It’s hard to believe that these squatty plants will grow into a tall stock* of little green balls that children—and many adults—would rather use in a game of dodge ball then eat. There’s nothing sweet about Brussels sprouts, but they are nutritious.
The first time I served Brussels sprouts to my family, no one ate them. The second time, I smothered them in a creamy, cheese sauce. Unimpressed, my two young sons rolled Brussels sprouts around their plate like a game of hockey. It was several years later (after the boys left the coop) that I reintroduced Brussels sprouts to my husband. As I learned to prepare them different ways (pan and oven roasted are a favorite), Brussels sprouts have become a regular vegetable at our dinner table. Now, I’m growing them. Why not? Brussels sprouts are easy to freeze, and unlike frozen string beans, they maintain their fresh flavor.
- Plant mid or late summer in full sun in fertile, well-drained soil.
- Before planting work in 2-4 inches organic compost matter and all-purpose fertilizer.**
- Plant 12-18 inches apart and 24-30 inches between rows.
- Place transplants deep in the soil like you would a tomato plant.
- Water deep (from the bottom, not overhead) and infrequent.
- Don’t fertilize during sprout growth which can cause loose, soft sprouts, and splitting.
- Aphids and ants
- Cabbageworms and loopers
Pick sprouts about 1-inch in diameter from the bottom up as they mature.
- High in vitamin C, iron, calcium, and fiber
- Low in calories and carbohydrates
- Zero saturated and trans fat
*The Brussels sprout stock in above photo was purchased at Trader Joe’s. The “squatty plants” are in my garden.
**Gardner & Bloome has a “Natural and Organic Tomato, Vegetable & Herb Fertilizer.”