Helping You Become a More Successful Gardener
Mark A. Miller
BRASSICA oleracea( Gemmifera Group)
The Brussels sprout is a cool season vegetable first cultivated in late medieval or renaissance Europe in what is now Belgium, then called Flanders. It was brought to the United States in the mid-nineteenth century and began to be heavily cultivated there in the mid-twentieth century. Typically grown as an annual, it traces its ancestry to Brassica oleracea, a fleshy-leaved, short-lived perennial from coastal areas of western and southern Europe.
Brussels sprout plants have strong upright central stems lined with long, stalked, fleshy cabbage-like leaves. Tight rosettes of leaves resembling miniature cabbages develop in the leaf axils, maturing from the base of the plant upwards. Similar to cabbage in flavor, these "buds" do not fully develop until late in the season, and become most delectable after light frost. Hot weather causes flaccid, loose, bitter-tasting buds. Although cool weather enhances flavor, plants may flower (or "bolt") following extended chilly spells.
This cool weather crop prefers full sun and fertile, organic-rich garden soil with ample drainage. In areas with short growing seasons it is sown in early spring, but in regions with long hot summers it is best planted in summer for winter harvest. It makes a good winter crop for mild climates. Days to harvest vary from cultivar to cultivar but most mature in 80 to 110 days. As with all members of Brassica oleracea, it is susceptible to a number of pests, including cabbage loopers and several other types of caterpillars.
6 - 1
7 - 11
A1, A2, A3, H1, H2, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24
Full Sun, Partial Sun
2'-3' / 0.6m - 0.9m
1'-2' / 0.3m - 0.6m
Late Spring, Early Summer, Summer
Southern Europe, Western Europe, Mediterranean
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Green, Gray Green, Dark Green
Container, Edible, Herb / Vegetable
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