when will Brussels sprouts fully form?

veetaNovember 2, 2012

Greetings Brussels sprouts growers. I can never get seeds started in summer, but this year I found some Brussels sprouts seedlings at a garden center around labor day. I planted them then in a compost-rich raised bed, kept them under row cover to keep the cabbage moths off, and fertilized with garden tone and fish emulsion. They look fantastic, and I can now see tiny pinkish marks where the sprouts are beginning to form in the leaf axils of the elongating stems. I am, however, worried that time is running out. My question is, how long do the sprouts usually take to form once they get started? I know they are very frost hardy, but now that temps are starting to approach the 30s, should I put the row cover back on anyway to help urge the sprout formation along?

My first frost is typically mid-late November. Thanks for any input--I hate to be so close yet so far to having my own sprouts!

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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Varies from variety to variety but the average range is 90-115 days. End of Nov. would be approx. 90 days so you will need to provide some protection for them well into December.

The typical row cover - they come in various weights - is only good for about 10 degrees so you'll likely need to double it or tent them in some fashion. They are frost-tolerant but not hard freeze tolerant.

Dave

    Bookmark   November 2, 2012 at 3:43PM
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planatus(6)

Interesting setup. I do think you were a bit late and that your best bet is to carry on, covering the plants with row cover to get them through winter. Because the light supply is running short, growth will slow down a lot, and then the plants will start making progress again in Feb.

Last winter a friend left some plants in his leaky unheated greenhouse and left town. They grew 4 feet tall and bore heavily in early spring.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 9:30AM
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veeta

Thanks Dave, I'll put a plastic greenhosue over them and hope I get a good result like planatus' friend.
I guess I should have put them into the ground close to Aug 1 than Sept 1?

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:09PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I plant mine mid-July.

Dave

    Bookmark   November 5, 2012 at 3:39PM
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planatus(6)

For my garden, the best planting date for BS seeds is the first week of June. My first frost date is 10/15, with hard freezes starting 11/1.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 7:47AM
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LynnMarie_(5 SW Kansas)

I am also waiting on Brussels Sprouts to form. What is considered a hard freeze? What is too hard for BS?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2012 at 9:17AM
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planatus(6)

A hard freeze is 26 degrees F for more than 6 hours. Brussels sprouts will hold in colder temps, but won't grow much. Can you erect a row cover tunnel over your plants? It will help get them through winter.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 8:17AM
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LynnMarie_(5 SW Kansas)

I have some reemay. I think I could shove some sticks in the ground and stretch the cover over them. We are going to have lows of around 25 this weekend. But only for a couple of days. I would hate to loose my veggies for a couple days of cold.

    Bookmark   November 7, 2012 at 9:26AM
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