How to Grow Brussel Sprouts

Botanical Name: Brassica Oleracea Gemmifera

Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) originate from Brussels, Belgium. They are miniature cabbage-like vegetables growing on stalks. Rich in vitamins and fiber, they have a unique taste and texture when cooked.

Do you want to know how to grow brussels sprouts? If so, let’s dive in.

  • How to Grow Brussel Sprouts
  • How to Grow Brussel Sprouts
Planting Guide Image

Brussel Sprouts Planting Guide

Method

Sow direct or raise seedling

Sowing Depth

5 – 10 mm

Season

Cool

Germination

7 – 30°C

Hardiness / Life Cycle

Annual

Row Spacing

100 cm

Plant Spacing

45 – 60 cm

Position

Full Sun

Days Until Maturity

85 – 95 Days

Storage

Blanch QUICKLY before freezing.

When to Plant Brussel Sprouts in Australia

What growing
region am I in?
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Cool Plantable in Jan Plantable in Feb Plantable in Oct Plantable in Nov Plantable in Dec
Mild Plantable in Jan Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in Dec
Sub-Tropical Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr Plantable in May Plantable in Jun
Tropical Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar Plantable in Apr
Arid Plantable in Jan Plantable in Feb Plantable in Mar
Cool Mild Sub-Tropical Tropical Arid
Jan Plantable in Jan Plantable in Jan Plantable in Jan
Feb Plantable in Feb Plantable in Feb Plantable in Feb Plantable in Feb Plantable in Feb
Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar Plantable in Mar
Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr Plantable in Apr
May Plantable in May
Jun Plantable in Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct Plantable in Oct
Nov Plantable in Nov
Dec Plantable in Dec Plantable in Dec
What growing
region am I in?

Growing Brussels Sprouts

Hey there, fellow garden enthusiasts! Are you looking to add a new member to your vegetable patch? Look no further than the humble Brussel sprout. These tiny cabbage-like vegetables are packed with nutrients and are a very interesting looking plant to add to your cool season veggie garden.

So, let’s get started on how to grow Brussel sprouts and impress your friends and family with some delicious home-grown green goodness.

When to Plant Brussels Sprouts in Australia

In Australia, the timing for planting Brussels sprouts can vary based on the region and climate. Here are some general guidelines to help you determine the best time to plant Brussels sprouts:

 

  • Cool and Temperate Regions: In cool and temperate regions, such as Tasmania, Victoria, and parts of New South Wales and South Australia, it’s best to plant Brussels sprouts in early spring or late summer. These periods provide cooler temperatures for the plants to establish and grow before the extremes of summer or winter.

 

  • Subtropical and Mediterranean Regions: In subtropical and Mediterranean regions, like much of Queensland and coastal New South Wales, Brussels sprouts can be planted in late summer for a winter harvest. Cooler temperatures during the winter months are favourable for the growth and development of Brussels sprouts.

 

  • Tropical Regions: In tropical regions, such as northern Queensland and the Northern Territory, Brussels sprouts can be challenging to grow due to the heat and humidity. However, with careful selection of heat-tolerant varieties, they can be planted during the cooler months of the year, typically from May to August.

 

It’s essential to consult regional planting calendars, local gardening resources, and experienced gardeners in your area to determine the specific planting times based on your location within Australia.

How Long Do Brussels Sprouts Take to Grow

The time it takes for Brussels sprouts to grow can vary depending on several factors, including the variety and growing conditions. On average, Brussels sprouts take about 90-110 days from transplanting to harvest.

The early stages, from seed germination to transplanting, usually take around 6-8 weeks. After transplanting, the plants enter the vegetative growth stage, which lasts for several weeks.

Sprout formation and development occur over a period of 4-6 weeks. Brussels sprouts are typically ready for harvest when the sprouts reach a suitable size, which is usually around 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in diameter.

It’s important to note that the timing may vary depending on the specific variety, climate, and growing conditions. Factors such as temperature, sunlight, soil fertility, and proper care can affect the growth rate of Brussels sprouts. Regularly monitor the plants and harvest the sprouts when they have reached the desired size and maturity.

By understanding the approximate timeline and providing optimal growing conditions, you can successfully cultivate Brussels sprouts and enjoy a flavorful and nutritious harvest.

