Brussel Sprouts: How To Grow Them

Brussel sprouts are a popular vegetable enjoyed by people around the world. Brussel sprouts are small in size, these mini cabbages contain a wealth of nutritional benefits. Learning how to grow brussel sprout plants is a rewarding experience that can be done with minimal effort.

Let’s explore the techniques and strategies necessary for successful brussel sprout plant growth!

close up of a brussel sprouts growing in the field.

How many Brussels sprouts do you get off one plant?

The amount of Brussels sprouts you get per plant depends on the variety, growing conditions, and harvest time. Generally, a single plant will produce around 2–4 dozen sprouts. Some varieties will produce up to 6 dozen depending on their size and growth rate.

It is important to note that some plants may not reach full maturity before the frost arrives; in these cases, they may only yield half of what they could have produced if given enough time to fully mature.

What month do you plant Brussels sprouts?

The ideal time to plant Brussels sprouts is in late May or early June, depending on where you live and your region’s climate. Even if you live in an area with shorter growing seasons, it’s best to plant around this time, as sprouts require a full 90-120 days of cold weather before they can be harvested. 

By planting them at this time, you ensure that they have enough time to develop fully before temperatures start to drop again. Depending on when the first frost occurs, most gardeners should expect their crop by late October or early November at the latest.

Are Brussels sprouts easy to grow?

Brussels sprouts are actually quite simple to grow – even for novice gardeners! These plants require full sun exposure and lots of moisture to thrive, but with the right care, they will reward you with an abundant harvest of healthy greens.

Brussels sprouts can take up relatively little space compared to other vegetables, such as corn or squash, making them perfect for smaller gardens and patios.

Here are some tips for growing your Brussels sprouts.

Plant Brussels sprouts 6 to 10 weeks ahead of the anticipated first frost. 

Although plants thrive in chilly climates, Brussels sprouts will germinate from seeds at any soil temperature between 45 and 80 degrees. Since Brussels sprouts take a while to mature, it makes sense to plant young plants rather than seeds to jumpstart the process. If you decide to start from seed, direct-sow your garden around the middle to the end of the summer for a harvest in the fall.

Choose a location with abundant soil.

Due to their large appetites, these veggies require excellent soil for a good crop. Mix 3 inches of Miracle-Gro® Performance Organics® All Purpose In-Ground Soil with the top 6 inches of the existing soil before planting Brussels sprouts to improve the soil.

Plant Brussels sprouts seedlings 18 to 24 inches apart or sow the seeds 3 to 4 inches apart.

In raised beds or rows, sow seeds 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep and 4 inches apart. The sprouting of seeds might take up to a week. After the seedlings have two leaves, thin them to a spacing of 1-2 feet. After planting, make sure the soil is well-watered. Then, lay 2-3 inches of mulch around the base of each plant to assist the soil in retaining moisture and control weeds by preventing them from getting sunlight.

Give Brussels sprouts a constant supply of moisture.

Large harvests of Brussels sprouts depend on regular watering. The sprouts will wilt and fail to develop if the soil becomes too dry fully. When the top inch of soil feels dry, check the soil frequently and water.

One month after planting, start fertilizing.

Start providing fertilizer to Brussels sprout plants a month after planting. The Miracle-Gro® Performance Organic® Edibles Plant Nutrition Granules are a great option since they provide continuous nutrition for up to 6 weeks and feed the soil to increase the availability of nutrients to your plants. Water after evenly applying plant food to the soil as directed in the instructions.

Watch for cabbage worms and take quick action to treat them.

Check plants frequently for worms, remove them by hand, and either squash them or place them into a bowl of soapy water to control them. Alternately, dust plants all through the growing season with Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), making sure to reapply after rain.

Photos of brussel sprouts growing in the garden with text Are Brussels sprouts easy to grow?

Do Brussels sprouts need to climb?

Providing something for the Brussels sprout plants to climb on – such as a fence or trellis – can greatly increase their productivity and size. This type of support can also give growers better control over how their crop grows, allowing them easier access to trimming and harvesting. In addition, keeping them off the ground prevents soil-borne diseases from spreading throughout the crop.

Do Brussels sprouts come back every year?

The brussels sprout does not come back every year. They only have a two-year lifespan because they are biennials. The plant can therefore live for more than a year, but after that, it will only produce flowers and seeds instead of edible heads.

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