The Q&A Archives: Brussels Sprouts

Question: Last year my Brussels sprouts formed a light gray ash looking growth or covering. Not knowing what it was we didn't eat them. Some may have fallen on the soil. Any idea what it might be and if the soil is contaminated. Also how do I get them to grow bigger then a the size of a quarter.

Answer: Both cabbage and Brussels sprouts have a natural dull-looking bloom on the outer leaves. If you draw your finger across it, you'll be able to remove it. Plums have this same protective coating on the skins. The coating helps the plants shed water. Ifthe coating looks hairy or grainy, or causes yellowing of the leaves, then it's from another source. Brussels sprouts take a long season to mature. Start the seeds in April and transplant into the garden in June. They should be ready to harvest in late fall. Brussels sprouts have a slightly sweeter flavor if they've experienced a frost before being harvested.

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