No, they are not. Brussel sprouts are biennials. Thus, they grow for two years before producing seed and need replanting. They are hardy, cool season, slow growing vegetables which belong to the cabbage family.
They contain high amount of protein as well as significant amounts of vitamin A and C along with other vitamins and minerals. Due to their temperature and soil requirements, growing Brussel sprouts can be a little tricky.
I) Growing Conditions of Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts perform their best in cooler temperatures and perform poorly in hot or warm temperatures. Growing them in hot, dry conditions tend to affect the quality and taste.
For Brussel sprouts to produce high quality crop, they require uninterrupted growth. Due to their long growing season and cool climate requirements, they are not easily grown in hot southern states.
To plant Brussel sprouts, ensure that the soil is well drained, moist, and high in both nitrogen and organic matter. The soil should have a pH range of 6.2 – 6.5.
Read also: Can Brussel Sprouts be grown in Pots?
II) Planting Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are mostly transplanted from seedlings in early to mid-summer or perhaps, 90-100 days before the first frost date in fall. To obtain better or best results, start the seed indoors and then transplant to your garden space.
Starting the seeds indoors will give you the opportunity of controlling the climate. You can as well, purchase seedlings. For summer harvest, it is required that you transplant seedlings very early in the spring and choose a heat-resistant variety.
Growing Brussel sprouts in hot, dry conditions can give the sprouts a bitter flavour thus, ensure to plant in summer for a fall harvest. Fertilize the soil using a general fertilizer prior to planting and at a rate of about 5 pounds per 100 said feet.
Apply a side dressing of nitrogen at planting and at 3 week intervals. Place your transplants 24 – 36 inches apart having 30 inches between rows.
Water adequately after transplanting. You can make a starter solution or purchase one. This helps to establish the plants faster.
III) Harvesting Brussel Sprouts
Following 85 – 95 days after setting plants out, Brussel sprouts are ready for harvest. When harvesting brussel sprouts, cultivate the habit of picking the sprouts that are lowest on the plant first.
Harvest time can be determined by visual inspection. However, once you notice a change of colour of the lower leaves to yellow, be sure to harvest. This is because they will quickly over mature and lose their tender texture and likewise, their delicious flavour.
To pick the sprout, you have to break the leaf directly below the sprout and then carefully remove the sprout from the plant. Picking the leaves and sprouts will give the plant a signal to continue with the production of new sprouts. You can as well, harvest the entire plants.
Read also: How Tall Do Brussels Sprouts Grow?
To conclude, Brussel sprouts are biennial plants and not perennial plants as they grow for two years before producing seed and also require replanting. Also, Learn about Brussel Sprouts Growing Problems.