Brussels sprouts can really divide a crowd. They’re the type of veggie you don’t just sort of like–you either love them or hate them. I’m on the “love them” side of the fence, and why not? They’re green, full of antioxidants and homegrown varieties taste much sweeter and milder than the ones you find in stores!
Plant Brussels sprouts from seed or nursery transplant in early spring, when soil temperatures are between 45 to 95 F. Give them room—about 1 or 2 feet between plants. They enjoy a rich soil with plenty of compost. When the top 1/2 inch of soil is dry to the touch, water to 12 inches deep.
As the stalk grows and sprouts start to develop, cut away bottom leaves to encourage the plant to focus its energy on the sprouts. The plant will require regular fertilizing with a nitrogen fertilizer. A 4-inch layer of mulch around the plant base will decompose over the growing season and supply continuous nutrients to the roots.
Brussels sprouts have a relatively long growing season, averaging about 100 days from seed. If you succession plant every three weeks, you’ll have a continuous harvest throughout the season. Harvest your homegrown Brussels sprouts when they are marble-sized and tightly closed. Start harvesting with the lowest (oldest) sprouts; you can twist them off the plant or cut them off.