Brussels sprouts are best grown during late summer, when the season is cool enough for their growth but warm enough for their roots to get established. If sprouts are maturing in dry season or in hot weather, they will bolt and bitterness will develop. It is recommended to start the seeds in early summer so that you can plant in late summer or early fall, and you’ll have harvest for Thanksgiving.
Now, if I’d planted mine in September when I purchased them, I might have been that lucky. However, the plants are still quite tiny. I’ll be interested in seeing how they survive the overwinter. We’re supposed to have a mild in temperature but heavy in rain season.
They usually recommend spacing plants 2 to 3 feet apart in the seed bed. But you know me. I put 4 into one of my container and I’ll post pictures and updates on how it went. If you’re going straight seed, plant them a half inch deep in the soil. If you’ve started them inside, you can transplant them when they are three inches tall. Make sure that the soil is well-drained but can retain moisture. The plants need large amount of water but can survive water retention. Soaking the plant in too much water will cause it to rot.
When the plants are one feet tall, apply fertilizers on plants. This will keep moisture that is much needed to keep the plants healthy. Without it, crop growth will fail. At this stage, insect control is very essential to prevent plant damage and boost growth. I use a soapy spray to keep off the chompers.
If you are planning to remove some leaves, as other gardeners might recommend, it is best to leave the largest and the healthiest leaves for them to continue feeding the plant.
A month before the harvest, remove the top leaves which are about to grow. This will redirect the nutrients to the growth of the sprouts.
To determine if the vegetable is ready for harvest, check if the sprouts or buds’ diameter are one or two inches. Sprouts located at the lower are of the plant mature first. Remove the lowermost leaves once the sprouts are harvested. It is also important to harvest the sprouts before the leaves turn yellow.
Your harvest can be stored in a cool dry place or can be frozen. However, Brussels sprouts are best consumed when fresh. With lots of butter and nutmeg. I’ll have to dig up some additional recipes for them.