Growing Brussels sprouts

Brassica sp. : Brassicaceae / the mustard or cabbage family

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

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

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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

Your comments and tips

24 May 09, Alison (Australia - temperate climate)
My sprouts are pea-sized too. Have used Thrive every fortnight for 3 months and some plants don't even have "peas" yet. Easy to grow? Don't know about that - maybe its me. Any suggestions? Thanks
31 May 09, Shane Paterson (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
My brussel sprouts have grown the leaves etc and to a reasonable height but no sign of "fruit" yet. Instead the heart of the flowering leaves is covered in soft substance, bit like insect poop. I also have bugs on them, I spray them with insect spray but they keep coming back (I think they're aphids). We've had a lot of rain so not sure if this is the problem? Can you help me.. thanks
15 Jun 09, dick ward (Australia - temperate climate)
when should i pick off the leaves on my sprouts
26 Jun 09, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
my favorite sprouts recipe is lightly steamed sprouts finished in the oven at about 180 for 20 minutes with cream, cooked bacon pieces and ground pepper. One of our plants has small firm sprouts but the others are just loose leaves- no heart- can't make sense of it
09 Aug 09, Chris (Australia - temperate climate)
Alison, they do need a good winter chill, even frosts to form good sized sprouts. Force feeding won't help.
28 Apr 10, mo power (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
In England we used to buy brussel tops,and spring greens whitch were yummy, never seen them here, any comments or suggestions are they the product of brussels as the name suggests? I'm trying to grow brussels but not game to eat tops in case toxic.would love to hear from someone who knows,or had them in uk
28 Apr 10, Liz (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Mo, Brussel tops are the leaves from the top of the B Sprout plants. In some places, the whole stem is cut and sold with sprouts and top. A google search shows recipes for using the tops. Spring greens are cabbages which are started just before winter and still small but usable in spring. You might have difficulty growing Brussel sprouts in a sub-tropical area as they prefer cold weather.
25 Oct 11, Ruth-Barrington Tops (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
re your spring greens, my girlfriend is english, together we searched for her favourite greens!!! and found Collards ( and are have been continuosly harvesting the delicous tasty cabbage like greens, nothing to do with brussel sprouts, although in the same family cheers,Ruth
12 Jun 12, pom (Australia - temperate climate)
spring greens are the leafs off the brussels sprout plant cooked with a little vinegare yummy
24 Jun 10, (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
my brussels sprouts have grown beautifully and I couldn't stop from harvesting a few large green leaves and shreading them - lightly steaming and enjoying them as another 'vegie". No sign of sprouts on the stem yet and plants are about 30cm high and vigorously healthy--the centre seems to be loosely forming into a "little cabbageish head", should I pick this to promote sprouts forming on stem or would this be not a good idea----HELP---I havn't grown these before.
Showing 11 - 20 of 197 comments

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.

- Liz

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