One of the good options you can have for your home garden is growing Brussel sprouts in containers. These kinds of plants can grow well in pots and have some advantages to absorb.
Containers and Brussel sprouts can make a great combination since it is going to be so flexible. For example, during the day with high summer heat, just move the plants out of the direct sunlight. It will save them from drying out of water.
Some other good things about growing Brussel sprouts in containers are the pests preventions, the water control, and the nutrients receipt. Therefore, watch closely the condition of plants. Here are some guides and tips that will help out.
Choosing the Containers to Grow Brussel Sprouts
This might be the very first thing you should do above all steps of gardening. To grow Brussels sprouts, aim for some large containers. The pots must able to contain at least 8 inches of soil.
To be exact, prepare some containers with a standard 5 to 7-gallon size. The planters should also be in 12 inches of depth and 12 inches in Diameter. In such a pot, you have one plant of brussel sprout.
If you want to have 2 plants in one pot, the size of the container should be at least 18 inches in diameter and about 15 gallons in size. Having an area in a square foot? just grow Brussel sprouts two in a single planter.
It is recommended to choose a clay pot to have these plants growing in a frost-free area. That is because this kind of container drains well. It also will remain cool and provide the circulation air that is good for the vegetables.
Another thing that you should consider is the color of the containers. You should choose the one with a light color. It will be quite helpful to get the soil away from having too much heat.
The Best Time to Grow Brussel Sprouts in Pots
You may want to be meticulous about the conditions of the weather in the location with this plant. Brussels sprout is a cool-season crop that will be in its best form when it is growing in the cool weather. Therefore, you may want to apply that when the home garden having it.
If you are living in a place that has cool summers, begin to grow Brussel sprouts in the spring or quite early in the season. That is the ideal season for the plants.
You can also grow the plants during the mid-summer or even early fall when the plan is to harvest them right before winter. If it’s located in the region that has a frost-free climate, you may want to start planting in the winter season.
Besides the air temperature, you should also consider the time of harvesting when growing Brussel sprouts in the home garden.
Preparing the Containers and Soil
After picking the right pots or containers, you are ready to begin filling them up with soil. Growing Brussel sprouts prefer on a slightly clayey medium. It would give the plants a space to have firm roots.
You have to keep the soil moist. Therefore, the duty is to get a potting mix that is deep, slightly clayey, humus-rich, light, and well-draining. The pH of the mixture should be neutral. When the planting is in the process, do not forget to add well-rotted manure.
To prevent Boron deficiency in the garden, you should do soil testing. There are common symptoms to check, such as low productivity, hollow stems, dying growing top, small sprouts, and slow growth. If you are sure that it is the issue, just apply borax.
How to Grow Brussel Sprouts from Seeds and Seedlings
First, you need to get the seeds of dwarf sprout varieties that are right to be planted on containers. The selection is quite specific.
So, make sure it’s the right variety. According to the temperature, place them indoors or outdoors. That would be okay.
To germinate the seeds, you should have the soil temperature in the range of 7 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Sow them about ½ inches deep. Then, just wait for about 5 to 20 days to get the baby plants emerged. Once it becomes seedlings and shows a pair of leaves, the next step is a bit thinning.
On the other hand, you can also grow Brussels sprouts from seedlings. Just buy some of them and take them out from the containers.
Then, the gardener can dig a hole to the same depth as the first planters. Plant it just like that.
These plants prefer to be getting full sun right after you plant it. Therefore, Take them all out with direct sunlight as soon as the preparation is done.
It does not have to be in the outdoor area of the house, you can place it almost anywhere as long as it has the natural light and good air circulation.
After knowing how to grow Brussel sprouts indoor, pay attention to the surroundings and its conditions.
You should also avoid having them growing Brussel sprouts with containers in a windy location, some issues on its productivity.
Watering Mechanism for Growing Brussel Sprouts
As we know, growing Brussel sprouts require evenly moist soil. The best thing you could do is to water all the plants regularly. It’s to prevent it from drying especially when they are maturing. One more thing, do not overwater them.
To make sure the growing Brussel sprouts getting what they need, you should check the soil each day. These are the cool weather plants. It’s important to keep that in mind. Even though the gardener should make the potting mix moist, do not make it to be soggy.
Feel the top inch of the soil. If it is dry, water it more. Growing Brussel sprouts in containers would dry out faster than other types of gardening and in warmer regions. So, remember to do it even more often when dealing with that.
For the exact measurement of the soil condition, you can use the electronic pH Meter. It is just an alternative option to try. Using this tool, read it accurately. Before that, learn about the standard terminology in checking them.
