The Q&A Archives: Brussels Sprouts

Question: My Brussels Sprouts plants grow beautifully - fertilized monthly, regular watering, BUT have yet to produce regular "sprouts". They are all leaves and no real center to the sprout. In talking to other veggie growers around here they have the same problem. Can they be grown as nice tight sprout heads here in Southern California? And if so, how?

Answer: Brussels sprouts are a cool-season crop and won't grow well in areas where summers are long and warm. It sounds as though you seeded in the autumn and want to harvest in the spring, which is a good approach in your Southern California garden. The plants may not yet be ready to harvest. Wait until the large leaves begin to yellow, then begin harvesting from the bottom of the stalk as the sprouts fill out. The most heat-tolerant varieties are 'Jade Cross Hybrid' and 'Long Island Improved'. Try either or both of these to see if they're better performers in your garden than what you're growing now

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