Brussel sprouts may be an acquired taste, but these hardy veggies are prolific producers that pack a ton of nutrients.
Our featured brussel sprouts variety: Long Island Improved Seed
Brussel Sprouts – Love ‘Em or Hate ‘Em
Not everyone loves Brussel sprouts. With a distinctively “skunky” flavor, similar to other members of the cabbage family, for some, they may be an acquired taste. Or, it’s possible the haters just haven’t had them prepared at their best. Love them or hate them, Brussel sprouts have a lot going for them. They are incredibly nutritious and low in calories. They don’t need to ripen before you eat them and can be prepared in a variety of ways.
While Brussel sprouts are available year-round, their peak season is late September to February, when you will find them at their sweetest.
Interesting Facts About Brussel Sprouts Plants
Brussel Sprouts Gardening Tips
Minimum of 6 hours
Heavy drinkers. Keep soil moist at all times but don’t over-water, especially when seeds are first planted. Be careful not to damage their delicate leaves when young.
Well-drained, rich in organic matter. Soil pH should be around 6.8. Plants are shallow rooted so take care not to disturb the soil around them. The soil temperature should be at least 40°F.
45°F to 75°F (cooler is better)
In northern zones, plant seeds indoors 8 weeks before the last anticipated hard spring frost. In more temperate zones, direct seed about 3 months before the first fall frost.
Plant seeds ¼” deep. Thin plants to 20″ apart.
Organic fertilizer can be added 3 weeks after planting/transplanting
Important to keep the ground around them cool and moist. In colder climates bury the plants in leaves or hay in late fall to protect the plants or help them overwinter in warmer climates
They are susceptible to a wide variety of insect pests; control with nets or row covers; practice crop rotation to avoid infestation by larvae in the soil. Damp conditions can cause bacterial and fungal diseases.
Hollow stems can occur with too-rapid growth caused by excessive nitrogen in the soil; choose organic fertilizers specifically made for cole vegetables. Sprouts that mature in hot or dry weather will be fragile and bitter.
Nasturtium, basil, garlic, marigolds. “Enemy plants” include strawberries and pole beans.
Yes, at least 8″ deep.
Harvesting Brussel Sprouts
Sprouts first appear at the bottom of the plant with additional ones continuing to appear, spreading toward the top over the course of several weeks. They are ready to harvest when the heads are one-two inches in diameter. Harvest sprouts from the stalk by twisting them until they break away. As you harvest sprouts from the bottom-up, the plant will continue to grow upward and produce more sprouts well into the fall or even early winter, depending on your climate.
These hardy vegetables actually benefit from exposure to light frosts, making them sweeter!
Growing Brussel Sprouts—Highlights
- Among the most popular of the Brussel sprout plant varieties, these are prolific producers that have been a garden standard for over 100 years.
- Brussel sprouts are easy to grow if you live in an area where summers don’t get too hot.
- Compact plants, growing upright up to 24″ tall, that yield large, densely packed, delectably tender sprouts.
- Packed with vitamins and antioxidants. A great source of fiber.
- Brussel sprouts do best if they can mature in cool weather so they should be planted as early as possible in spring or in late summer for a late fall harvest in warmer zones.
- This vegetable plant is notably slow-growing but makes up for it by producing a large crop over an extended period of time
Our Brussel Sprouts Varieties
- 9 cups peeled and chopped tomatoes (peel first, see below)
- 2 1/2 cups chopped green bell peppers
- 2 1/2 cups chopped white onion
- 4 medium jalapeños, chopped (substitute 2 of the jalapeños for 2 cayenne peppers for extra hot salsa)
- 8 large cloves garlic, chopped
- 6 teaspoons canning salt
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 (12 ounce) can tomato paste
- Remove tomato skins. Make an “X” in the bottom of the tomatoes, then place in boiling water for 60 seconds. Then, remove the tomatoes from the water and place directly into an ice bath. The skins should slip right off.
- Make the salsa. Place all of the ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until thickened and cooked.
- Prepare cans to be sealed. Transfer the cooked salsa into clean, sterile jars leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Use a funnel for this. Wipe rims of jars and, then place lids on top.
- Process with a water bath. Bring a large saucepan filled with water to a boil. Your saucepan needs to be tall enough to have the water cover the jars by 2 inches.