Brussel(s) Sprout(s) were named after and originated from Brussels, Belgium. There are two main types of Brussel Sprout varieties; Dwarf (Matures Earlier/Harder Harvest) and Tall (Not as Hardy/Easier Harvest). Both varieties are Cool Season crops and are hardy/half-hardy to light freezes and frosts.
Brussel Sprouts tend to have very shallow roots, so taller varieties will require staking, especially if there is any wind in the area. Like any other Brassica, NEVER compost the plants/roots, and remember that they're very susceptible to pests and disease. Keep in mind that Brassica's should be rotated every 3-7 years for best results.
Brussel Sprouts are a very healthy addition to your diet due to being high in Calcium, Iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C.
When to Plant
Brussel Sprouts need to be started indoors in Canada due to our shorter growing season. Early May is the ideal time to plant so you can transplant to the outdoors in June or early July.
How to Plant
Once your seedlings are ready to be transplanted, find an area in your garden that is semi-sheltered from the wind and hasn't had any Brassica's planted within 10' in the last three years if possible. Plant your seedlings 30" apart in rows separated by 3' approximately.
How to Harvest
Your Brussel Sprouts should be ready for harvest approximately three months after your seedlings hit the garden. It's vital to keep in mind that your sprouts will begin forming from the bottom up on the stalk. It's a good idea to trim back the leaves at the bottom when the first sprouts sprout, allowing your Brussel Sprouts to get more nutrients and makes them easier to find.
Harvest your Brussel Sprouts when they reach approximately 1" in diameter. Either twist-off or cut the sprouts off with a sharp knife. Each plant should yield a litre of fruit. People say light snow or a couple of frosts will improve the flavour of your sprouts. If you find yourself facing an early winter or live in a more Northern Region of Canada, you can dig up the shallow root structure and bring the plants inside to a cool, sunny area while the sprouts mature.
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