How to Grow and Care for Brussel Sprouts

Brussel Sprouts

Quick Overview

Plant Type: Annual vegetable
Family: Brassicaceae
Sun Exposure: Direct sunlight
Watering: Well watered - consistent moisture
Colors: Green
Size: 30 in. tall, 8 to 12 in. wide
Hardiness Zones: 2 to 9
Soil Type: Loamy
Soil pH: Neutral (6.5 to 7)
Propagation: cuts
Toxicity: Non-toxic

When you were a kid, you probably despised brussel sprouts. They were everyone’s least favorite vegetable growing up. Now, you’ve likely had a change of heart when it comes to the brussel sprout. There is nothing better than growing your own vegetables in your garden. If you’re looking to have fresh vegetables available to you without having to run to the grocery store, try your hand at growing them!

Are you ready to take on growing brussel sprouts? These plants love cool weather and they can grow almost anywhere. Although, if you live in a climate that is often cool or cold, these vegetables will do great in your garden. When placing them in your garden, make sure they are well spread out. They don’t need too much maintenance but will need weeding often. They need a lot of sunlight, at least six hours per day in direct sun. You need to select the correct variety of brussel sprouts for both your area and the purpose behind growing them. Some are not great for eating. These plants are not the easiest to grow at home, but if you are up for the challenge, you will get a reward! These vegetables will be a staple in your kitchen.

Are you ready to add these vegetables to your garden? Follow this guide to plant happy and healthy brussel sprouts!

Brussel Sprouts

About Brussel Sprouts

Everyone is familiar with the vegetable, but the facts behind the plant may not be as obvious. These plants love cool weather and thrive in the Pacific Northwest. Though, they can be grown just about anywhere with the right care. They are named after Brussels in Belgium where they were first grown during the 16th century.

These vegetables are a cultivated variety of wild cabbage, their genus name is Brassica oleracea. Other members of that family include broccoli, cauliflower, and kale.

Providing these plants with the ideal conditions is the best way to grow healthy brussel sprouts. You will be rewarded with great vegetables you can cook often!

Brussel Sprouts

How to Grow Brussel Sprouts

Growing these plants can be tricky. Placing them in your garden at the right time is key. If you live in a cold climate, plant them four months before the first expected frost in your area. Brussel sprouts grow during the fall and winter months. If you live in a cold climate, plant your seeds early to mid-summer to produce brussel sprouts by fall and winter. If you live somewhere with more mild winters, you can plant your seeds during mid to late summer. This will give you vegetables in mid to late winter for harvest. Perfect for those winter meals

You may want to sow your seeds indoors first. This will help them providing a headstart to become strong before you place them in the ground. Sowing your seeds indoors will also help the plant avoid the heat, something it does not care for.

These plants do well in raised beds. Since these plants can grow up to three feet, you may want to place them in an area where you can stake them for support. If you place your seeds directly in the dirt outside, sow the seeds two inches apart. Although, if you started indoors, transplanted sprouts should be placed 12-24 inches apart. Give them a good watering once you plant them in their desired location.

Propagating Brussel Sprouts

Propagating brussel sprouts can be a difficult task, but it is possible. Take fresh sprouts from your garden. Give them a good washing once you harvest them. Next, cut the bottoms off of your vegetables. Place the cut sprouts into a bowl of water. If you want to encourage it change the water every day until the sprouts begin to grow roots. Once you see several visible roots, place them in the ground. Make sure you are planting them during early to mid-summer.

Propagating the brussel sprout plant can be a time-consuming task.  Yet, if you are willing to put in the effort, you can do it!

Brussel Sprouts

Varieties of Brussel Sprouts

You may assume there are almost no varieties of brussel sprouts based on what we see at the grocery store. As it turns out, there are a few, and picking the best one for you is important. Some varieties are included here.

  • The Diablo, which produces the most vegetables. If you are looking to grow as many sprouts as you can, try this variety.
  • The Churchill, this one is more adaptable in different climates. If you live somewhere that isn’t especially cold, the Churchill variety is for you.
  • The Jade Cross variety is another one that can tolerate heat. It also does a great job of warding off pests. If you need a more tolerant and easier brussel sprout plant, the Jade Cross variety may be the perfect match for you.
how to grow Brussel Sprouts

Caring For the Brussel Sprout Plant

Watering Your Plant

During the growing season, your brussel sprout plant needs more water than during the off-season. Early in its growing season, if you can water it a few times a week this is ideal. Once your plant is established and stable, it may be able to survive on rainwater alone. If you do not live in an area that sees much rain, you need to water your plant to keep it happy. Your sprouts prefer about an inch of water a week. So if you don’t get that much rain you need to water your brussel sprout plant throughout the week.

Pruning Your Plant

Three weeks before you plan to harvest cut the top 1 to 2 inches off your plant. This should be above the top leaf. Why? This allows those nutrients and energy to go to the sprouts for final growth before you pick them. The rest of the time, remove any leaves that are wilting or drying out to keep the focus on the healthy part of the plant.

It is also important to weed often. Pulling up weeds when they are young is the best way to keep your brussel sprout plant happy. Weeding your garden helps avoid having your plants strain for water and nutrients from the soil.

Fertilizing Your Plant

When your plant is in growing season, it needs more nutrients. You can help provide this nutrition by using a continuous-release fertilizer. Using a fertilizer like this on a regular basis will help your plant grow.

Soil

Your plant needs quality soil to thrive. Make sure the soil has the correct pH balance. These plants need soil with a 6.8 pH. You can use testing kits to make sure the soil you use has the correct pH amount for your plant.

These plants like soil that drains well and made up of organic matter. They like moist soil but be sure not to drench it.

Light

The brussel sprout plant is picky when it comes to light. Make sure your plant gets at least 6 hours of direct sunlight. While they do thrive in a cold setting, they still need quality sunlight to thrive. The more direct sunlight the better for these plants.

vegetables

Harvesting Your Brussel Sprouts

If you are growing your own vegetables, harvesting them is the most exciting part! Your sprouts are ready to harvest when the head of the vegetable is green and firm. They will be about 1-2 inches in diameter. Remove them by twisting until they pop off. One healthy and happy plant can supply you with 1-2 pounds of brussel sprouts!

Takeaways

Growing your own brussel sprouts is not an easy task. These plants need some tender love and care. If you put in effort with your new vegetable plant, you will be greatly rewarded. These plants can produce nearly 2 pounds of brussel sprouts to harvest! Think of all the delicious recipes you can throw together in your kitchen with so many sprouts!

Making sure you are growing your plant in the right climate and an area that sees a lot of sunlight is key. The more sun the better for these plants. The cooler the climate is best for most as well. Planting your seeds during the appropriate months for the climate helps them grow healthy. Keep an eye on your calendar to grow the most productive plants.

Whether you sow your seeds indoors or out, spacing them with enough room for them to grow is beneficial. Watering and fertilizing them often will keep them growing for years to come. They require a decent amount of weeding. If you don’t mind getting dirty in the garden, maintaining these plants won’t be much of a headache for you. Make sure you check the pH balance of your soil before placing them in your garden.

While growing these plants is not for the weak of heart, it can be done! Anyone who is up for the challenge can grow successful brussel sprout plants. If you found this guide helpful, make sure to share it on social media! Send this article to your brussel sprout loving friends!