Brussels, no sprouts

zippelkOctober 22, 2011

We didn't seem to have enough time this year, or something in my techniques was lacking. Regardless, time is about up and we have no sprouts to speak of. Just wondering, what would happen if we left them overwinter? Would they keep going in spring, or go right to flower? thanks

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At zone 5, they most likely will be dead next Spring. You probably should have planted brussel sprouts in the Spring, working hard to help them grow well in the summer, then they should produce sprouts late summer to early fall, ready for your harvest now.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 9:49PM
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Mine only have smaller sprouts to date and there have been years that they don't produce much. They can tolerate a modest frost and you can harvest in the winter as they are good down to 9F. But plants will be dead after a good freeze. They may fool you with a good crop yet so leave them grow as long as possible.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2011 at 10:53PM
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twc015(7b/8a SE Arkansas)

When my plants are too small to give sprouts before winter, I get a few sprouts in February before they flower in March and April.

I've never had a problem overwintering Brussels Sprouts. We get a hard freeze several times a year and the temperature usually drops into the teens at least four times (last year it got down to 8F) a year. Most plants do not show any signs of damage after those cold nights and I do not protect them. They probably do well since they become acclimated to colder temperatures and the ground only freezes in the top few inches and it thaws during the day.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2011 at 12:45AM
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I find that brussels sprouts grow poorly in heat. My plants put out in May grow very slowly until mid-august when I start getting cold nights.

The trick to a good yield is to fertilize heavily with nitrogen and to trim off lower leaves every two weeks. This forces the plant to grow tall and thus potentially provide more sprouts. Around Sept 15th, I pinch off the
growing tip (terminal bud). This stops the growth in height and really forces the sprouts (axillary buds) to grow real fast and large. I leave until Mid november when a few good frosts make the sprouts really sweet tasting before harvesting.

If you do not trim the branches up, the plant will grow only knee high and you won't get much of a yield. Trim them and you will harvest stalks of sprouts 4' tall!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 10:20AM
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I havent had luck getting a great harvest from brussels sprouts either. Where I live they make it through the winter just fine (we get temps below zero). I have some plants from spring of 2010 in a raised bed now. They are about 2 feet fall. I had hopes of collecting seed from them this summer but, although they flowered, the pods were empty. At this point they are basically an experiment.

spartan apple- In 2010 I didnt know to trim up the lower branches and snip the tip out. I did that this year though (with last years plants as well as the new 2011 crop)...still not much of a harvest but better than 2010 when I did neither. Perhaps I need to boost the nitrogen more.

I love brussel sprouts so I'm not going to give up growing them yet :)

    Bookmark   November 29, 2011 at 1:29PM
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