We’ve all seen Brussels sprouts in a bowl on the kitchen table, but have you ever seen them growing in a garden? Their look may surprise you – in a good way. Here are the different growing stages for Brussels sprouts.
Brussels sprouts growing stages: Brussels sprouts need to be planted in the late summer if you want to harvest them in the fall before the ground freezes. They take between 80 and 90 days to grow and do well in moist soil and full sun.
Brussel sprout growing stages
Brussels sprouts grow from seeds, so this is the first stage in planting: finding the right seeds. There are over 100 different varieties of Brussels sprouts, so you will want to choose carefully.
The variety you choose will determine the timing of planting and harvesting, as they will have different lengths of growing time. Furthermore, you can find varieties that are a bit sweeter, which is good if you want your children to try the vegetable.
Plant Brussels sprouts seeds in well-draining soil. This is especially important as the crops grow through fall, which can have a lot of precipitation. If the soil is too compacted, water will pool and lead to rot.
As for timing, Brussels sprouts are considered a cool-weather crop. This means they do best in the fall when temperatures start to decrease.
The best time to plant Brussels sprouts is in late summer. This will guarantee a fall harvest, just in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
After planting, it will take about six to eight days before the seeds start to germinate. Try to keep the soil moist but not too wet during this time so that the seeds don’t dry out.
Once the seeds germinate, a stem will emerge from the top while tiny roots will appear at the bottom. These are essential in getting sunlight and nutrients to your seed so that it continues to grow.
As soon as the stem emerges from the soil, it will grow a pair of leaves. While these leaves may look small, they are powerful and will begin to absorb sunlight and transform it into energy.
Below ground, the seed will send out roots so they can absorb more nutrients from the soil. Loose soil makes it easier for the roots to spread out and take up more nutrients and water.
Once leaves appear on your sprout stem, expect more growth to happen fast. The main stem will grow taller and more leaves will form along it.
In just a few weeks, your Brussels sprout plant will be a few inches tall. If you need to, you can thin the seedlings out at this point to allow enough room between the plants.
The plants need plenty of sunlight and if they are too crowded, there won’t be enough light or airflow. As a result, growth can be stunted and diseases can spread.
During the sprout formation stage, things get really interesting. Your plant should now have a very thick stem with smaller branches coming off from the middle. The leaves should be nice and big.
The juncture where the stems and the main branch meet is where your sprouts will start to form. At first, they can look just like tiny leaf buds. However, they will start to grow more and take on a sprout formation.
The sprouts themselves will be relatively small for a while as energy production is focused on the stem and the leaves. However, once the plant becomes a certain size, it will stop growing and the sprouts will begin to develop fully.
One important consideration at this stage is water. Fall is usually a wet season but different climates can be more susceptible to dry periods.
If you realize it hasn’t rained in a few days and the air feels dry, you will need to hand-water your sprouts. Check the soil and try to keep it moist but not soggy.
Finally, at this stage, you may notice your sprout plant is starting to fall to the side. The large leaves and sprouts may be too heavy for your plant, so take the time to properly stake the main branch. Some plants can reach up to two feet tall, so having proper support is key.
Finally, you should see large, marble-sized sprouts all along the main branch of your plant. The plant will stop growing as all energy is concentrated on the sprouts.
You want to wait until the sprouts are about one inch in diameter. Furthermore, the leaves should still be curled tightly around the sprout. If they are too loose, it means you missed the harvesting stage.
The ideal time to harvest is when temperatures are between 60 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 40 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit at night. Too warm and the sprouts will taste bitter while too cold and a hard frost can destroy your crop.
Another sign your sprouts are ready to harvest is when the entire plant starts to turn yellow. As long as the sprouts are firm and of a good size, you can go about cutting back the main branch. You can leave the sprouts on this branch for a few days and then gently remove them for eating.
How long does it take Brussels sprouts to grow?
It takes between 80 and 90 days for Brussels sprouts to grow. Plant in late summer when the temperatures are starting to cool and you can harvest in mid-fall.
How do you encourage Brussels sprouts to grow?
Start with fertile soil that drains well. Compacted soil can lead to soggy roots, which will negatively impact the growth of your crops.
Do Brussels sprouts need a lot of suns?
Yes, Brussels sprouts need the sun to grow. Even though they are a cool-weather crop you should still plant them in full sun.
Do Brussels sprouts grow fast?
Brussels sprouts do not grow very fast. It can take up to 90 days for them to grow. While this isn’t as long as some other vegetables, you still need some patience when growing them.
A cool-weather crop, Brussels sprouts start from seeds that can be planted in late fall. Then, after 80 to 90 days, the sprouts are ready for harvest.