Brussel sprouts, which have gained their name due to their popularity in Belgium, are best known for being a staple food in many Christmas lunches- and when better to learn to plant these veggies (that everyone loves to hate) than Christmas!
Where to Grow
Sprouts are a plant which must be staked in autumn in areas which will prevent them blowing over in high winds. In addition to this, the soil in which they are planted should be fertile with a lot of compost/ well-rotted manure mixed in. It is recommended that the ground is prepared the autumn before and then allowed to settle as, although sprouts are hardy plants, they need firm soil.
When to Grow
With staggered planting dates, you can expect to harvest your sprouts between September and February. If you sow your sprouts in mid-March, early April or early May in modular trays, you can expect to plant out around 4 weeks later.
It is best to sow your sprout seeds in modular seedling trays. Begin by sowing 1 seed per module at 2cm deep in the soil. These seeds will germinate after 7-12 days and then be ready to plant out 4 weeks following that. If 2 sprouts have germinated in one module, you must pull out the weaker one. Remember not to pull out the seedlings as this will damage the root on the one you want to keep. Simply cut the weaker one with scissors.
In addition to this, remember not to let the compost dry out completely as this will allow it to form a crust on top and prevent it from drawing moisture next time you water it. With this in mind, water it once a day on regular days but twice on particularly hot days.
Sprouts are known to ripen at the base of the stalk. You should harvest by picking them from the bottom and work your way to the top. As you do this, remove any yellow leaves. After this, dig up the root and burn it to prevent club root.
Now you know how to grow your own sprouts, there is no time like the present to get prepared for next year’s Christmas lunch. Let us know what you think of our step by step guide!