Brussels sprouts are a type of cabbage that originated in Belgium. They are popular in Europe and have become increasingly popular in the United States. Brussels sprouts are usually harvested between six and eight weeks after planting. It takes about two months for them to mature, much shorter than many other types of cabbage.
In ideal growing conditions, you may get as many as 50 sprouts per plant. However, some plants will produce fewer or no sprouts at all. Weather, soil quality, and water availability can impact how many sprouts you get from each seedling.
Stages Of Brussel Sprout Growth
Brussel sprouts are a member of the Brassica family, along with broccoli, cabbage, and kale. They are grown for their edible buds or sprouts. Brussel sprouts are usually grown in cool weather and harvested before maturity. The buds are usually about 1 to 2 inches (2.5 to 5 cm) in diameter at maturity and have a mild flavor similar to cabbage.
The main stages of Brussels sprout growth are:
The seedlings emerge from seedlings in 7 to 10 days after planting. The leaves should be compact and green with no signs of yellowing or wilting. Branches over 4 inches (10 cm) should be pinched back so the plant will grow bushy and not become leggy.
Transplanting occurs when the plants reach about 6 inches (15 cm) tall and can be placed in moist soil or peat pots filled with potting soil. Transplanting may also occur when temperatures are around 50°F (10°C). Transplanting into peat pots allows you to control the size of your plants by transplanting them into larger containers as they grow. You can also transplant directly into your garden after the danger of frost has passed.
The seeds will germinate in 5–10 days, provided they are always kept moist. Germination occurs when the seed sprouts a root and a shoot, which then develops into leaves called cotyledons. The roots grow first, followed by the shoots, which produce the first leaves from the cotyledons. The cotyledons are usually covered by soil but should not be buried since this inhibits their growth.
Why Are My Brussel Sprouts Not Forming?
There are several reasons why your Brussels sprouts may not be forming properly:
- Lack of Nutrients: Brussels sprouts require adequate nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to form properly. If your soil has these nutrients, your sprouts may form properly. Ensure your soil has the necessary nutrients by fertilizing it with a balanced fertilizer.
- Improper Watering: Brussels sprouts require consistent moisture to form properly. If your soil is too dry, your sprouts may not form properly. Water your plants deeply and regularly, ensuring the soil is moist but not soggy.
- Inadequate Sunlight: Brussels sprouts require a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight each day to form properly. If your plants are not receiving enough sunlight, they may not form properly. Ensure that your plants are located in a sunny spot in your garden.
- Pest Infestation: Brussels sprouts are susceptible to pest infestations such as aphids, caterpillars, and slugs. These pests can damage the plant and prevent proper sprout formation. Use organic methods such as insecticidal soap or neem oil to control pest infestations.
- Temperature: Brussels sprouts require cool temperatures to form properly. If the temperature is too high, the sprouts may not form properly. Ensure that your plants are located in a cool spot in your garden.
By addressing these potential issues, you can increase the likelihood of your Brussels sprouts forming properly.
Do Brussel Sprouts Need Full Sun?
Brussels sprouts need full sun to grow properly, so if you live in an area where they do not get enough sunlight, consider supplementing with artificial light during the winter months.
Are Brussel Sprouts Hard To Grow From Seed?
Brussels sprouts are easy to grow from seed. However, it takes about 5 weeks for them to germinate and another 10 weeks before they produce their first heads. So be patient!
What Month Do You Plant Brussels Sprouts?
You can start planting your Brussels sprout seeds as soon as the soil warms up enough for them to germinate — usually around late March or early April in most areas. Planting too early can result in poor germination rates and stunted growth once they get bigger. If you live in an area where there’s still a danger of frost at this time, wait until temperatures stay above 50°F (10°C) for at least three or four days before planting.
How long does it take for Brussels sprouts to grow?
Brussels sprouts plants take about six months to mature, but harvestable buds only appear about five months after germination. When they first appear, these tender shoots are best harvested within a week or two of harvest time so that they don’t get too large and tough.