Brussels sprouts are a wonderful cruciferous vegetable that can be planted during mid summer months. Cooler temperatures enhance this vegetable’s flavor and they can even be harvested after the first frost. These vegetables are packed with protein and can make a wonderful addition to salads and power bowls.
This guide will teach you everything you need to know on growing Brussels sprouts outside in mid summer.
What You Will Need:
In order to start growing Brussels sprouts, you’ll need a few things from your gardeners tool box.
- Brussels sprout seeds or seedlings
- Nutritious soil
- Knife (optional)
A Step-By-Step Guide on How to Grow Brussels Sprouts Outdoors:
Step 1: Prepare Soil
Brussels sprouts require nitrogen rich soil to grow. Enriching topsoil with compost or manure is a wonderful way to add needed nitrogen and other nutrients. Some home gardeners will also choose to fertilize their Brussels sprouts with nitrogen-rich fertilizer during the growing season. This crisp veggie sprout prefers soil that has excellent drainage, but is not so loamy it reduces the structural support. If the soil is too loamy, the roots will not have enough support, and the plant may topple.
Step 2: Plant The Seeds or Seedlings
Brussels sprouts planted in mid summer can benefit from a flavorful autumn harvest. Whether you are growing your plants from seed or seedlings you must ensure they are ready to harvest before or shortly after the first frost. If you are planting Brussels sprouts from seed, you can account for approximately 80 to 100 days of growth until your crop is mature. Planting seedlings instead of seeds can speed up the growing season. If you are considering planting seedlings, you may account for 42 to 70 days of growth.
If you are planting your Brussels sprouts directly from seed you can sow the seeds into the soil approximately six inches apart. On the other hand, seedlings should be planted roughly 20 inches apart to ensure each plant does not compete for space or nutrients.
Remember to take your climate into consideration before choosing when to plant, and whether to plant from seed or seedling.
Step 3: Water and Care
Brussels sprouts require plenty of moisture to grow bountiful sprouts. You may water your plants once or twice weekly depending on the weather and rainfall. Brussels sprouts need 1-2 inches of water per week to sustain growth. Be mindful of rainfall so you do not overwater your plants. Overwatering can lead to root rot and ruin your crops.
When your Brussels sprout plants begin to grow tall you may want to stake the plant for support with wood or bamboo. Brussels sprouts typically do not break easily, but if you’re noticing your plant is leaning or has more growth on top, you may need to place a stake into the soil for support. Staking can aid growing plants and decrease the chance of breakage.
Step 4: Be Mindful of Pests
Pests like cabbage worms can cause a lot of damage to Brussels sprouts if not taken care of properly. Pests can eat the leaves and sprouts of your plants quickly, so it’s important to inspect your crops daily. If you find pests on your plant, you can place it into a container filled with soap and water. We recommend using a container with high sides to ensure no bugs escape, and make their way back to your garden.
Cabbage worms are attracted to certain plants and repelled by others, so it’s important to be mindful of which crops you are planting near your Brussels sprouts. Choosing specific plants to put near your Brussels sprouts can help reduce damage to your sprouts. For example, thyme repels cabbage worms.
Step 5: Harvest
Brussels sprouts are ready to harvest when they are one or two inches in diameter. If there are sprouts that are below this size and seem unready to harvest you can leave them on the stalk to continue growing and harvest in the following week.
To remove a Brussel sprouts you can twist the sprout against the stalk with your hand. Using a knife can damage the stalk if you are not careful. If you would like to harvest the entire stalk, you can also cut the entire plant at the base with a clean, sharp knife. Harvesting the entire stalk can help keep your sprouts fresh for longer, but should only be done if all of the spouts are ready to harvest.
Brussels sprouts should be washed carefully before cooking, and can be enjoyed sautéed or roasted with salt, oil, and lemon to taste.
Bundles of Joy
Brussels sprouts are a wonderful vegetable to include in your late planting season to enjoy fresh produce in autumn. To promote healthy growth it’s important to use nutritious soil and adequate care. Brussels sprouts are fairly easy to grow and taste especially delicious if harvested after the first frost.
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