Brussels sprout

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 Brassica oleracea subsp. var. gemmifera  Brussels sprout
File:Spruitkool (1).jpg
Habit: herbaceous
Height: to
Width: to
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Lifespan: biennial
Features: edible
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USDA Zones: to
Sunset Zones:
Flower features:
Brassicaceae > Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera ,

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The Brussels (or brussels) sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) of the Brassicaceae family, is a Cultivar group of wild cabbage cultivated for its small (typically 2.5 – 4 cm diameter) leafy green buds, which resemble miniature cabbages.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Brussels sprouts. A form of the cabbage tribe, grown for the globular buds or "sprouts" produced along the stout upright stem.

The garden varieties of brussels sprouts represent one of the many interesting variations that have taken place in the cabbage family. This plant, while in its seedling stage and during its early life, closely resembles the ordinary cabbage, but later in its development the axillary buds, instead of remaining dormant as is the case with the common cabbage, develop into miniature heads similar in their make-up to an ordinary head of cabbage but very small.

The soil to which the sprout is adapted is, in general, the same as that for late cabbage; in fact, the plant is always grown in conditions similar to those chosen for late cauliflower or late cabbage, and its range of adaptation is much the same as that of autumn cabbage. The fertilizing of the crop should be the same, in general, as for autumn cabbage. The plants should be set so as to allow them sufficient room for full development, preferably in checkrows 30 to 36 inches apart each way. Young seedlings should be ready for planting in the latitude of New York from June 20 to July 10. The cultivation of the crop, up to the time the sprouts begin to develop, is practically the same as that for cabbage.

The enemies and diseases to which brussels sprouts is subject are the same as those of the fall crops of other cabbage-like plants. Aphis, green-worm, the harlequin- bug and the cutworm are 672. Brussels Sprouts, probably the most annoying of the insect pests, while the rots, damping-off fungus and the mildew are more or less troublesome.

Before the sprouts are ready for harvest, the lower leaves of the plants are broken away in order to facilitate the cutting of the miniature heads or sprouts; this is done by means of a sharp short-bladed knife, used to separate them from the stalk of the plant. In sections in which the plant can remain in the open during the winter, two or three cuttings are made. The first sprouts develop in the axils of the leaves nearest the ground, and as the stalk of the plant elongates and more leaves are added, a succession of sprouts develop. The first cutting is confined, therefore, to the older and more fully developed sprouts. When the miniature heads have attained the size of ½ to 1 inch in diameter, the cutting begins and is repeated at intervals depending upon the development of the sprouts. In regions in which it is not safe to allow the plants to remain in the open during the winter, a small supply for home use or for local market may be stored in a vegetable-cellar or storage-pit, the plants being lifted with earth adhering to the roots and planted in sand that is kept somewhat moist during the storage period. Under these conditions, the sprouts will remain in good condition for several weeks and successive harvests can be made the same as when the plants are standing in the open.

The hand labor involved in gathering the sprouts and preparing them for market is the chief deterrent to the extensive cultivation of this crop. It is only in regions in which mild winter conditions prevail and in which labor is available to harvest and assort the sprouts that the industry thrives on a commercial scale. After the sprouts have been cut and placed in suitable receptacles, they are carried to a packing-house where each head is trimmed by removing the outer leaves. The trimmed heads are then placed in berry boxes holding one quart, those for the top layer being selected for uniformity in size and arranged so as to give a finished appearance to the receptacle.

Several varieties of brussels sprouts are offered by the trade, but there is only one general type, -the chief difference being in the length of the stalk of the plant itself and the manner in which the sprouts are distributed along the stalk. This plant, although a popular vegetable in England and on the Continent, is sparingly cultivated in the United States, a few centers only giving attention to it as a commercial crop. Parts of Long Island, in New York, are well known for brussels sprouts production.

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


Brussels sprouts grow in temperature ranges of 7 to 24°C Template:Nowrap, with highest yields at 15 to 18°C Template:Nowrap.[1] Plants grow from seeds in seedbeds or greenhouses, and are transplanted to growing fields.[1]. Fields are ready for harvest 90-180 days after planting.[2] The edible sprouts grow like buds in a spiral array on the side of long thick stalks of approximately 60 to 120 cm in height, maturing over several weeks from the lower to the upper part of the stalk. Sprouts may be picked by hand into baskets, in which case several harvests are made of 5-15 sprouts at a time, by cutting the entire stalk at once for processing, or by mechanical harvester, depending on variety.[2] Each stalk can produce 1.1 to 1.4 kg, although the commercial yield is approximately 900 g lb per stalk.[1] In the home garden, "sprouts are sweetest after a good, stiff frost."[3]


Pests and diseases




  1. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named uga
  2. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named bsinfo
  3. Crocket, James: Crockett's Victory Garden, page 187. Little, Brown and Company, 1977.

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