|Cultivar Group:||Gemmifera Group|
The Brussels (or brussels) sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) of the Brassicaceae family, is a Cultivar group of wild cabbage cultivated for its small (typically 2.5–4cm (0.98–1.6in) diameter) leafy green buds, which visually resemble miniature cabbages.
|Sowing Time (under glass)|
|Sowing Time (outdoors)|
Choose sunny spot or one that receives partial shade, with shelter from high winds where the plants are to mature.
Dig the site in autumn and incorporate plenty of well-rotted manure or compost if the soil is poor. The ground should not be acid, if necessary; lime in winter. In spring add a general purpose fertiliser. Do not fork the surface before planting seedlings, brassicas require a firm medium in which to grow, treat it down gently and rake the surface to remove rubbish.
Sow seeds in drills 1cm (½in) deep and 15cm (6in) apart.
Seedlings are ready for transplanting when they are 10-15cm (4-6in) high. Water the rows the day before transplanting to their permanent positions. Set the seedlings in a hole such that their lowest leaves are just above the soil surface and the firm into place. Leave 75cm (2½ft) between plants and water after planting.
You may want to consider planting through protective discs if cabbage root fly is a problem.
Hoe regularly to reduce weeds and water the young plants if the weather is dry. When mature you should not need to water if the soil was properly prepared.
Before autumn begins earth-up around the stems and support tall varieties with a stake to protect against high winds.
Do not remove the tops of the plants to hasten maturity, this is no longer a recommended practice.
Begin harvesting from the bottom of the stem when individual sprouts are the size of a walnut and before the sprouts' leaves begin to loosen up. Snap off by tugging downwards or use a sharp knife. You should only harvest a few sprouts at a time from each stem.
Once all the sprouts have been harvested, cut the heads off and cook as cabbage.
- Full troubles list: Brassica troubles
- Hessayon, D.G. (2009). The Vegetable & Herb Expert. Transworld Publishers, London. p. 34. ISBN 9780903505468
Brussels sprout varieties