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Growing Brussels sprouts

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
    S   P              

(Best months for growing Brussels sprouts in USA - Zone 5a regions)

S = Plant undercover in seed trays P = Sow seed

  • Grow in seed trays, and plant out in 4-6 weeks. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 45°F and 86°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 18 - 24 inches apart
  • Harvest in 14-28 weeks. Pick sprouts when small. .
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): Dwarf (bush) beans, beets, celery, cucumber, onions, marigold, nasturtium, rhubarb, aromatic herbs (sage, dill, chamomile)
  • Avoid growing close to: Climbing (pole) beans, tomato, peppers (chili, capsicum), eggplant (aubergine), strawberry, mustard
  • Mature brussels sprouts
    Mature brussels sprouts

Grown for its small (typically 2.5 cm diameter) leafy green buds, which resemble miniature cabbages.


Brussel Sprouts will not grow good "sprouts" in warm areas - they open and are floppy.

In warm areas they are likely to be infested with aphids Pick formed sprouts from the bottom of the stems leaving the plant growing. For winter use in very cold areas, dig up plants that have heads developed and set close together in a cold frame or cellar. Pack soil firmly round the roots. Keep cool but not freezing and they will continue to mature. (Planning an Idaho Vegetable Garden : Educational Communication online Publishing Catalog Gardening edComm/catalog.asp.)

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Brussels sprouts

Remove any discoloured outer leaves.
Cut in half and steam with other vegetables.
Do not overcook as that produces the distinctive smell that puts people off eating Brussels sprouts!
They go well with a chopped tomato and onion mix.
Traditionally served with roasted chestnuts for Xmas dinner in UK.

Your comments and tips

18 Mar 18, G Ellard (Australia - temperate climate)
Is it too early to plant out Brussel seedlings ? Have never had a good crop to date.Fruit is floppy and open. They don`t set. Have prepared soil as per specks. Will try a couple in my Wicking bed.
18 Mar 18, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
It says April May here. Probably OK to do now. Probably not much success because they are a cooler weather crop.
14 Jan 18, Craig (Australia - temperate climate)
If you're in Melbourne then you planted waaaay too early. December/Jan sowing of seed works best in Melbourne. BS are a cold season crop, but they need to be well-established, healthy and vigorous plants when the cooler months of autumn set in around April/May. If you can get hold of seedling now, prep ground and plant them out at the end of the month or direct sow seeds in the ground right now.
16 Nov 17, Agnes James (Australia - temperate climate)
I am in Melbourne, planted Brussel Sprouts late September, they went into flower and seed now, only few tiny bulbs looking BS on the base, further up all opened up and going to flower. What should I do? Thank you
20 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Did you check any planting guide for BS? You planted them about 3-4 mths too late. Dig them in.
08 Oct 17, Kathy (Australia - temperate climate)
Never grown Brussel sprouts before. They have grown high, but also have yellow flowers, no sprouts as yet. Will they grow now, or remove the plants?
09 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Maybe let grow for another month and sees what happens. Possibly you should have planted quite a bit earlier. I have the same problem with savoy cabbage the last 2 yrs. Producing lots of leaves and no heart. Temps are now high teens at night and around 30 in the day - probably too hot for cabbage broccoli here.
08 Oct 17, Darren (Australia - temperate climate)
Depending if you live in a cool or warm temperate climate, and what month you planted them in. It could be too late if it is to warm where you live, otherwise give it a bit longer to see if they produce.
16 Aug 17, Lisa McCartney (USA - Zone 10a climate)
Trying to understand when to plant my brussels sprout seeds in Zona 10a. It says about P = sow seeds in Oct. Is that meaning to sow seeds directly in my garden? Because after that is says to start seeds in trays and plant out 4 - 6 weeks. Should I start them in seed trays and if so do I plant now so they can be transplanted in my garden in Oct or do I wait until Oct and just plant the seeds directly in my garden? Sorry the info is confusing.
17 Aug 17, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Use seed trays to start your brussels sprouts, plant out as it suggests on the web page. Brussels Sprouts prefer cold/cool climate, so you need to grow them in your cooler months. October is a suggestion, November might work better if your weather is still warm in October.
Showing 1 - 10 of 106 comments

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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.
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