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Brussel sprouts question

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Post  happyfrog 3/8/2010, 8:22 am

mel's book does not mention brussel sprouts. when can i put those seeds in the ground? looks like it'll take up 2 squares each, though - i've never seen a brussel sprout plant so this should be interesting experience.

also, what kind of yield does one plant get? would 2 plants be enough or should i do more? (family of 5, heavy veg eaters - although i never liked brussel sprouts as a child, i thought i might like them as fresh veg - and if not, we'll have more compost materials. . )

bettyann
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Post  Lavender Debs 3/8/2010, 8:46 am

Hi Betty Ann! There is a little bit posted about Brussels Sprouts in a thread by the same name in the Pacific North West regional forum.

Yes, they want 24" BUT lettuces, radishes and edible flowers can go in the boxes next to them.

Brussels Sprouts grow on a thick stalk. The sprouts grow in a ring around and up the stalk under some funky looking leaves.

Yield wholly depends on the size of the sprouts. Some are tiny, some are crabapple size.

Most of the sprouts you have probably eaten are from California. Nothing wrong with that, but they need to stand through some frosts for best flavor. That generally doesn't happen in Cali.

The seedlings will also handle frost but it sets them back, not as a plant but in production. In the PNW they can be set out in May. (see the Brussels sprout thread in that regional forum for more.

Deborah ....feeling conflicted between answering your question and retyping a bunch of stuff.
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Post  happyfrog 3/8/2010, 8:54 am

thanks for reply!

your reply is leaning me towards a fall planting of brussel sprouts - the reading i'm doing on other boards re: brussel sprouts is implying that they taste best if they get cold during the sprout production. . .unlikely to happen in early summer/late spring. .. so i will put those seeds aside til august or thereabouts. *grin*
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Post  boffer 3/8/2010, 10:25 am

If you closed your eyes, you'd never know you were eating BS. There's that much different between homegrown and store bought. I'd try a few year. They have a long season, and get sweeter after a frost or two, like carrots do. They're cold tolerant, but don't really grow much in the winter. Hot weather slows them down but doesn't hurt them. I think it's a plant your kids will get a kick out of, even if the buds only get marble size, like mine do more often than not.
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Post  happyfrog 3/8/2010, 10:37 am

so should i go ahead and plant a couple seeds now? or wait til fall? decisions!!!! *grin*
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Post  boffer 3/8/2010, 11:22 am

I vote now, if you have more milk jugs.


A farmer was milking his cow. He was just starting to get a good rhythm going when a bug flew into the barn and started circling his head. Suddenly, the bug flew into the cow's ear. The farmer didn't think much about it, until the bug squirted out into his bucket. It went in one ear and out the udder.
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Post  happyfrog 3/8/2010, 11:35 am

i have MANY more milk jugs! *grin* so here's my next question. 2 squares per brussel sprout, right?

the package i have says to space 20" apart. . .

just making sure. and I have one bed with 2 squares open next to each other (the bed with the swiss chard in it). . . so i could plant one plant today.

most of the other beds are still a bit frozen at times. the walls of the house really do help warm up the boxes of soil even faster!
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Post  boffer 3/8/2010, 11:38 am

I do one per square if I have adequate room topside-like if shorter plants are in squares next to them. Below decks, the root structure isn't that large. One square is plenty
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Post  happyfrog 3/8/2010, 11:41 am

ooh, NEAT!!! then I think I'll fill the last three squares open in that box with brussel sprouts! FUN!

one seed per kid - that'll be fair, too.

i have kids that fight over gardening! isn't that AWESOME?!!!!
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Post  boffer 3/8/2010, 11:51 am

It really is ,BettyAnn, a new generation growing up enjoying veggie gardening, as compared to all the oldsters in the forum who swore off gardening forever as a kid because it was so much work.
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Post  Lavender Debs 3/8/2010, 12:02 pm

People who are into bio-intensive and companion planting use a Mean average between unlike plants. The whole thing is complicated and a terrific reason to ignore your children when they whine about how they will never use this math in the real world BUT The bottom line is.....

If Brussels sprouts need 20" between plants, and Swiss Chard (for example....and sticking with Europe) should be 10" apart ....the mean average will be 15" between plants. (20 + 10 = 30 divided by 2 = 15)

If on the other hand you go with Radishes (is French breakfast really french?) which only need 1" per plant, your mean average becomes 10.5" between (unlike) plants.

In other words, you do not need to dedicate 24" squared to Brussels Sprouts. You do, however, need to plant something that needs less space and free air in the boxes next to it. Remember that we are talking about space needs for fully mature plants.

Does that make sense?

Deborah.....always happy to baffle...
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Post  boffer 3/8/2010, 12:09 pm

huh, I think that's what I said Wink

Hey Debs,
You might be the person I've been looking for. Are you familiar with GDDs? I'd like to incorporate more into my gardening, but info is limited for backyard gardeners.
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Post  happyfrog 3/8/2010, 12:12 pm

Gotcha! So, one plant of brussel sprouts - in a corner, and then something like lettuce next to it . we don't like radishes. we do however enjoy eating nasturtiums. Smile

hmm.

i'll resist the urge to fill the rest of the squares. and just put one brussel sprout in there for now. maybe 2 brussel sprouts in the box that also has garlic. . . (there are 4 open squares in there and the soil is soft there)
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Post  Lavender Debs 3/8/2010, 12:18 pm

Whoo-hoo Betty Ann!!

