[Homestead] Brussels Sprouts
Karen L. Black
karen at plamondon.com
Wed Apr 16 08:10:50 EDT 2008
> Today I transplanted a bed of brussels sprouts. Almost all the brussels
sprouts I've grown have been pretty much a dismal failure and more's the
pity. I am really fond of them.
> The plants grow fine, lush, tall. And the set on plenty of sprouts ....
but the sprouts are as loose as little tufts of collards.
> How does one grow those stone hard brussels sprouts??
> Last year I though I had some decent ones on the way but the drought
weakened the plants and then they were beset by the thrice cursed harlequin
bugs that finished them off.
> I'd heard that sprouts will set on loose heads if they are grown in loose
ground. This year I planted half of the in the hardest ground available
(it's getting scarce in the garden as the soil is developed). But I wonder
about the advice. It's suppose to hold true for other brassicas as well,
and regularly grow nicely hard cabbage heads and those are often on very
I think you may be planting too early. Brussels sprouts are a fall-to-winter
plant, where hot weather during sprout formation will cause loose heads as
you've described. I note that excess N is supposed to do the same thing, so
I hypothesize that fast growth causes loose heads, and that one wants to
encourage slow growth during sprout formation.
Brussels sprout cultivation per Illinois Extension:
A great deal about commercial cultivation:
Norton Creek Farm
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