Gardening 101, Brussel Sprouts, How To Grow Them And How To Cook Them
How To Grow Brussels Sprouts
You should know that Brussels Sprouts are slow growing and they do best in the cooler parts of the growing season. Brussels Sprouts are very hardy and are frost resistant. Even a freeze won't kill them.
You can plant marigold flowers with them and the marigolds will keep almost all garden pests away from your Brussels Sprouts. I try to use all natural pest control methods when ever I can.
Its very important to prepare the soil where your going to plant them with lots of organic material to enrich the soil. This means you need to add lots of well rotted compost or manure. What ever you add be sure that it is very well rotted. This is very important so that you don't end up burning up your plants. This plant will do the best when the temperatures are between 40 - 75 degrees. Once the days stay hot the time for growing Brussels Sprouts is over.
They will grow the best of all in full sun but they can stand partial shade if they have perfect soil conditions. I suggest planting them in full sun if you can at all. To much shade and they will not produce.
Be sure that when you set out your Brussels Sprout plants that you put water in the holes where you set out the plants and that you water them again with in 24 hours. This will help to insure that they get a great start. According to the variety of Brussels Sprouts that your planting they will take 80 to 100 days from planting to produce.
You should harvest your Brussels Sprouts slowly starting at the bottom of the plants and working your way up to the top.
Pick the Brussels Sprouts when they are one to one and a half inches long. Pinch them off with your fingers or use garden scissors.
Once you get them in the house wash them off well under cold running water and then store for up to 3-4 days in the refrigerator before using. If you want to freeze them put them in a pot of salted water and bring them to a boil. Immediately pour them out in a colander and allow them to cool before you bag them in zip lock bags and freeze them.
When your read to use your frozen Brussels Sprouts let them thaw out in the refrigerator and then cook them. They are best steamed with a little fresh picked basil and a little fresh squeezed lemon juice.
They are really healthy and good for you to eat. They are really good with hollandaise sauce or just lemon and butter.
Brussels Sprouts are a descendent of wild cabbage grown for the edible bulbs that grow on the plant. The buds are about a inch and a half in diameter and resemble miniature cabbages. Although the plant was named after the capital of Belgium very few people believe that it was developed there.
Brussels Sprouts can be traced back to very early Roman times and it is believed that the vegetable was a favorite of Cleopatra the last Pharaoh of Egypt. So Brussels Sprouts have been around for quite a long time.
Brussels Sprouts were first brought to America by French Settlers and they grew the vegetable in what is now Louisiana. President Thomas Jefferson grew Brussels Sprouts at Monticello and they were a favorite of Nixon, Regan, and Clinton. I also like them and just simply love them steamed with a little butter and ground sea salt. I bet if you try them that way that you'll like them to.
Brussels Sprouts and broccoli contain a chemical called sulforaphane which has very strong anti cancer properties. In order to take advantage of the anti cancer properties of the plant you need to steam your Brussels sprouts. They are oh so delicious steamed in butter with a little ground sea salt. Indole-3-carbinol is also a compound found in Brussels Sprouts and broccoli. It is a chemical which does DNA cell repair and is said to help prevent cancer. Its simply amazing to me that not more people know that Brussels Sprouts and similar plants can prevent cancer.
I can not stress enough how very good Brussels Sprouts are for you and you need to steam your Brussels Sprouts in order to get the best nutrition benefits from them. Brussels Sprouts steamed in butter with just a little ground sea salt are oh so delicious and good for you. Don't boil your Brussels Sprouts or you'll be cooking most of the good nutrients out of them and throwing it away in the water you just boiled them in.
Brussels Sprouts contain only about 30 calories in a half cup serving but they contain protein, carbohydrates, Folate, Vitamin A, Potassium, and Dietary Fiber. It has also known been proven that Brussels Sprouts and Broccoli do contain anti cancer properties. Just be sure to understand you need to steam your Brussels Sprouts or Broccoli to take the fullest advantage of the anti cancer nutrients. If you try to boil them you destroy a lot of these valuable nutrients that you need. So be sure to keep that in mind.
More Brussels Sprout Information
Brussels Sprouts are a member of the cabbage family and it is a hardy slow growing vegetable that can be grown in most areas of the United States. Brussels Sprouts require a long time to grow but you'll now find hybrids available that don't take near as long to grow.
Most Brussels Sprouts are set out as plants in the late spring or early summer about the same time you would set out cabbage. You will want to be sure to set your plants out about 24 inches apart in all directions. Water the plant in the hole when you set them out.
You should be sure to mix well rotted manure or compost into your soil where your going to be setting out your Brussel Sprout plants. Its very important that you plant your plants in well prepared soil that has been enriched with lots of organic material.
But before you set out your Brussels Sprout transplants be sure to work in a lot of organic material or very well rotted manure where you are going to plant your plants. Put out one pound of 5-10-5 fertilizer for each 15 foot of row. When your plants are 12 inches tall apply a good quality nitrogen fertilizer about 6 inches back from your plants.
I would strongly suggest mulching your Brussels Sprout plants very heavily both to keep down weeds and to keep moisture in. You absolutely can not allow the ground under or around your Brussels Sprout Plants to dry out especially during the hot summer months. Water with a sprinkler or sprinklers after the sun has set.
You need to keep a careful look out for aphids, cabbage worms and disease. Catch it early and go to your local farm and garden center and ask what you should spray your Brussels Sprouts with. Don't let it get ahead of you or you can loose your entire crop rather quickly.Be sure that you read the label on any pesticide that you spray your Brussels Sprouts with. Be sure you know and understand the instructions. Be double sure that you know when you can eat your Brussels Sprouts after you treat them with pesticide.
To help more Brussels Sprouts develop remove the bottom 6-8 leafs from each plant and it doesn't hurt to remove all the leafs. You can also top the Brussels Sprouts once the plant starts putting on Brussels Sprouts. Cut off the top 3-4 inches of each plant. If you do all this you will get more and larger Brussels Sprouts.
You can cut Brussels Sprouts off the plant with garden scissors as soon as they get firm. You want to harvest all your Brussels Sprouts before the leafs start turning yellow. The fresher the Brussels Sprouts are the better they will taste so be sure not to keep them in the refrigerator over a couple of days.
If you want to you can steam batches of your Brussels Sprouts with butter and salt and freeze them in zip lock food storage bags. They will keep well in the freezer frozen for about six months. Thaw over night in the refrigerator and heat before eating.
I just love the Brussels Sprouts steamed and if I was going to grow Brussels Sprouts I would buy a steamer. Vegetables that are steamed are much better for you.
Steamed vegetables are much healthier for you and you can use herbs to add extra flavor to your steamed vegetables. I like to add basil and lemon juice to steamed Brussel Sprouts. The flavor combinations are oh so wonderful.
I want to thank you for reading my Hub Page on Brussels Sprouts and if you have any questions feel free to ask. Thanks for your time. Have a nice day.
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