Boff I don't have a firm handle on moon-planting or light hours and heat units and have been doing it for a spell. Nope, GDD is above my pay range. Sorry about the cross on the answer. The software even tried to warn me but I didn’t pay close enough attention.

Deborah …ever distracted.
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Post  catnip 3/8/2010, 1:59 pm

While on the subject of Brussels sprouts, I have had a problem with something that looks like wood ashes on them. Assuming it is some nasty little critter. Last year I washed them off real good, but felt the sprouts were pretty strong. Any input? mad
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Post  happyfrog 3/8/2010, 2:15 pm

no idea, but don't be mad!! ((hugs))

i'm sure someone here can put a light on it. i would actually suggest starting a new thread for your question - otherwise folks might not see it.

and i'm real intrigued to what the answer will be. Smile
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Post  Lavender Debs 3/8/2010, 2:41 pm

That's a tough description. Could it be powdery mildew?

http://www1.agric.gov.ab.ca/$department/newslett.nsf/all/snack15857
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Post  boffer 3/8/2010, 4:38 pm

"Sorry about the cross on the answer."

Personally, I like it. When I used to teach, I would talk fast so I could say the same thing 3 ways-I knew what I was saying, but one is never sure what the listener is hearing.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't it interesting how a dominant left brain and a dominant right brain answer the same question?!


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Post  rds1955 4/5/2010, 4:53 pm

[quote="happyfrog"]mel's book does not mention brussel sprouts. when can i put those seeds in the ground? looks like it'll take up 2 squares each, though - i've never seen a brussel sprout plant so this should be interesting experience. quote]

The Book may not say anything but under the Plants & Vegetable section of the Help & FAQ part of the web site it says this:

Brussels sprouts are quite big but we have planted one per square foot and put a few throughout the garden near the north side of the box so they dont shade other crops and it has worked well. Homegrown Brussels sprouts are so tasty compared to what is bought at the grocery store they are well worth growing.
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Post  Guest 4/15/2010, 4:38 pm

I planted four plants in October and at this point they are about 2' tall, but the sprouts are about marble size if that big. I have limited winter sun so thought I wasn't getting enough, but my neighbors with unliimited sun also have tiny sprouts. I was going to pull them out as I need room for spring planting, but after reading everyone's posts I now have several questions. I'm in So. Calif. coast and we don't usually get frost, and in fact this has been an unusually warm winter. If I leave them in how much longer will it take to get to eating size, or do they really need the cold for that? And, maybe a silly question, but the leaves on the plants look so good I'm wondering if they're good to eat. For example, beet greens are excellent even though most people don't. I only have three 3' x 8' beds and these are taking up half of one, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated so I can get on with my spring planting.
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Post  Retired Member 1 4/15/2010, 7:15 pm

I've only grown sprouts a couple of times, but my understanding is to harvest from the bottom up and remove any leaves that are on the bottom part of the plant as you harvest. Also, if I remember right, you harvest before the leaves turn yellow (or just as they begin turning). I believe the first harvest is at 90 days, so you are way beyond that point. It may be that the size is not going to change, especially since warmer weather is here. Mine did not get very large but they surely were delicious.
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Post  camprn 4/15/2010, 9:21 pm

Because I love 'em, I putting some in early, and some later. They are long
growing
see here~~> http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/brusselssprouts1.html#3
Brussel sprouts question Harvest-store-brussels-sprouts-200X200
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Brussel sprouts question Empty Continuing adventures of growing Brussel Sprouts!

Post  Guest 4/16/2010, 5:25 pm

What a fantastic picture Camprn, I'm jealous! Brussel sprouts question Icon_tongue Thanks for the great website - very informative! After reading it I think Brussel Sprouts should be planted in late spring and summer for a fall crop, but since the website is from Illinois I'll check on coastal Calif. planting times. Somewhere I read that sprouts taste better after a cold snap &/or frost so I'm also going to look for some of the varities mentioned which mature much faster that could be planted in late summer here and then will get our cooler fall. So many posts have mentioned how much better home grown ones taste that I'm determined to succeed.

SFG is fun, educational, frustrating, exciting, delicious, but never boring. This will be my second year and I sure have learned a lot since March 2009. I have a much greater appreciation for organic farmers and home gardners.
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Post  chocolatepop 4/16/2010, 5:46 pm

camprn wrote:Because I love 'em, I putting some in early, and some later. They are long
growing
see here~~> http://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/brusselssprouts1.html#3
Brussel sprouts question Harvest-store-brussels-sprouts-200X200

LOVE IT!!!

This is what I am doing also. I started my seedlings mid feb, transplanted several weeks ago, and they are looking good. now there still is no decifering between them and the rest of my coles, but I'm hopeful!!
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Post  Wyldflower 4/16/2010, 5:52 pm

OK.... newbie question here.....
Is there something I'll have to do to the plants to make the sprouts, sprout? Remove some leaves or something? And if so, when do I do that?

My Brussels sprouts are about 8-10" tall - transplanted from the big box store last weekend.
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