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VEGETABLE GARDEN: SELECTED VEGETABLE CROPS [continued]

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  MG Manual Reference
Ch. 10, pp. 84 - 85

[Selected Crops: intro | asparagus | beans | broccoli | brussels sprouts | cabbage | cauliflower | sweet corn | cucumbers | eggplant | lettuce | melons | onions | peppers | potatoes | squash | tomatoes | herbs | herb use ]

Brussels Sprouts
BRUSSELS SPROUTSTop

ENVIRONMENTAL PREFERENCES
Light: Sunny.
Soil: Well-drained loam, high organic matter.
Fertility: Rich.
pH: 5.5 to 6.5
Temp: Cool (60 to 65° F).
Moisture: Keep moist, not waterlogged.
CULTURE Top
Planting: Sow seeds early to mid-summer.
Spacing: 12 to 18 inches by 24 to 30 inches.
Hardiness: Hardy biennial.
Fertilizer Needs: Heavy feeder, sidedress 1 tablespoon ammonium nitrate per 20-foot row 2 to 4 weeks after planting or when plants are 12 inches high.
CULTURAL PRACTICES Top

Brussels sprouts are grown for harvest in the fall because cool weather during maturity is essential for good flavor and quality. Brussels sprouts are tall (sometimes 2 to 3 feet) erect biennials that are grown as annuals. The sprouts develop in the leaf axils and mature along the stalk. The lowest sprouts mature first and should be harvested when firm, l 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. Lowest leaves may be removed to permit sprouts to mature.
New varieties are being developed for improved production. One new variety has a large cabbage-like head on the top which may be harvested anytime. Another has large leaves on the upper part of the plant which fold down over the sprouts to form a protective cover, making this variety even more cold-hardy than the usual varieties.
COMMON PROBLEMSTop
Diseases: Black rot.
Insects: Cutworms, cabbage worm, cabbage looper warms, flea beetle, aphids, whitefly.
Cultural: Sprouts have loose tufts of leaves instead of firm heads because sprouts developed during hot weather; crop failures can also be due to water stress.
HARVESTING AND STORAGE Top
Days to Maturity: 80 to 100 days from seed.
Harvest: When sprouts are hard, compact and deep green about 1 to l 1/2 inches in diameter, after frosty weather for best flavor. Twist or snap off the stalk. The lowest sprouts mature first.
Approximate yields: 4 to 6 pounds per 10-foot row.
Amount to Raise: 5 plants per person.
Storage: Cold (32° F), moist (95% relative humidity) conditions for 3 to 5 weeks.
Preservation: Freeze.

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