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Brussel Sprouts

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brussel sprouts Brussels sprouts are grown for the miniature cabbage-like buds that develop on the 2 - 3 foot stem. They need a long cool growing season. Most gardeners find them to be disappointing if planted in the spring as temperatures rise too quickly for the maturing plant.

If planted in the fall (Oct. to Nov.) they can take 90 to 100 days to mature from transplants. Raising transplants from seed takes 5 to 8 weeks and if it is still warm, they may need a little shade until temperatures drop.

Brussels sprouts like a well drained, fertile soil. Dig in a complete fertilizer before planting and side dress with nitrogen fertilizer or good compost when half grown.

Space transplants 18 to 24 inches apart in rows 2 -3 feet apart. Set transplants a little deeper and cover the root ball with about 1 inch of soil but don't bury the root ball too deep. After planting water each plant in and water daily for the first week. Then water deeply once a week during the winter if there is no rain.

Before sprouts crowd each other on the stem, break off the lower leaves over a period of a few weeks, starting at the bottom and working up the stem, leaving the uppermost foliage. Pick when sprouts are 1 - 2 inches in diameter and firm.

Brussels sprouts should not be grown in soil where other Brassicas have been grown in the previous year. All crops of this genus should be planted in a different area each year on a rotation pattern of 2-4 years to avoid diseases building up in the soil.

Commercial growers top the plants when the lower sprouts are about ¾ inch in diameter. The crop is ready for harvest about a month later when sprouts are ½ - 1 inch in diameter. This produces a stalk of fairly uniform sprouts for a one-time harvest.

Also check out ...
http://www.ipm.ucdavis.edu/PMG/selectnewpest.cole-crops.html

 





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