Brussel Sprouts Growing Stages

Understanding the different stages of Brussels sprouts growth can help you monitor and care for your plants effectively. Here are the typical stages of Brussels sprouts growth:

 

  1. Seed Germination: This stage occurs after planting the seeds. Keep the soil consistently moist and at a temperature of around 18-24°C (65-75°F) for successful germination. It usually takes 7-10 days for the seeds to germinate and sprout.
  2. Seedling Stage: Once the seeds have sprouted, they develop into seedlings with true leaves. At this stage, ensure the seedlings receive adequate sunlight or provide supplemental lighting if growing indoors. Maintain proper watering and protect the seedlings from pests and diseases.
  3. Vegetative Growth: The vegetative growth stage involves the development of the plant’s leaves and stems. Brussels sprouts require full sun and a nutrient-rich soil to support healthy growth. Water the plants consistently, providing about 1 inch (2.5 cm) of water per week. Apply organic mulch to retain moisture and suppress weeds.
  4. Sprout Formation: As the plants continue to grow, small sprouts or buds will form in the leaf axils along the stalk. These buds will gradually enlarge and develop into Brussels sprouts. The timing of sprout formation can vary depending on the variety and growing conditions.
  5. Harvesting: Brussels sprouts are typically ready for harvest when the sprouts reach a desirable size, around 1-2 inches (2.5-5 cm) in diameter. Start harvesting from the bottom of the stalk, removing the lower sprouts first. Continue harvesting as needed, but leave the upper sprouts on the plant to mature further.

Brussels Sprouts Growing Problems

While Brussels sprouts are generally robust and pest-resistant, they can still face some growing problems. Here are a few common issues and their solutions:

 

  • Pests: Aphids, cabbage worms, and cabbage loopers are common pests that can attack Brussels sprouts. Monitor the plants regularly and take appropriate measures such as handpicking, using insecticidal soap, or introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs.

 

  • Diseases: Brussels sprouts can be susceptible to diseases such as clubroot, black rot, and downy mildew. Practice crop rotation, ensure proper spacing between plants, and provide adequate air circulation to minimise the risk of disease. Use disease-resistant varieties whenever possible.

 

  • Bolting: Bolting occurs when the plant prematurely produces flowers and seeds instead of forming sprouts. It is often triggered by high temperatures. To prevent bolting, select heat-tolerant varieties, plant in cooler seasons, and provide shade during hot periods.

 

  • Nutrient Deficiencies: Brussels sprouts require a well-balanced supply of nutrients. Yellowing leaves may indicate a nutrient deficiency. Amend the soil with organic matter and apply a balanced fertiliser to provide essential nutrients.

 

  • Poor Head Development: Inadequate spacing or lack of sunlight can result in poor head development. Ensure plants are properly spaced to allow for air circulation and adequate sunlight penetration.

 

By being proactive in identifying and addressing these growing problems, you can maximise the success of your Brussels sprouts crop and enjoy a healthy harvest.

How to Grow Brussels Sprouts in Pots

Growing Brussels sprouts in pots is possible, making it an excellent option for those with limited space or who prefer container gardening.

Here are the steps to grow Brussels sprouts in pots:

 

  1. Container Selection: Choose a large pot or container with a capacity of at least 19 litres  (5 Gallons) to accommodate the deep-rooted Brussels sprouts plants. Ensure the container has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

 

  1. Soil and Fertiliser: Use a high-quality potting mix rich in organic matter. Amend the soil with compost or well-rotted manure to enhance its fertility. Additionally, apply a slow-release fertiliser or organic fertilisers specific to brassicas.

 

  1. Planting: Start with healthy seedlings or transplants. Place one plant per pot, ensuring the crown of the plant is level with the soil surface. Gently firm the soil around the plant.

 

  1. Watering and Maintenance: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water the plants when the top inch (2.5 cm) of soil feels dry. Mulch the soil to retain moisture and suppress weeds. Provide support, such as stakes or a trellis, if growing taller varieties.

 

  1. Sunlight and Temperature: Place the pots in a location that receives full sun for at least 6-8 hours a day. Brussels sprouts thrive in cooler temperatures, ideally between 15-21°C (60-70°F).

 

  1. Care and Harvesting: Regularly monitor the plants for pests and diseases. Fertilise every few weeks with a balanced liquid fertiliser. Harvest the sprouts when they reach a suitable size, starting from the bottom and working your way up the stalk.

 

Growing Brussels sprouts in pots allows you to enjoy these nutritious vegetables even in limited space, providing a convenient and rewarding gardening experience.

Conclusion

Growing Brussels sprouts can be a rewarding endeavour, allowing you to enjoy fresh and delicious sprouts right from your own garden. By following the guidelines and tips outlined in this comprehensive guide, you can successfully grow Brussels sprouts in your home garden, whether in the ground or in containers. Remember to select the right variety, provide suitable growing conditions, address common problems, and be patient as you nurture your plants through their different growth stages. With proper care and attention, you’ll soon be enjoying a bountiful harvest of these tasty and nutritious miniature cabbages. Happy gardening!