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Brussels Sprout Plants

A popular Christmas dish, Brussels sprouts are loved and hated by many. However, the strong taste associated with these plants is often down to the way in which they’re grown or cooked. There’s lots you can do to tweak flavour, but get it right and you won’t want to stop eating them!

A popular Christmas dish, Brussels sprouts are loved and hated by many. However, the strong taste associated with these plants is often down to the way in which they’re grown or cooked. There’s lots you can do to tweak flavour, but get it right and you won’t want to stop eating them!

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Top Sprout Growing Facts

  • Excellent winter vegetable for cool, temperate climates
  • Plant in a sunny position sheltered from high winds
  • Stake taller varieties
  • Needs good drainage
  • Requires monitoring for birds, aphids and caterpillars

Despite their name, Brussels sprouts are actually native to the Mediterranean. European cultivation began in Belgium around the 13th century and spread throughout Northern Europe. Brussels are part of the cabbage family 

Where to grow Brussels sprouts

When planting the soil must be firm and fertile and the position needs to be sunny and open yet sheltered from high winds.

How to look after Brussels sprouts

People may sometimes have an issue with sprouts, but birds don’t and you may need to protect your crop from pigeons using plant protection. Please take care of netting to make sure that birds cannot be trapped. Caterpillars and aphids are also rather partial and so will need to be controlled.

Hoe regularly between plants so that they do not need to compete with weeds for nutrients and moisture. In dry weather, water young plants regularly. Once the plants mature this should no longer be necessary.

As autumn approaches, earth up around the stems. In exposed sites, it may be an idea to stake the taller varieties. This will prevent any damage caused by windrock.

When to plant Brussels sprouts?

Plant brussels sprouts outside from mid-May to early June.

Do Brussel sprout plants need support?

Some of the taller varieties will need supports.

When to harvest Brussels sprouts

Tradition states that sprouts should not be harvested until after the first frost. However, taste tests have not proved this and many newer varieties are designed to crop from September onwards. Begin picking when the sprouts are the size of a walnut and the leaves are tightly closed. Start at the base of the stem, working upwards. Remove only a few sprouts at a time from each stem. Also remove any yellowing leaves to encourage air circulation and reduce the risk of disease.

How to eat Brussels sprouts

Make a delicious side dish by steaming for about 6 minutes, then tossing in butter or olive oil.

Creamed sprouts with chestnuts or steamed sprouts with lemon and garlic are also a joy to eat. Honest.

When all the sprouts have been picked, cut off the cabbagy tops and steam them. Nothing taste as good as home grown Brussels sprouts!

Brussels sprouts nutritional information

Depending on how they’re cooked, sprouts are often one of the lower-calorie side dishes in a winter food spread. They’re high in many nutrients, especially fibre and vitamins K and C. 

You may also be interested in Suttons Brussels sprout seeds.

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