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Brussel Sprouts

Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,941

I'm growing Brussel Sprouts for the first time this year.. any general advice?  My veg garden is open to occasional gusts of wind during stormy weather, should I stake them up somehow?  (My sweetcorn all blew over last summer due to soaked soil and high winds.. luckily I was able to just put them upright and add more soil around the roots and it grew on fine.). Some things I've read say to cut the top growth point off once the bottom buds have formed?  Others don't mention that.  Harvest from the bottom up?  So you don't just pick the whole stalk like they sell at the store?  Any tricks for great tasting sprouts?  I've tried purple sprouting broccoli twice, and all plants ended up in the compost as they were so bitter.  Do sprouts go bitter if things aren't perfect?  

Utah, USA.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 82,743

    Yes, they need to be really firmly rooted or the tight buttons don't form - you get a sort of rose-like shape of loose leaves rather than the button - so yes, stake them.

    As for bitterness - although modern varieties have been bred for sweetness, tradition holds that they need cold frosty weather to make them more palatable.

    Purple sprouting broccoli - I've never found it to be bitter so I'm at a loss to explain that, but again they need to be firmly rooted.  The soil in my veg patch is very free draining (large trees around the edge) and I find that the broccoli needs watering even in the spring to grow lovely soft shoots, so perhaps that's it?

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

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    I've grown brussels twice unsucessfully so not the best person to offer advise but life's a learning curve and I'm trying again this year. The guy on the next plot has been growing them for 30yrs and was still picking brussel's in February so how difficult can it beimage.

    Agree with Dove, when planting it's advised to plant them firmly in the ground, I use my foot to press down the ground around the newly planted brussel plant and they are staked with canes. They need netting otherwise cabbage white attacks them and they also get blackfly, I've planted a nasturum plant closeby.

      I have a windy site so planted them in a trench to earth up as they grow giving then a deep, strong root.

    Sweetcorn also benefits from being planted in a trench and earthed up as they grow.   

    Broccoli is best picked young and tender, the heads are sweet and this promotes more growth.

    Happy growingimage.

  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,941

    Thanks for the tips, I'll firm them in better and create some sort of staking system.  

    Dove, I think you're right, the bitterness of the PSB had something to do with watering.  I've got an automated soaker hose system now, as I'm nto the type to be up and about at 5.30am when the time is ideal.

    Edd, thanks for the extra bonus tip.  What about kohlrabi leaves?

    Utah, USA.
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