Monday 11 May 2020

Potting-up Brussels sprouts

I usually start my brassicas in multi-sown pots - 10 or 12 seeds in a 6-inch pot - and then put them into individual pots when they are big enough. This technique seems to me to be easier than dealing with lots of little pots right from the word go. It also means that at the appropriate moment I can select the best seedlings and discard any that seem weak.

This year I sowed my Brussels sprouts seeds on April 10th. They were one pot each of "Attwood F1" and "Green Marble F1". A few days ago I judged them ready for potting-up. I reckon this stage is reached when they have developed two proper leaves in addition to the cotyledons (seed-leaves), as shown here:

Brussels sprout "Green Marble F1"

You can see that this pot of "Attwood F1" seedlings is beginning to look pretty crowded now and the seedlings need to be given homes of their own.

Just to illustrate my point further, this pot of "Greyhound" cabbages, sown on the same day as the Brussels sprouts is not ready yet. The seedlings are still mostly very small. The two biggest ones would probably be OK to transplant, but not the others.

Brussels sprouts are big plants and take a long time to reach maturity, so in my small garden I can really only find room for about four of them (normally grown in the same bed as my PSB), so in my usual fashion I have potted-up eight, allowing for the possibility of some casualties as a result of Cabbage Root Fly or whatever.

To help me identify the two types, I have put the "Green Marble" ones in black pots and the "Attwood" ones in terracotta-coloured ones. This means I don't need to label them individually. When the "Greyhound" cabbages are ready I'll probably put them in square pots so that they are easily distinguishable from the Brussels sprouts.

These little seedlings are destined to be planted in the bed currently occupied by my Broad Beans, which won't be vacant for perhaps another month, so it's possible that they will outgrow these pots and need putting into bigger ones, but we'll cross that bridge when we get there, as the saying goes.

Broad Beans "Express"


  1. Very organized and efficient seedling management! I also usually only label one plant and keep them separated by type of container. Saves on tags. Although now and then they bamboozle me. Planting several rounds of seeds in one starter tray resulted in one eggplant that masqueraded as a potato-leafed tomato for a few weeks. Hmmm... something looks weird about that tomato plant. Now it is set over by the rest of the eggplants, but it has an oddball pot. It caught up with its older siblings though. Also that made my tomato count uneven. The best laid plans often go awry...

    1. Haha! I empathise about the "uneven tomato count". I have one potato-leafed tomato plant, which I think must have snuck in from the "Little Lucky" I grew last year, because none of the varieties I planned to grow (many from self-saved seeds) are supposed to have that sort of leaf!

  2. Everything looks wonderful as usual. I am trying to make some effort to container garden this year....we'll see.


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