Sunday, February 8, 2009

Brussels Sprouts - Long Island Improved

Brussels Sprouts - Long Island Improved
Brassica oleracea
Open pollinated
100 days

DESCRIPTION: Highly productive of medium green 1" to 1.5" round, firm sprouts. Good for home gardens becausee sprouts mature over a period of several weeks. This variety is great for freezing.

PLANTING DIRECTIONS: Sow seeds in a cold frame or indoors in early spring with a soil temperature of 50°F to 80°F. Sow seeds in flats or pots 1/4" deep. Germination takes 7-12 days. Prepare soil early in the spring, adding a complete fertilizer high in phosphorus and potassium or incorporate rich compost into planting area. Brussels sprouts are a heavy feeder. Grows best in cool weather. Needs full sun, but will not do well in heat. Transplant when plants are 3"-6" tall, spacing them 2' apart. Transplant after last frost in your area. Set seedlings up to 3" deeper than they were in seed pots. Water moderately keeping soil evenly moist. NOTE: Do not plant where other brassicas grew the previous two years.

HARVEST: Harvest sprouts from bottom of plant up as heads mature.

WHEN TO PLANT: A cool season crop, which does best when planted in late spring either in the garden row or in flats in the cold frame and transplanted to its permanent spot when 3"-5" high. May or early June seedlings grow into mature, harvest sized plants by fall. Don't bother to plant brussels sprouts in early spring for summer crop. The tiny leafy heads that are so delicious after frost taste pretty murky before being nipped by cold.
HOW TO PLANT: Space transplants 2' apart. For good solid sprouts, firm the transplants well into the soil. Loose, leafy sprouts often result from drying or insufficient soil-root contact at transplanting time.
GROWING CONDITIONS: Brussles sprouts aren't especially particular about soil type, but shortages of potash, phosphorus, or magnesium will hold them back. Gardeners working in cold climates should prune off the top rosette of leaves from their plants in early September to encourage prompt development of sprouts all along the stem.

PURCHASED: 1g from Nichols Garden Nursery (via Garden Fever) Feb '09. $1.85

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