Growing Tips: Brussel Sprouts

Quick Reference:

Plant seed 1/8 inch deep spaced 1 to 2 inches apart. Germination: 7 to 14 days. Space between plants in the garden, 12 to 18 inches. Shallow planting provides warmer soil but soil must be kept moist at all times until plants emerge.

When and where to plant:

Brussels Sprouts grow well in Alaska's cool climate but require a long season to mature and must be started indoors 5 to 7 weeks before the last frost to produce good sized sprouts. Fill a container that has drainage holes with sterilized soil, sprinkle seed on the surface, cover lightly with soil, water well for a good seed-soil contact and keep moist until seedlings emerge. Indoors, grow seedlings in a sunny, cool, 55 degrees or less at night, location. When seedlings are 1 to 1 ½ inches tall, transplant to individual plastic pots and grow until the garden is ready. In a sunny location, in any good soil, cultivate, enrich with plant food and transplant after the soil has warmed. Brussels Sprouts can withstand a light frost.

Care:

Plants MUST be protected from root maggots. Water regularly and apply plant food once a month to promote rapid growth. As the small heads begin to form, start at the bottom removing the leaves from between the sprouts. The first part of August, pinch out the top of the plant, to force the plant to mature the sprouts already growing.

Harvest:

Frost improves the flavor and may be harvested from the garden until near freeze up.