Follow these tips for success with growing Brussels sprouts in your home garden…
Brussels sprouts can be a tricky crop to grow, and they need a specific type of climate, so you may not be able to grow them where you live. However, if you are lucky enough to be located where you have a long cool season, you may be treated to one of the cabbage family’s greatest treasures! Before you get started, you’ll want to keep a few tips in mind to encourage your sprouts to grow bigger and faster.
Brussels sprouts are in the Brassica family and anything in that family requires a large amount of nitrogen in order to grow well. If you haven’t been rotating your crops and you’ve been planting other cabbage family crops in the same area every year, this can deplete the soil’s nitrogen stores, leading to small, spindly plants and sprouts. Try to make sure you leave 3 years between planting cabbage crops in the same spot, and be sure to enrich your soil with plenty of compost before planting.
You also want to get your Brussels sprouts in the ground at least 8-10 weeks before your first hard frost. Brussels sprouts are a cool weather crop and they don’t like hot weather, so if it stays hot late into the fall where you live, you might not have good luck with them. The Pacific Northwest is an ideal climate for Brussels sprouts, but as long as you have a long cool season without any hard freezes, you should be able to grow them.
The good thing is, the flavor of Brassica crops is actually improved by a light frost, so don’t worry if you get a frost before you harvest! You just want to try to avoid having them go through a hard freeze (down in the 20’s) as they may get frozen and damaged.
Watch the video below to learn more about when to fertilize, pruning and topping plants, harvesting, and more.