Brussel Sprout Long Island - Seeds
The small heads mature best in cool and even in light frosty weather. Spring planting is also fine in cooler climates. Be aware that sprouts maturing in hot or dry weather will be flimsy and bitter. Brussels sprouts belong to the cole crop family (Brassica oleracea), which includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, collards, kale, and kohlrabi.
The sprouts, which look like mini cabbages, form along the 2- to 3-foot stems under umbrella-like foliage, and need up to 100 days to mature.
Height: Height: 2 to 3 feet
Spread: 1.5 to 2 feet
Difficulty level: moderately difficult
Planting & Care
Sunlight: Brussels sprouts need a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight daily; more is better.
Soil: Fertile, well-drained, moist soils with plenty of organic matter. The soil pH should be on the high side of the range for vegetables, about 6.8, for optimum growth and to discourage clubroot disease.
Water: Water thoroughly after planting to encourage good growth.
Fertilizer: Apply fertilizer and lime using the results of the soil test as a guide.In the absence of a soil test, incorporate plenty of nitrogen-rich amendments to the soil. These include blood meal, cottonseed meal, or composted manure. Or, work a timed-release vegetable fertilizer such as 14-14-14 thoroughly into the soil before planting. Or you may choose to fertilize with Bonnie Herb & Vegetable Plant Food. Plants love the liquid feeding.
- Start seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before last spring frost.
- While starting seeds indoors is recommended, you may also direct sow seeds 4 months before the first fall frost.
- You may also have luck finding seedlings at a nursery.
- Raised beds are especially recommended for cold season vegetables, especially when seasons are changing and temps are not consistent.
- Work fertilizer into soil a few days before planting or transplanting.
- Plant transplant seedlings 12-24 inches apart.
- If direct sowing seeds, plant ½ inch deep and 2-3 inches apart.
- Thin plants to 12-24 inches apart when they reach 6 inches tall.
- Water well at time of planting/transplanting.
Harvesting: Harvest sprouts from the bottom of the stalk when they reach about 1 inch in diameter. Do not wash the sprouts before storing them, only right before use. Keep in plastic for up to 5 days, in the refrigerator. Protect the plant by mulching with straw or providing a cover if you plan to harvest into the winter. Store fresh, unwashed sprouts in plastic bags in the refrigerator. Fresh sprouts taste best, though, so try to limit refrigeration to a day or two.
- Fertilize three weeks after transplanting.
- Mulch to retain moisture and keep the soil temperature cool.
- Do not cultivate, roots are shallow and susceptible to damage.
- Brussel Sprouts Long Island is a great vegetable that has a lot of culinary uses - it can be steamed, stir-fried, cooked with other vegetables, or used as an addition to any meat or salad dish.
- Brussel Sprouts is one of the best vegetables for freezing.