Growing Brussels Sprouts

Planting, Growing, and Harvesting Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts (Unharvested)
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Brussels sprouts are a member of the cabbage family, and an excellent source of protein and vitamins. Here’s how to plant and grow Brussels sprouts in your garden!

They require a long growing season (80+ days to harvest), and are generally more successful when grown for a fall or early winter harvest, as they only increase in flavor after a light frost or two.

Planting

Planting Brussels Sprouts

  • Due to Brussels sprouts’ need for a long growing season, plant them with a fall or winter harvest in mind.
    • In regions with cold winters, where temperatures are regularly below freezing, start seeds indoors about 2–3 weeks before the last spring frost date for an early fall harvest.
    • In regions with mild winters, where temperatures are occasionally below freezing, start seeds outdoors in early to mid-summer for a mid-fall or early winter harvest. 
    • In regions with warm winters, where temperatures are rarely or never below freezing, start seeds outdoors in late summer for a mid- to late winter harvest.
  • Another way to determine planting time is to count backwards from your first fall frost date. Direct sow seeds into the garden about 4 months before the first fall frost. (See local frost dates.)
  • Raised beds are especially recommended for cold-season vegetables, especially when seasons are changing and temps are not consistent.
  • Work fertilizer into soil a few days before planting or transplanting.
  • Plant transplanted seedlings 12–24 inches apart.
  • If direct sowing seeds, plant ½ inch deep and 2–3 inches apart. Thin plants to 12–24 inches apart when they reach 6 inches tall.
  • Water well at time of planting/transplanting.

Care

  • Fertilize three weeks after transplanting.
  • Mulch to retain moisture and keep the soil temperature cool.
  • If growing during hot weather, be sure to keep the plants well watered. 
  • Do not disturb the soil around the plants; roots are shallow and susceptible to damage.

Pests/Diseases

Harvest/Storage

  • Harvest sprouts from the bottom of the stalk when they reach about 1 inch in diameter.
  • Do not wash the sprouts before storing them, only right before use.
  • Keep in plastic for up to 5 days, in the refrigerator.
  • Protect the plant by mulching with straw or providing a cover if you plan to harvest into the winter.

Recommended Varieties

Recipes

2019 Garden Guide

Growing Brussels Sprouts

Botanical Name

Plant Type Vegetable
Sun Exposure Full Sun
Soil Type Any
Soil pH Neutral
Bloom Time
Flower Color
Hardiness Zones 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Special Features