Growing Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a plant of Nordic European origin, widespread above all in Scandinavian countries and in Benelux, in fact, they take their name from the capital of Belgium where it seems that this curious variety of cabbage was bred, which in Italy is still little cultivated. It is a plant of the cruciferous or brassica family and the scientific name for cabbage is oleracea bullata gemmifera .

This vegetable is very interesting to grow in the garden, it will be interesting to grow it if you are used to classic cabbage of Italian origin (cabbage or savoy cabbage). The cabbage or broccoli eaten resembles the miniaturized cabbage on the main staircase, with heads about an inch in diameter. The Brussels sprout plant develops a stem up to one meter high, where spherical axillary masses form at the base of the cells, which are precisely the sprouts that are then harvested and cooked. A plant produces 30-40 shoots, which makes it very productive.

Contents [Ocultar]

  • Ideal climate and soil for cultivation

  • How and when to plant sprouts

  • The harvest in detail

  • Picking and cooking Brussels sprouts

Equal climate and soil for cultivation

Climate. Being a plant of Nordic origin, the Brussels sprout likes cool climates, with not too dry and hot summers, although it does not support too harsh winters, in Europe it is often grown in greenhouses. We suggest growing Brussels sprouts in orchards in northern Italy, or in any case in areas where the summer stays quite cool. In the south, where the temperatures are scorching, it is necessary to think of shading them so that the plant does not suffer from excessive heat.

Stage. Brussels broccoli needs nitrogen and potassium in the soil, tillage is very important: the compost or manure must be very mature, and the soil must be moved deep to allow the roots to penetrate well and water to flow without stagnation.

How and when to plant sprouts

Sow. The shoots can be sown between April and August with a vegetative cycle of about 4 months, the ideal month is usually June. They are among the most demanding cabbages in terms of temperature (they cannot stand intense cold but they also suffer from too much heat), so it is important to “focus” the time of sowing and transplanting, we advise to place in the nursery using honeycomb containers. Normally, between July and early August, we transplant the cabbage plants.

Sixth of the installation. Brussels sprout seedlings are placed at a distance of about 50 cm from each other, often 70 cm apart, on which the seedlings are placed 40 cm apart.

The varieties. There are several varieties of cabbage that you can put in the garden, some earlier and some later. The difference between dwarf varieties and highly productive cultivars is also important.

Culture in detail

cultivation operations . Brussels sprouts should be watered frequently after transplanting and sparingly when well rooted. Mulch helps reduce watering and keep the soil moist, while keeping weeds at bay. If the cabbage is not mulched, it must be cultivated by weeding frequently by hand in its border, with the double objective of eliminating weeds and keeping the soil aerated. Mulching is also a good idea for this crop. When the plant begins to develop buds, it may be a good idea to pack it down at the base of the stem to give it some stability. When the sun is strong, it can be useful to use shade nets to prevent the plant from suffering from excessive heat.

Ciming . If you want to promote the swelling of the clumps, at the end of the season you can cut the upper part of the plant and deprive it of part of the leaves, leaving only the apical ones. The top of the upturned plant is edible (it is grown like a cabbage).

Cultivation of marijuana. Brussels sprouts can also be grown on the balcony, the advice is to choose dwarf varieties that reach a height of 60/70 cm and are easily manageable in container culture.

Diseases . Brussels sprouts are prone to alternaria, downy mildew, basal rot (rhizoctonia and sclerotinia) and clubroot. To combat these fungal diseases, a copper-based treatment can be used in organic farming, and the decoction ponytail it can also be useful to fight them. In addition to fungi, cabbage fears certain bacterial diseases such as Erwinia Carotovora and xanthomas.

Parasites and insects. Like all sprouts, Brussels sprouts are also attacked by aphids, elaterids, elaterids, elastin, bollworm, cabbage maggots and cabbage maggots. Bacillus thuringensis and neem oil are useful against larvae (noctuids and cabbage), to defend the garden from aphids we have explained everything here, while against elateridae pyrethrum can be used.

Move forward and join. Brussels sprouts should not return to their own soil or the soil of other sprouts for at least two years, they follow very well legumes (such as peas, broad beans or beans) which enrich the soil with nitrogen. There are vegetables that like cabbage because their presence drives cabbage away: these are tomatoes, celery, rosemary and sage, they make a great side dish.

Picking and cooking Brussels sprouts

Collection. In general, the cabbage plant has a cycle of four months. Brussels sprouts are harvested once a year and usually take two weeks to complete. Early varieties can start bearing fruit in August, while if the buds are picked later they can also be harvested in December (temperatures permitting). A short jelly enhances the flavor of this vegetable. The heads are harvested when they reach at least three centimeters in diameter, so they are crisp and tender together.

In the kitchen. Brussels sprouts are not eaten raw, it is an excellent accompaniment that can be pan-fried, boiled or au gratin.

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