Brussels Sprouts

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Brussels Sprouts

Post  Blossom on Fri May 23, 2008 5:27 am

My sprouts are just forming little sprouts in the junctions of the leaves and I'm wondering if there's any advantage to trimming back the leaves at this point. I think I overdid something because all my brassicas are very leafy including cauliflowers growing on stalks! I've never been successful with Brussels until this year, maybe didn't get them in soon enough until now, but I do remember from England that they would stand on leafless stalks and look quite like aliens growing in the snow! I'd rather feed the sprouts than the leaves.

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Re: Brussels Sprouts

Post  The Estate on Fri May 23, 2008 5:33 am

I grew them once and they where eaten by bugs, don't know why I grew them as I don't eat them Razz

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Re: Brussels Sprouts

Post  robbin on Fri May 23, 2008 6:01 am

While the leaves are nice and strong I'd leave them. They're doing their thing, photosynthesising and providing energy to the plants.
Later, expect them to start looking worn out and tatty, from the bottom up, as the sprouts get bigger. That's when you can detatch them from the stem, making space for the growing sprouts to swell.

If you've fed too much nitrogen to the plants, the sprouts will be loose and fluffy, but I don't think pulling leaves off now will change that.

Cheers, Penny.

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Re: Brussels Sprouts

Post  Blossom on Fri May 23, 2008 6:59 am

Thanks Thee and Penny. I hate the bloody things but they challenge me. Once I've grown a successful crop I may never go there again! Bob reckons its trace element ( molybdenum (sp) ) shortage that is making my brassicas grow long stalks. They are still producing nice heads but are 'leggy' to the extreme especially the cabbages. They are following the peas in crop rotation and have not had any added nitrogen - just some potash on planting and some mushroom compost. Might be that. Or I've invented a tree cabbage! I was told that brussels get tight heads when there are plenty frosts - we've had a couple but don;t often get hard ones. OK - I'll leave the leaves and see how they go. Thanks again.

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Re: Brussels Sprouts

Post  Fran on Fri May 23, 2008 8:53 am

Does frost remove the bitterness. I have always hated them too until I tasted some a visitor brought up from her garden down near Mudgee - they get bitterly cold winters there. I could eat hers, even in a casserole but preferred them stir fried with some garlic. They were small too.

Can't help with the legginess as have never grown them - hard enough to growing adult size cabbages here LOL. Have you tried a bit of kelp or maybe some granite dust would do the trick.

Also read somewhere you can pinch the growing tip off but the sprouts have to be a certain size . And believe they actually stake them over in Europe. In Denmark they grow brassicas deliberately where there's strong wind and orient plantings to the prevailing air flow. To prevent disease. But made me think when I read it whether it was windy enough for cabbages here LOL

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Re: Brussels Sprouts

Post  Raymondo on Fri May 23, 2008 3:17 pm

Frosts might remove bitterness Fran. It certainly sweetens collards and kales, the only two brassicas I can successfully grow. Blossom, a molybdenum deficiency in brassicas results in stunted growth and thin, yellowish leaves. Sounds like yours are just proud to be brassicas!

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Re: Brussels Sprouts

Post  Blossom on Thu May 29, 2008 8:08 am

Well - we've got some babies!


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Re: Brussels Sprouts

Post  The Estate on Thu May 29, 2008 10:30 am

Cool and no bugs either, very healthy plants there I love you

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