Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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

16 Aug 17, Lisa McCartney (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Trying to understand when to plant my brussels sprout seeds in Zona 10a. It says about P = sow seeds in Oct. Is that meaning to sow seeds directly in my garden? Because after that is says to start seeds in trays and plant out 4 - 6 weeks. Should I start them in seed trays and if so do I plant now so they can be transplanted in my garden in Oct or do I wait until Oct and just plant the seeds directly in my garden? Sorry the info is confusing.
17 Aug 17, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Use seed trays to start your brussels sprouts, plant out as it suggests on the web page. Brussels Sprouts prefer cold/cool climate, so you need to grow them in your cooler months. October is a suggestion, November might work better if your weather is still warm in October.
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"
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
Showing 1 - 10 of 98 comments

Post a question, comment or tip about Brussels sprouts

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply

All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support GardenGrow

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.