesh over the crops and anchor the sides with stones or pegs. You will be amazed at how good your crops are. Mulch heavily so you don't need to remove the mesh to weed. You can buy this mesh at Mitre 10, it's called "quarantine mesh"
28 Apr 10, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Mo, Brussel tops are the leaves from the top of the B Sprout plants. In some places, the whole stem is cut and sold with sprouts and top. A google search shows recipes for using the tops. Spring greens are cabbages which are started just before winter and still small but usable in spring. You might have difficulty growing Brussel sprouts in a sub-tropical area as they prefer cold weather.
15 Jan 09, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Hi Jo, the answers will appear in the same area. But sometimes it takes a while before they happen.

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. GardenGrow is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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