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Brussels sprouts are a delicious and nutritious member of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes broccoli, cauliflower, and kale. These small, green veggies are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, making them a great addition to any healthy diet.
Botanical name: Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera
Plant morphology: Brussels sprouts grow on a stalk and are made up of small, compact, cabbage-like heads. Each head is typically 1-2 inches in diameter and contains several layers of tightly-packed leaves.
Soil and climatic requirements: Brussels sprouts grow best in cool weather and require moist, well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. They prefer a slightly acidic soil pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
Crop duration: Brussels sprouts take approximately 80-100 days from planting to harvest.
Cropping season: Brussels sprouts are a cool-season crop and can be grown in both the spring and fall.
Planting type: Brussels sprouts can be started indoors from seed or sown directly into the garden.
Spacing: Brussels sprouts should be spaced 18-24 inches apart, with 30-36 inches between rows.
Depth of sowing: Seeds should be planted ¼ to ½ inch deep.
Germination period: Seeds typically germinate within 7-10 days.
Hours of sunlight required: Brussels sprouts require full sun to thrive.
Watering: These plants require consistent moisture and should be watered deeply once or twice a week, depending on weather conditions.
Companion crops: Brussels sprouts grow well with other members of the brassica family, as well as with beets, carrots, and spinach.
Harvesting: Brussels sprouts are ready to harvest when the heads are firm and have reached their full size, typically around 1-2 inches in diameter. The heads can be harvested by cutting them off the stalk with a sharp knife.
Problems of Brussels sprout cultivation:
Pests: Aphids, cabbage loopers, and flea beetles can be common pests of Brussels sprouts.
Diseases: Clubroot, black rot, and downy mildew are common diseases that can affect Brussels sprouts.