Definitely not. Brussel sprouts are relatively easy to grow and do not take up much space in the garden. It is required that they are started indoors 4 weeks before your last frost date.
Brussel sprouts are long-season crops planted in spring for a fall harvest. Similar to other vegetables in the Brassicaceae family, Brussel sprouts have the best taste after being subjected to cool weather.
In cooler climates, it is best to plant them in early summer for a fall harvest while in warmer climates, it is best to plant them in late summer for a late fall or winter harvest.
I) How to Plant Brussels Sprouts
To grow Brussel sprouts, you will need up to 80 days or more. Brussel sprouts improve in flavor after being subjected to a light frost.
Having colder climates? Start your Brussels sprouts seeds indoors around early May, and proceed to transplant the seedlings to the garden in mid-June.
You can also decide to transplant them about four months before the first fall frost. Embark on planting after the last spring frost. For details about growing Brussel sprouts from seeds, check this guide to growing Brussel sprouts from seeds here.
II) Brussels Sprouts Care
1) Light: Brussels sprouts require at least 6 hours of sun every day. This will help the plants grow and sprout best in full sun. Having too much shade will only slow the sprouts’ maturity.
2) Soil: Brussel sprouts prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil which is fertile, moist, well-drained, and having adequate organic matter.
It is expected that the soil pH falls between 6.5 and 7. A good quantity of organic matter helps in maintaining the moisture which they require for their intense growth and development. The soil around your Brussels sprouts should be firm but not compacted.
3) Water: Ensure to keep your Brussels sprouts’ soil moist but not waterlogged or soaked. Also, try giving your sprouts between 1 and 1.5 inches of water every week.
4) Temperature & Humidity: Grow your sprouts between 45°F – 75°F. They are known to tolerate a couple of days below freezing and also, improve their flavor with a little amount of light frost.
5) Fertilizer: Ensure to fertilize your Brussels sprouts plants two times a season using a nitrogen fertilizer. Also, fertilize once when the plants are about 12 inches high and also, fertilize again four weeks after.
It requires about 3 – 4 months from transplant before you can start harvesting your Brussels sprouts. Initially, they grow tall and don’t start sprouts production until they attain full height or close to full height.
Each sprout grows in the joint or the leaf axil. To harvest your sprouts, you can remove the leaf below the sprout first or you can twist and pull the sprout.
You can also choose to cut, rather than pull the sprouts. The second crop of Brussels may start growing at the base of the stem after harvesting. They are however still edible not minding the fact that they won’t be as tight as the first buds.
The leafy tops can be cooked as greens as they are also edible. To speed up the development of the rest of the sprouts at the end of the season, cut the tops.
For the extension of your Brussels sprouts harvest cold seasons, practice the habit of mulching plants with straw and/or cover with a row cover. This is for protection. Whole plants can be pulled, potted, and afterward, stored in a root cellar.
Growing Brussels sprouts is very easy. Following the steps carefully while taking note of the requirements, you get healthy and robust Brussels sprouts.
I hope you find this article helpful. I would like to hear from you. So, let me know if you have any questions. Also, learn how to grow Brussel sprouts from scraps.