How to Grow Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a stable of UK winter gardens. Grow them from seeds and then plant them into their final position or plant as plugs. Seeds are sown from March, or even February in a greenhouse. Sow the seeds about six inches apart and lightly cover with compost. They are usually sown into seed cells, which are trays with individual spaces for each seed, widely available from garden centres. Cover with a fleece for extra protection from the cold.
Grow the plants to approximately 10-15cm then plant them into their final positions in June.
They are very "hungry plants" this means they need a lot of feeding. You can purchase a high nitrogen fertiliser from any garden centre. Plant somewhere sheltered from the wind as they grow very tall and are prone to being blown over or "rocking." Rocking just means they move back and forwards in the soil, and the small roots get broken, making the plant unable to feed properly. Alternatively hammer a stake into the ground and gently tie them to it, leaving a little room for them to move.
Once the sprouts are clearly visible on the stalk it is normal to remove the lower leaves on the stalk, but leave the ones at the top of the plant.
The planted sprouts should be ready from approximately November through to February, depending on when they were planted.
You will know they are ready when they form tight balls on the stalk. Do not leave them too long on the plant once they are ready, as they can "blow" This means the tightly packed leaves of the sprout opens up.
You can enjoy your own home grown sprouts over winter and even in your Christmas dinner!