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Growing Brussels sprouts in home gardens

A quick guide to Brussels sprouts

  • Brussels sprouts are a fall crop in Minnesota.
  • Sow seeds in June, indoors or directly in the garden.
  • Water thoroughly once a week for well-formed, large, sweet sprouts.
  • They can stay in the garden as long as temperatures remain above 20°F.

Flavorful winter vegetables 

Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera) are tight heads of tender leaves, like mini cabbages, grown on the stalk of a tall, leafy plant. The large leaves are smooth and thick and resemble collard greens; you can prepare them in the same ways.

Where each leaf joins the stem, a small sprout develops, beginning with the lowest leaves and continuing up the stalk. The sprouts can be as large as two inches in diameter, but gardeners often harvest them when they are smaller.

Grown as a fall crop in Minnesota, Brussels sprouts are one of the few crops usually harvested after snow has fallen. Flavor improves with cooler fall weather; they can stay in the garden as long as temperatures remain above 20°F.  

Since they must mature in cool weather for good quality, plan to harvest from late September in the north, through late October in the southern part of the state and along the Lake Superior shoreline.

Soil pH and fertility

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Planting

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How to keep your Brussels sprouts healthy and productive

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Jill MacKenzie

Reviewed in 2018

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