Growing Brussels Sprouts

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How to grow brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprouts (See also Brassicas) are the most difficult variety of the Cabbage tribe to grow successfully, and the best and richest in flavor of this family. Brussels Sprouts are closely allied to the Kales, but are distinguished from them by the numerous miniature-like cabbage heads or sprouts which form in the leaf axils. Properly cooked and served, these Sprouts make a delicious dish.

Brussel Sprout Seedlings

Seed may be sown in an outdoor seed bed during the warmer months and it is advisable to raise the plants on poor ground to get good, hard, stumpy plants which can be transplanted as soon as ready. The ground for growing the plants on must be thoroughly dug and well manured in the previous season, and the soil turned over a couple of times before putting out the young seedlings. It is not advisable to transplant out when the seedlings are young, as if transplanted too late very few sprouts are formed, and the plants will run up to seed. Sprouts are ready to pull in about twelve to fourteen weeks from transplanting and as the plants will stand well with the sprouts on, this delicious vegetable may be had right through the season.

Brussels Sprouts like a rather stiff, loamy ground, a good rich soil, and plenty of room to develop. Put out in rows 36 inches apart, allowing the same distance between the plants. Keep them moist and grow them on without any check. When the plants begin to bear, Nitrate of Soda is a first-class tonic. This may be applied dry and watered in or used as a liquid manure at the rate of one ounce to the gallon. As the plants mature, the lower side leaves will fade and these must be removed at once. Do not interfere with the top growth, as this is necessary to keep the plants growing the side sprouts.

Harvesting Brussel Sprouts

START PICKING THE SPROUTS FROM THE BOTTOM OF THE PLANTS. Gather these before fully grown, or before they begin to open, for at that stage they are at their best as regards flavor and quality. When all the Sprouts have been gathered from the stems the crown or top can be cut and used.          

Brussels Sprouts require a fair amount of space for the full development of the leaves, as the size of the Sprouts is in accordance with that of the foliage. There are many varieties in commerce two of the best all-round sorts are Dalkeith and President.            

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