Adding Fertilization for Growing Brussel Sprouts in Containers
Fertilizing Brussel sprouts is a must-do step you need to face. One thing to keep in mind that you have to wait until at least 6 weeks after it becomes seedling. Do not fertilize it right after planting it.
These plants will grow just fine when fertilized through the season of growing. Choose the fertilizer that is 15-30-15 water-soluble. Dissolve it in the watering can be filled with a gallon of water. Do the plant watering with that mixture every two weeks.
When growing Brussel sprouts in containers, you knew that watering them more often is essentials, since they drain out faster than other gardening styles. As an alternative, you can use liquid fertilizer to grow them.
Pruning the Plant
As the plants grow, there will be some little sprouts forming on the stalk of the plant. You should cut off stalk tops on the bottom. It is done to encourage growth. Start doing it with the six to eight leaves on the lower part.
Harvesting the leaves from the bottom-up is a great thing to do to the plants. If you want them all at once, cut off the top part 3 to 4 weeks before it is the time to harvest.
It will feel a bit strange doing this step but you should do it for the sake of growth. It is something to encourage the Brussel sprouts to push energy and grow taller. After cutting off some of the leaves, do not throw them away.
Cook the leaves, just like you do to spinach, collard greens, or kale. Cooking them with bacon and some seasonings, enjoy this tasty and lovely dish. Wait until getting the Brussel Sprouts growing right from the home garden.
Dealing with Pests and Diseases
Pests and diseases are some issues that you may face in growing almost any plant. Brussel sprouts also have them.
Some soil-borne diseases like fusarium wilt and clubroot would be a disturbance. Well, don’t worry about those.
When you are growing the plants in a container and using great quality of soil, they are all safe.
Another thing to do is providing good air circulation in the area where the location of growing the Brussel sprouts. Then, avoid watering them at the overhead.
Those steps would prevent the plants from powdery and downy mildew. Watch out for pests such as cabbageworm, thrips, aphids, and flea beetles.
Those could bother the growth of your beloved Brussel sprouts.
When is the Best Time to Harvest
This step is best done when the maturity of the Brussel sprouts occurs in cooler weather. You can see it from the size of the vegetable.
Therefore, it is best to plant the seeds accordingly about 3 months before cool days. You should begin harvesting when their diameter is about once inch.
The sprouts on the lower part of the plants will mature first. The upper part would get to its maturity a few days after that.
With many hybrid varieties, you will take about 85 days to reach right age. There is a variety called “Rubine” that would need more time before harvesting.
This variety of Brussel sprouts will take about 105 days or longer to reach maturity. This open-pollinated plant is not a recommend one to choose from since it will be less productive than others will.
Here are a few critical points you should be aware of in picking Brussel sprouts. The best harvesting time is before the sprouts and leaves turn yellow and open. For optimum flavor and nutrients, get them firm.
If it is possible to wait until one or two frosty nights, you will get the sweeter version of the veggies. That is referred to as the cold sweetening method. The key is to plant them at the right time.
How to Harvest the Sprouts
Well, it is time to pick some of the mature sprouts and they will be ready to eat. You should know how to harvest it correctly to avoid harming the plants.
When they reach out one to two inches in diameter, you can start twisting the vegetables from the main stalk.
Start the picking from the bottom up. Just pick the mature ones and keep the rest until it reaches the right maturity.
If you are having hybrid variety in your garden, check for ripe veggies after 80 days of growing.
One suggestion you can do before picking the sprouts, remove the leaves at the bottom first. It would get the plants ready before harvesting.
If someone forgets that removing step, you can just do it afterward.
Another thing you could do is to remove or cut the top of the plant. Some growers do it to direct energy to the plants before picking the sprouts.
Growing Brussel Sprouts in Containers During Frost Condition
Since growing Brussel sprouts typically can handle frost, they are named as cooler weather plants. However, you should give a slightly different treatment when using containers.
Growing Brussel sprouts in containers would require you to move them inside throughout the night when there are warnings for frost. It is best to avoid the winter season. Instead, you can use burlap material to cover all sides of the plants.
During the fall season, you do not need to move the plants inside. The frost in this season will be great to encourage them in reaching maturity. Frost does not kill Brussel sprouts. However, covering them up would be a smart move.
If you are planning to grow only one plant, that will do great. The harvesting would be a fantastic moment to have. Just imagine how many sprouts you can get from a single Brussel sprout.
Growing Brussel sprouts in containers do not need a lot of work. Just water them enough and watch out from pests and diseases to keep them healthy. To get the right quality of the plants, know more about the knowledge. You had them all in this ultimate guide.