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

2020 Almanac Calendar Club

Growing Brussels Sprouts

Botanical Name <Brassica oleracea
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