Growing Brussels sprouts

Brassica sp. : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

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

(Best months for growing Brussels sprouts in USA - Zone 5a regions)

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • P = Sow seed
  • 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 7°C and 30°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 45 - 60 cm 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
  • Young plant (CC BY-SA 3.0 WikiMedia)

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

Suited to growing in cooler climates.

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

In warm areas they are likely to become 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. 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

21 May 08, Leontine (Unknown climate)
My brussel sprouts have grown the leaves etc and to a reasonable height but no sign of "fruit" yet. Instead the heart of the flowering leaves is covered in soft substance, bit like insect poop (?!). Have they got some kind of disease or is this normal? We've had a lot of rain so not sure if this is the problem?
28 Jul 08, John (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Should I pinch out the young bottom sprouts to help the grownth of other sprouts further up
13 Jan 09, jo (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
i see lots of questions with no answers. Is there somewhere special to go to see the answers because the questions are very good.
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.
20 Jan 09, glenda (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
my sprouts grow well but the fruit is only pea size, what am I doing wrong
31 Jan 09, Sally (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
What can I spray on my Brussell sprouts and brocoli and cabbage to stop them being eaten? Would like something I have in the kitchen that is not toxic please.
23 Oct 15, Vicki (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi Sally, A friend gave me a great tip this year that has kept my broccoli and cabbage pest free! I got a packet of ping pong balls and drew big eyes on them with permanent marker and stuck them onto skewers and put them in the garden so they were visible and that's worked a treat and I have no even seen any white butterflies in the garden at all. I have no idea how it works and I was sceptical but she swore by it and it has worked for me too, as for snails, I find mulching and some sawdust helps.
09 Feb 09, Trinette (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You can make a "tea" by boiling chilies and garlic in some water. When it cools spray it on. Haven't tried it on Brussell Sprouts but works on brocolli. You have to be fairly consistent and spray 1 - 2 times a day. I have also read if you squish soem of whatever it is doing the damage and soak in some water that will repel them also. Good luck
01 Mar 09, Alan (Australia - temperate climate)
I suggest you do a "google" on a product Yates sell under the name of "Success". (Do a google on "Yates success") The product is a naturally occurring bacteria found in the ground. Would that suit?
02 Apr 09, Sally (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Thanks for the help. My Brussell Sprouts are all leaves and dont look like they are going to firm up, what might be the problem?
Showing 1 - 10 of 197 comments

The guide here says plants seeds in March and plant out in May. Most veggies need plenty of sun.

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