Forum home Fruit & veg

Any sprouts expert in the house? (pic)



I sowed some seeds in the spring and transplanted in to the small square pots (in the photo). As time, and all the other jobs went on, the sprouts got left behind. I am unsure what to do with them (now I have the time to do something) I have potted all 21 of them up in to 1 litre pots (also in the photo).

If I keep them in the pots for the time being, will they be able to go in the garden next year, and which month? I can put them in the ground now if any experts on here think it is a good idea, but now is the time for harvesting them, not planting out?? I’m basically trying to salvage them. Any thoughts?


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    To be honest, I would start again with seeds in Spring. As they have been so neglected I suspect they will run straight to flower.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,058

    Have to agree with Welsh Onion.  Most brassicas are biennial and most of the growth comes in the first year after which we eat them.  If left for a second year they go to seed.  They hate being 'checked' by lack of nutrients/light/water so it's important to plant them out as soon as they need it which is (as a rule of thumb) when they have developed 5 true leaves.  Another 'rule of thumb' is to plant them deep so that the soil is level with the base of the lowest leaves.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I also think it would be better starting again in spring. If you plant them in the garden they  would be unlikely to survive especially if the slugs and snails get to them.

  • If the only option for these sprout plants is to put them on the compost heap, there appears to be nothing to lose then by trying, except 10 minutes of my time.  If I want to sow more seeds in the spring, that option still remains.  

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 71,758

    You are of course free to do as you choose image  but you asked for expert advice on what would happen if you try to salvage them. 

    They are biennials so next spring they'll be in their second year and they will flower, set seed and die.  It's not like there's a 50:50 chance of getting something or even 40:60.  You will not get any Brussels sprouts from them. It is not worth even 10 minutes of your time.   image 

    I'd put them on the compost heap where they can contribute to the greater good image

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • If sprouts seeds are sown in the spring, does the plant produce sprouts late in the same year? If so, I am guessing that will be around October/November in the North of England?

     Also, I am just curious as to what benefit the actual sprout is to the reproductive system of the sprout plant?.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 11,058

    If left for the 2 years needed to produce seed, the sprouts themselves may produce flowers as well as the top.  As this is a vegetable which has been bred by humans over centuries, it isn't necessarily the case that the sprouts are of any benefit to the plant whatsoever.  The first brussel sprout plant may well have been a genetic mutant which was then let to go to seed and bred on from those by whoever first discovered it.  That is how most of the vegetable varieties we now grow came into existence. image

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    They have been selectively bred to produce sprouts for us. The reproductive bit is in the top.

    Incidentally the stems on your poor little plants have gone woody so they'll never manage to grow into anything useful.

    There is a choice of maturing times with sprouts. Many people want them as a vegetable in the Winter after Christmas, others want them in the Autumn. Maturity time is usually written on the packet. Anything from August to March depending on variety.
  • Back in the 70s when I was a teenager, there was this disabled guy that I  used to see around the villiage, and chat with. He was very much in to spud bashing, pea picking and sprout picking. Regarding the sprouts, he used to say that the sprout picking season was when the frost was on them, as they would basically just fall-off  the plant when touched.  

  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,114
    It was always said that the flavour was improved by a frost. That's why many country folk won't buy sprouts until there has been a good frost. The same goes for parsnips.

    Picking frozen sprouts must be one of the nastiest jobs going.
Sign In or Register to comment.