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I bought 6 brussel sprout plants from my local nusery to grow in this years garden. Has anyone ever grown them before? What experiences can you relate about plants and harvest size? I have cages, but have not yet installed them on the plants. They are in full sun until about 3 pm each day. They are planted 24" apart with 30 inch spacing between rows of tomato plants. Thanks. Pete
 

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Sprouts

I've grown then here for about 20 years. I've never caged or staked them, but have lost some little ones to critters. Sprouts are heavy feeders, so we give them a little extra. They're just little cabbages, so everything that eats cabbages eats them. We try to harvest as small as possible, and get the sprouts in the pot while they're still screaming. Once they start producing, they make a lot of little sprouts. They're so much better than the frozen ones, or the old ones in the Produce section of the store, they're like a different veggie. When the season's over, we've learned to chop up the stalks. The first year, I just threw them in the compost heap, and I think they took about 2 years to rot up.
 

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Brussel Sprouts are a good garden crop. They have a sturdy stalk which usually grows straight up. No cage is really necessary unless you want to keep the critters away. They produce all growing season and are as frost resistant as Cabbage and Brocolli. They usually produce until the Killer Frost hits. The bottom sprouts mature the quickest with the tops continuing to grow and producing the smallest sprouts, which fatten up over time. When they get to the size you prefer, you pick them from the bottom up. When I grew them I thought it took too long to get the first picking, but after that they seemed to produce at an even rate. The following year I planted them in very early spring for a fast start. They store well in plastic freezer containers or plastic bags after being Blanched. I like them with a Cheddar Sauce, some people like them with Butter Sauce.

With 6 plants you should be ok unless you really like Brussel Sprouts. If you crave them, then 12 plants wouldn't be enough.
 

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Br spouts are good food. I've picked as late as Christmas here in LI. Cooking suggestion: quarter or half them and saute or wok fry with teriyaki beef and scallion.etc. They will keep a good while if you bring in the whole plant and hang in a cool spot.


..........................................TM7
 
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