Friday, May 1, 2015

Learn something new every day....

Last fall, we eagerly waited for the Brussels sprouts to mature in the garden. Rather surprisingly, our whole family loves this vegetable, and we looked forward to a nice crop.

But they didn't mature. And didn't mature. And didn't mature. The heads were nothing but empty leafy poofy pods that, well, didn't mature.

Discouraged, we abandoned them over the winter. And then... something surprising happened.

Most of the plants stand withered and dead...

...but a couple showed signs of green. Curious to see what they would do, I nipped off the dead leaves and left them alone. Over the last few weeks they burst into growth.

Come to find out, Brussel sprouts are biennials. Duh, who knew? Not me.

So now we have beautiful heads forming which will produce seeds in the next couple of months.

And the reason we never got any mature sprouts? Apparently they require a vastly longer growing season than we gave them.

So make a note: around here, I'll have to plant Brussels sprouts in January or February (in the house, of course).

Ah, gardening, the art which never ceases to make the artist look foolish. Or, to put it another way, ya learn something new every day.


  1. Patrice -
    I love Brussel's sprout too!
    If you give them more space and pick off the lower leaves on the Brussel's sprout and allow sun to get to the stems it will help the heads to form on the stem.

  2. I myself am a transplant to Spokane WA from Los Angeles. When I lived for a short while in a small city named Redondo Beach I decided to plant a brussels sprouts plant only to see what it looked like, (I do that a lot). Of course the beach vicinity in southern CA is ideal for a lot of produce. Needless to say I got the most beautiful brussels sprouts stalk and enjoyed every little sprout I could eat. Note: I also had a toad in the same little side yard that made sure there was not a bug to be had, there was also a terrific tomato plant. I have learned a lot through gardening. Thank you for all that you publish.

  3. I have to plant green house plants every year because after I pick the sprouts my 5 German Shepards go in the garden and pull up the stalks and run around nutso playing with them. Quite the sito behold..

    Carl In the UP

  4. Boy, do I LOVE Brussels sprouts! They are by far my favorite vegetable. One of my wife's, too. She steams them, then slathers them in lots of real butter. I know nothing about growing them, however. Thanks for the info! --Fred in AZ

  5. My son planted spinach and carrots last fall. Everything sprouted before winter came. I knew the spinach would survive and come on strong in the spring. But I figured the carrots were a lost cause. I didn't say anything to my son because I didn't want to discourage him. Well, the spinach has been incredible and the carrots...they are really growing - never seen such healthy plants. We should get some great carrots. I've never heard of carrots overwintering like that. BTW, I love Brussels Sprouts also. -Kay

    1. Carrot will produce seed the second year, I believe like brussel sprouts they are a biennial. I actually moved some of the carrots from my brother's garden in Wyoming to the new 'to be" garden in Idaho. They are doing beautifully and I will harvest the seed.
      Onions are the same…two years to get the seed.