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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.


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 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

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"
18 Jan 17, Tina Vann (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi fellow gardeners. I'm not having much luck with any normal seeds. I think I am going to source Heritage seeds. Perhaps I'll have better luck. Happy New Year & Happy Gardening. Tina
25 Sep 16, Kay (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I'm in northern Tasmania and planted my Brussel sprouts in May as well. The whole lot went to seed after producing a few very loose sprouts. I though a pout using the leaves in soups etc as I hate waste, but I read that they are quite bitter so I guess the lot go into compost. Any comments welcome
26 Sep 16, Candice (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I had the same experience, Kay, but I did harvest the plant on the weekend and made a delicious soup with the leaves. I put the hard stems in the compost. The base stock for the recipe was one diced onion and six cloves of garlic chopped and softened in olive oil, 2 litres of chicken stock, 1 cup of white wine, 1 cup of water, salt and white pepper. Add the leaves and 250g of mushrooms and simmer away for an hour or so then blitz with a hand blender. I also added half a cup of cream at the end. It was really delicious and the left overs went into the freezer!
13 Jun 16, Kathy (USA - Zone 6b climate)
Hi! When it says "S" it means start seeds inside, when it says "T" it means to transplant those seedlings outside in the garden. When it says "P" for plant outside does that mean you plant the seeds outside? I'm unsure because, take Brussels Sprouts for example - It says "S" in March and "P" in May and June; what is the "P" referring to? I'm just confused because some vegetables have an "S" and a "T". Thanks for any help you can give me!!! "Plant in garden" means to sow seed directly into the garden where you want the plant to grow.
11 Jun 16, MJ (Australia - temperate climate)
Something has eaten all the leaves on our Brussel sprout plants. Will they still grow?
19 Mar 16, Lewy (Australia - temperate climate)
When is the best time to grow Brussel sprouts in newcastle new 2300
12 Apr 17, MakingTheBestOfMayfield (Australia - temperate climate)
Yeah I would like to know if we can grow a decent sprout in the Newcastle area too.
21 Feb 16, Jaci Wilkins (USA - Zone 5a climate)
Please tell me whereI can purchase dwarf Brussels Sprout plants in Idaho. If not available, where can I purchase seeds. Thank you, Jaci wilkins
04 Jan 16, Patrick (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
The cabbage like top of the Brussel Sprout is the best part. If you get a good frost on them the sprouts will be nice and tight so don't shelter or protect them from the frost.
Showing 1 - 10 of 95 comments

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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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