GROWING PERFECT BRUSSELS SPROUTS

The key to producing quality crops of this popular winter vegetable is to select hybrid varieties, from which the sprouts are picked while small and firm.

Sowing

Sow under cover early in spring for harvest in September.

Follow this with the main sowing outdoors in shallow drills

2.5 cm (1 inch) deep and 15 cm (6 inch) apart in March/May.

Transplanting

Water the seedlings before lifting and transplanting to the cropping site, spacing at 60 cm x 60 cm (24 inch x 24 inch).

Growing Instructions

Hoe occasionally to destroy weeds until crop leaves cover the soil and naturally smother weed growth. During dry weather water well and apply a liquid fertiliser. This treatment is essential for some of the high-yielding new F1 hybrids.

Harvest

Snap off the largest and lowest sprouts as soon as they are big enough to use. Varieties that are specially bred for freezing tend to crop all at once; late varieties crop over a longer period – November to March.

Pests

Pest Damage Control

Whitefly Feed on plant sap. Honeydew excreted encourages sooty moulds. Spray with resmethrin

Caterpillars of Cabbage White butterfly Rapidly eat leaves. Spray with derris or pick off by hand.

Cabbage root fly Roots eaten. Plants wilt or are killed.

!

Seed dressings. Use of Brassica collars. Dust the base of the plant at transplanting with an insecticide derris.

Diseases

There are two main diseases, which affect all brassicas:

Club root

worst on heavy, poorly-drained and acidic soils. Control with lime, drainage, rotation.

Ring spot

more problematic in the SW of England and in warm moist seasons. Some varieties of some brassicas are more resistant that others.

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