The semi-dwarf plants are stocky with leaves closely spaced, so there are lots of tasty sprouts on the short, self-supporting stems. Introduced at the end of the 19th century, this was once one of the most important commercial varieties. It’s still a great pick today. The 4–6″ dark blue-green heads, peppered with side shoots, make for marvelous fresh eating and added to salads or stir fry. An excellent choice to grow in the Fall. Can withstand the cold.
Planting: Plant in early-mid Spring. Can start indoor 8 weeks ahead. Plant 1/4 deep in soil starter. When planting out space about 2 1/2 – 3ft in each direction. Large plants that grow to over 3ft. Rich organic soils are preferred, as is good drainage. Soil needs to be kept moist until germination. When seedlings emerge, provide bright light or utilize a grow light. Do not leave light on 24 hr/day. Disease resistant. Grows well in containers.
Watering: Maintain moist soil.
Fertilizer: Seedlings do not need much fertilizer. When 3 leaves appear, add an organic fertilizer to the soil. Continue feeding throughout the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer.
Days to Maturity: 75-90 days. Seedlings emerge in 10-21 days.
Size: 24-30″ wide, fruit 4-8 inches wide.
Harvesting: Harvest heads when they are well shaped. If left longer or when weather warms, will sprout rapidly. Also possibility of disease. Cut off heads at base with a sharp knife. Harvest in the morning if possible.
Tips: Pick broccoli when the heads have tight, firm buds. This happens about 50-60 days after transplant. Sweet robust flavor.
Cooking Suggestions for Brussels Sprouts: A wonderful rich flavor when roasted with a little salt and pepper. Can be eaten raw, steamed or stir-fry. Boiling will reduce crispiness. Will store in refrigerator up to 1 week.