You will be hard pressed to find a healthier use of space than growing brussel sprouts in your home garden.
They are simply packed with nutrients! Not only are they high in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Potassium, they are also a great source of protein and fiber. They truly are one of the most nutritious vegetables you can grow.
Brussel sprouts are a member of the cabbage family. Many confuse brussel sprouts as actual mini-cabbages, but they are not. Cabbages are the head of a plant, where brussel sprouts are the buds.
One thing is for sure, they have a truly unique look. Each plant develops long stems shooting up 1 to 2′ from the ground. The small round buds form on the stem, under a canopy of leaves above.
Brussel sprouts are a long-season, cool-weather loving crop. They can take up to 100 days to mature. The beauty is they shouldn’t be harvested until cold weather fully sets in.
That leaves more than enough time to plant, grow and harvest in many areas of the country.
The real key to growing brussel sprouts well is planting at the right time. This allows the crop to hit maturity just as the cooler weather sets in.
All About Growing Brussel Sprouts
Although seeds can be used for planting, in most situations, it is best to use transplants when growing brussel sprouts. Start seeds indoors 4 to 8 weeks prior to the last frost date, transplanting after the soil has warmed up. In many areas, planting on or after the first of June will allow a crop to mature right as the needed sets in.
Brussel sprouts do best in rich, loose and fertile soil. Adding in generous amounts of compost and even a bit of sand at planting time is extremely beneficial to its success. Good moisture level in the soil is the key to a good crop, so mulching around plants is a must.
Brussel sprouts also benefit from a little added boost of fertilizer in the first 8 weeks in the ground. See : Worm Castings – The Ultimate Fertilizer
Brussel sprouts differ from many vegetables in that they are best harvested after a frost. Unlike tomatoes or peppers that begin to suffer after a hard frost, brussel sprouts only improve their flavor.
This also helps when it comes to storage. You can harvest brussel sprouts as needed right off of the stalks well into late fall and early winter.
Harvest by twisting or cutting off the round sprouts from the stems, taking only what you need.
Make this the year you try growing your own delicious crop of brussel sprouts! They can hold up well beyond the first snowfall in the ground, so let your garden be your storage center!
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