The humble Brussels
Sprout, hated by children, cooked to a mushy
pulp by cooks, a most abused vegetable both
verbally and physically. But when grown
and cooked properly, a vegetable fit for
a King. The Brussels sprout is a biennial
grown as an annual, and they very in height
from 14in to 30in with a spread of some
20in; they are divided by their time of
maturity, early season, mid-season and late-season.
They are a cool season crop and can survive
temperatures as low as 10-C ( 14 F ) if
sown in succession they provide a
crop from early Autumn to late spring, the
main reason for failure is planting in loose
infertile soil, the soil must be firm and
have been supplied with an adequate supply
of humus, dig in autumn working in manure
or compost, lime in winter if the ground
is acid, in the spring give a dressing of
general purpose fertiliser , Don't fork
over the surface before planting the seedlings,
just tread down lightly and rake of any
Sow in a seedbed & thin to 3in apart, with
6in between rows. Or alternatively
I sow in pans & transplant to 2in pots.
Which ever method you use plant them out
when they are 4-6in high, planting them
firmly ( I plant into trenches made with
a hart hoe, 4-6in deep, this makes them
easy to water in the early stages, and as
you hoe, the soil fills in the trench giving
the plants a deep rooted hold on the soil.
) Foliar feed as Brussels Sprouts
respond well to this, and spray with Permethrin
to keep down pests.
Begin picking the crop when the sprouts
are the size of a walnut and are tightly
closed, snap the off with sharp downwards
tug or use a sharp knife to remove them.
Work from the bottom of the plant, only
removing a few off each plant and at the
same time remove any yellowing leaves or
blown sprouts. When you have removed all
the sprouts, cut off the top and cook as
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