Gardening Magazine

Planting out Brussels Sprouts

By Mwillis
It's that time of year when I'm furiously sowing and planting everything in sight! This time it was the turn of the Brussels Sprouts.
Planting out Brussels Sprouts
The Sprouts I grew last year (3 x "Brilliant") were definitely successful, so this year I am growing twice as many. I have gone for two each of three types - "Napoleon", "Bosworth" and "Brilliant".
I have devoted one whole raised to the task. To be honest, they will probably be too crowded to reach their full potential, but I think 6 smaller plants is probably better than, say, 3 bigger ones.
Planting out Brussels Sprouts
I know you will say "but there are more than 6 plants in that bed". That's because I have squeezed in two "Tenderstem" Broccoli plants as well. They are very quick-growing and mature in the early Summer, so they will be finished before the Brussels Sprouts get very big, and at that point I'll lift them out.
When planting out the Brussels Sprout seedlings I made sure to plant them pretty deep, with their bottom leaves level with the soil. This will help them to root deeply, and will keep them more stable. I also made sure to label them so that I know which type is which. Brassicas in general like firm soil, so I pressed the soil down as hard as I dared around each seedling.
Planting out Brussels Sprouts
After planting, I applied some "Grow Your Own" multi-purpose nematodes - administered as a"drench" using a watering-can with a large rose. These nematodes are tiny worm-like things that will attack the larvae of Cabbage Root Fly (and others), and therefore help my plants to grow without interference. After this, I spinkled around a few slug pellets, and covered each plant with a plastic cloche. With all those defences to help them, they ought really to do pretty well, I think! In case of casualties though, I have in reserve one more seedling of each type of Brussels Sprout, which I will continue to grow in pots until I'm happy that the main ones are established.
I think the reason why some people say "Oh, I'm no good at gardening" is that they expect instant results. Successful gardeners, on the other hand, take the long-term view and plan well ahead. These Brussels Sprouts of mine will probably not produce their harvest for about 7 months. You need patience for that...!

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