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

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

Fact 1
The Brussels sprout is a member of the Gemmifera Group of cabbages—Brassica oleracea—which include related cultivars such as broccoli, kale, cauliflower, collard greens and kohlrabi, to name a few. They were first cultivated—no surprise here—in 16th century Belgium and then spread throughout Europe and ultimately the rest of the world.

Brussel Sprouts Gardening Tips

Difficulty
Difficulty

Moderate

Sun
Sun

Minimum of 6 hours

Water
Water

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.

Soil
Soil

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.

Air
Air

45°F to 75°F (cooler is better)

Timing
Timing

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.

Planting
Planting

Plant seeds ¼” deep. Thin plants to 20″ apart.

Germination
Germination

10-21 days.

Time to Harvest
Time to Harvest

90-100 days

Feeding
Feeding

Organic fertilizer can be added 3 weeks after planting/transplanting

Mulch
Mulch

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

Pests & Diseases
Pests & Diseases

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.

Special Considerations
Special Considerations

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.

Companion Plants
Companion Plants

Nasturtium, basil, garlic, marigolds. “Enemy plants” include strawberries and pole beans.

Container-Friendly
Container-Friendly

Yes, at least 8″ deep.

Harvesting Brussel Sprouts

Harvesting Brussel SproutsSprouts 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

Here at Bentley Seeds, we want to set you up for success. Our growing guides are designed to give you all the information you'll need to start growing from seed, in an easy-to-digest format.

We also encourage you to print out a copy as a handy reference in your garden.