I am putting into practice a piece of advice given to me by my blogging friend David Offutt, who runs the website called The Gastronomic Gardener. He has told me that if you cut the tops and most of the leaves off the Brussels Sprouts plants they will put more energy into the sprouts themselves and thus produce a better crop. I thought this had to be worth a try.
I have only four plants. They are of the variety "Brilliant". For comparison purposes I decided to apply the "short back and sides" treatment to two of them, and leave the other two un-shorn. This is what they looked like just before their haircut:
I think you can easily see how the sprouts, clustered closely around the stem of the plant, might not get as much light as they would like:
The tops of the plants are very cabbage-like, and we always eat them. This year we will be eating some of them a bit earlier than usual!
|The bit we are going to eat|
After the job was done, this is what the plants looked like:
You can see the sprouts more clearly here, and you will note that they are not yet very big. Hopefully they will get bigger in the next few weeks - especially since they will receive more light.
Naturally, the trimmings were not wasted. They went into the compost bin, where the worms will no doubt feast upon them.
Just one more thing to show you today. A "blown" sprout. By this term we mean a sprout that has developed very loosely, unlike the normal tightly-formed ones.
They are edible, but not very pleasant because they quickly go mushy when cooked. Fortunately I have
only found one such sprout on my plants. It joined the trimmed-off leaves in the compost...
I'll let you know how the comparitive trial goes.