The Complete Guide to Growing Brussel Sprouts from Seed
Welcome to our comprehensive guide on how to grow Brussel sprouts from seed. If you enjoy gardening and want to try growing this nutritious vegetable, then we can guide you step by step through the process. By the end of this guide, you should be able to grow your own Brussel sprouts right from the seed using simple and easily obtainable resources.
Choosing the Right Seeds
Becoming a successful gardener starts with the correct seed choice. Ensure that you buy your Brussel sprout seeds from a reputable supplier. These are usually healthy seeds that promise a good germination rate.
Choosing the most suitable variety is also important. Some of the popular varieties include Long Island Improved and Jade Cross E. These vary in size and color, which means you can choose based on your preference and growing conditions.
Planting the Seeds
The secret to planting the seeds correctly starts with the timing. Ideally, Brussel sprouts should be planted about 12 to 14 weeks before the first frost. This gives the plant time to mature and thrive.
Begin by planting the seeds in pots or trays filled with compost. They should be covered lightly with about half an inch of compost or soil. Do not forget to water the seeds immediately after planting to stimulate the germination process.
After approximately 5 – 7 weeks, when your seedlings have grown to about 15cm, they are mature enough to be transferred to the garden. Ensure your garden is well-tilled and the seedlings are planted deep enough to cover the stems.
Spacing is also key to healthy growth of your plants. Aim for 60cm between every seedling and 90cm between rows. This allows your Brussel sprouts space to spread and grow.
Caring for Your Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts require consistent watering throughout their growth. However, avoid excess water as it could cause the sprouts to become water-logged leading to diseases.
Regular weeding and pest control is crucial to maintain healthy growth. In particular, protect your sprouts from pests such as caterpillars and butterflies, which can cause significant damage.
Harvesting Your Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprout harvesting usually begins in the fall or early winter. The sprouts grow from the bottom of the plant upwards. It’s recommended to begin harvesting from the bottom, proceeding upwards as the sprouts mature.
The best sprouts are usually firm and bright green. Immediately after harvesting, remove the lower leaves to spur growth of the remaining sprouts.
Frequently Asked Questions
1.When is the best time to plant Brussel sprout seeds?
The ideal period is about 12 to 14 weeks before the first frost. Usually, this is in late spring to early summer, depending on your location.
2. How long does it take for Brussel sprouts to grow from seed?
From the moment you plant the seed, it’s likely to take anywhere between 80 to 100 days before the Brussel sprouts are ready for harvesting. However, conditions such as climate and care methods can influence the growing period.
3. What common pests attack Brussel sprouts and how can I protect my plants?
Pests like cabbage butterflies, slugs, and aphids are common. Using organic pesticides and regular inspections helps manage these pests and ensure the healthy growth of your plants.