Saturday, 27 December 2014

Brussels Sprouts

My six Brussels Sprout plants have produced a good crop. I have been very pleased with the yield. Individually, the sprouts are small , but there are lots of them, and they just keep on coming:

It is a well-known fact that plants grown close together are generally smaller than ones well spaced out. I have six plants in one 1 x 2.4 metre raised bed, so I'm not surprised that the plants (and their sprouts) are small.

Following recognised Best Practice, I have been picking the sprouts from the bottoms of the stalks first. This allows the ones up near the crown to keep on growing bigger. Two of the plants are nearly finished now; they are the two "Brilliant" ones. I also have two of "Bosworth" and two of "Napoleon". As you can see in the next photo, many of the lower leaves are going yellow now, so I have been progressively removing them as they fade, to lessen the chance of disease setting in.

I deliberately chose varieties of sprouts that would mature at different times, in order to extend the cropping season, and it seems to have worked. Jane and I are not keen on frozen veg if fresh can be available, so I have not aimed to produce big quantities all at once. And the best thing is that by the time the Brussels Sprouts finish, the PSB will be just about ready.

When all the sprouts have been picked I will use any of the Tops that look all right as additional greens (they are like a full-flavoured cabbage), and I will compost the stems. The enormous stems are very tough and woody, so in order to help them decompose I smash them with a hammer, breaking open the thick outer skin. And then the cycle will begin again: it won't be long before I'm sowing more seeds. A gardener's task is never complete!


  1. Our sprouts are fairly small too

  2. I don't grow sprouts as I'm the only one in the family who eats them. I always have them with Christmas dinner though, but I had to buy them. I bought a stalk rather than loose sprouts so that I could pretend I'd just brought them home from the allotment.

    1. Bravo for persevering with something you like, even if the others don't! We often buy those sprouts on a stick too. They keep in good condition much longer than loose ones.

  3. I like the fresh ones better too, but I did buy myself a bag of frozen recently.

  4. I love spouts as does my daughter, but the wife detests them. Always have them for American Thanksgiving, so this year I bought a stalk and kept it in the garage where it is cold. Just snap off what you need, very handy. Wish I had them fresh from the garden like yours.

  5. I grew green Bosworth this year - good compact plants with medium sized tasty sprouts.
    Sadly, this year the red sprouts produced tall thin plants and the sprouts are still so tiny they missed Xmas dinner. The red varieties have always been very reliable for me, and look interesting on the plate, but I couldn't get my usual variety and the replacement has been far from impressive so far.

  6. Seem like this time of year I always see pictures of your garden and am filled with envy!


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