Saturday 13 September 2014

Brussels Sprouts - letting some light in

Whilst undoubtedly healthy, my Brussels Sprouts were beginning to look a bit too luxuriant. I didn't want all their energy to go into leaves at the expense of sprouts, so I have given them a trim.

You may remember that I have six plants on the go, two each of three different types. In this next photo you can see that the shape of the three types is very different.

My view was that if I removed some of the lower leaves, not only would the plants put more energy into the formation of sprouts, but also the sprouts would benefit from a greater level of light, and air circulation - as indeed would the Endives underplanted beneath them.

This is "Before".


And this is "After".

The three varieties are developing at different rates, which is just what I wanted. The plan is to have Brussels Sprouts available for picking over a nice long period. You can see that the sprouts on "Brilliant" (photo above) are further advanced than those on the "Napoleon", below:


"Napoleon" is a tall variety and it is producing a lot of sprouts!

This variety is "Bosworth", whose sprouts are still very tiny:
This is how the bed looks now. 

Incidentally, I plan to remove the net in a few weeks' time, to further improve airflow and thus reduce the risk of fungal infections, but there are still plenty of white butterflies about so I'm not doing it just yet!


  1. Your sprouts look great. I wish I could remove my over on my brassicas. The white butterflies aren't as numerous as before, but they still visit on occasion. Mildew disease is always an issue with them. Usually it doesn't affect the harvest too much, but sometimes it takes over.

  2. They are looking very healthy Mark & yes the white butterflies are still too numerous at the moment.

  3. Must have a peep at our sprouts. Nasturtiums seen to have invaded the sprout patch

  4. Looking good. White butterflies have been a problem this year too. I'm going to top m plants soon. We're about 20 days out from first frost

  5. Looking good Mark I've had quite a problem with whitefly on mine have you had any problems?

    1. So far, no whitefly, Damo. And very few caterpillars either, thanks to the netting!

  6. This is making me wish I'd have gotten a net sooner to protect mine from the butterflies. By the time I got round to getting one, there were catarpillars all over the leaves and they were pretty well eaten. Hopefully next year I'll do better!
    Have a great week!


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