brussels sprouts

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rowlandwells

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brussels sprouts
« on: November 29, 2020, 18:27 »
I've been looking through the seed catalogue and thinking what brussels seed to buy for next season I was watching the TV the other night they where showing brussels being mechanically harvested i was struck by how tall the brussels crop was like young trees and the stalks had plenty of good buttons on them to

the name of variety that was being harvested was not mentioned but the seed supplier well i think he was the supplier said they this variety was a very sweet variety unlike the old varieties and of cause they where destined for the supermarket

but there's so many varieties to choose from and what a difference in price the F1's  commanding the price so what to buy that is the question Maximus seems a good variety to try so what do you grow an F1 or an O/P  is it a question of price or a question of taste is it an early cropping brussels or a late cropping and do you sow brussels for an early picking and one for a late picking or just one variety  :unsure:

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mumofstig

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #1 on: November 29, 2020, 18:40 »
Quote
do you sow brussels for an early picking and one for a late picking or just one variety?

None at all ::)  because I've never managed a decent picking..
A  friend gave me some seedlings this year. I said thanks v much, as you do, planted them under the netting with my cabbages - and it's the same old story   :nowink: By the time I pull off the manky outside leaves, there's nothing left....
Lesley x
I'm not good, I'm not bad - I'm just me, and sometimes I have to apologise for that ;)

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jezza

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2020, 13:01 »
The variety that I grow is Bedfordshire Fill basket they usually have to be staked as they grow about 5 feet high but produce a lot of sprouts  jezza

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rowlandwells

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2020, 17:50 »
fill basket is an O/P variety is that rite Jezza and i know my late father in law used to always grow Fill basket and had very good sprouts

nowadays it seems quite a lot of gardeners go for the F1'S a friend of our grows Maximus and said its the best variety he has ever grew i was going to try that variety but i have several packets of seed left so i need to use them up the varieties i have are Igor marte and bright O i forgot i did buy a packet of half tall from Robinson's 

the fill basket variety does get tall but like all brassicas we grow we need to net the crops to stop the pigeons helping themselves before we do so I'm thinking the half tall mite not need to much netting but we will still grow the other varieties to see how they compare

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Fen

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #4 on: December 08, 2020, 16:48 »
Mechanical harvesting needs most of the sprouts to be ready to pick at the same time so that quality is bred into the varieties that are grown for that purpose. The plants are tall and the sprouts well spaced to aid mechanical harvesting. I don't want all my sprouts to be ready at the same time so I grow Crispus, a F1 variety, followed by Maximus.  Start picking at the bottom of the stems as they become ready and pick from early November to March.
My rules for growing sprouts. Space out, a yard apart between plants and rows. Plant in really firm ground, mine follow the broad beans, don't dig, just hoe off the weeds and use bar to make holes to put plants in. Feed heavily, sprouts are probably the greediest plants in the garden.

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jezza

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2020, 21:02 »
Hello havent you 2 meals there the pigeons eat some of your sprouts you eat the pigeons with the ewst of the sprouts they leave   jezza

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lettice

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #6 on: December 12, 2020, 08:00 »
My most reliable Sprouts have been Groninger. The seeds come from DeRee.
Have grown these for many many years and never fail with a great strong crop and very tasty sprouts.

The most important thing I have found with Sprouts, is watch them in their first few months of growth as they will need a lot of watering to keep the soil round them moist. Agreed I am in a very dry and sunny part of the UK on the South Coast, but plants need water and Sprouts early on seem to drink it quickly, but as they grow on they slow down their drinking habit.
Sprouts also in their early stages seem to attract weeds around their sowing, so a good regular hoeing I find is necessary.

Never get any pests on my Sprouts and leave them uncovered. Snails also seem to ignore them, as I do place a few homemade yeast (beer) traps where they grow and have yet to find a snail in there and the sprouts never get nibbled. I pour a few cupful's of my homemade nematodes over the area a few weeks before planting so that kills of any slugs.
I hang a couple of white cabbage fly deterrents where they grow, have not since using them had any problems.

I always plant out an early sprout crop in late April early May and another planting in late May.
I've tried many varieties in addition to my trusted Groninger each year.
Crispus were always good for me, have sown them a number of years. A good over wintering variety that produces very well and tasty.
Cascade, Eversham and Montgomery were good croppers, Cascade being a very early cropper. All were average sized sprouts. Eversham was a very tasty sprout, on a par with my trusted Groninger.
Fillbasket was a small plant and thus did not provide the best crop and had very poor tiny sprout tops. Bedford grew ok but not the best cropper, the Sprout tops were very thick stemmed and not that good for using. For both FillBasket and Bedford the size and taste was average.

I always grow my Groninger (along with a different other variety each year) in the bed that grows my Broad beans. So once the broad beans have finished I mix in a load of homemade compost and then plant out the sprouts about 18 inches apart and 18 inches between the rows. I do not feed them anymore during their growing time.
Always plant them when they are about 5-6 inches high and plenty of leaf growth.
Firm the plants in well and around August/September firm soil up around their base stems to stop them leaning or pushed over by the Autumn winds and of course they do become top heavy.
Have those Sprouts from Autumn through to late Winter.
As mentioned above, pick the larger ones from the bottom first and as they mature you can pick as they grow to the right size up/down the plant
« Last Edit: December 12, 2020, 10:52 by lettice »

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rowlandwells

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #7 on: December 12, 2020, 16:54 »
 I found the replies from all and including Fen and Lettice very informative but  i must say if we left the nets of the sprouts the pigeons would have a lovely feast anyway this topic has given me more innovation for growing my sprouts next season :)

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lettice

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2020, 08:52 »
I have loads of birds visit every day, sparrows, starlings blackbirds, tits of all kinds, robins, plenty of pigeons and other birds occasionally.
Never had any problems with them and the veg garden. But do have two high pole bird feeding stations that are seven feet high (the Denny International ones from Amazon). All those birds visit both stations all day long.
I make my own suet feed with lard/cereal/suet mealworms/normal mealworms/bird feed mix.
Have separate hangers with bird feed mix, black sunflower land peanuts.
Everyday put out some bread and kitchen scraps (they love bacon rind finely chopped) that birds like and refresh the water everyday. Put out any spared cooked rice and cheese,

I'm sure over many decades now they have got used to it and ignore the garden.
Both my neighbours and my Dad do the same and also never have any trouble with birds on their veg garden plots.

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rowlandwells

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2020, 09:58 »
that's interesting to note that your brassica crops are not raided because of what you've done its unfortunate that our allotments have plenty of trees and hedges together with open fields around us that are home to many pigeons

and i think that many  gardeners do have problems with pigeons like us and need to nett there crops but having said that as i said in my original topic there are fields of brassicas including sprouts that have no nets no bird feeders yet the crops look perfect no bird damage?

 it would be interesting to see how many of our members who grow brussels and other brassica crops do they need to net or cover there crops to stop bird damage

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lettice

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2020, 10:57 »
The only other brassicas I grow are Spinach, Chard and all kinds of kale.
Also uncovered.
Nothing seems to ever attack them, including Slugs/Snails. The empty traps fairly close by show that and never nibbled.
But have in the past grown many other forms of brassica, like cabbage and cauliflower and never had a problem with birds and always grown uncovered.
One of my neighbours grows loads of brassicas (many types of cabbages all the year round and all kinds of cauliflower) and gives me loads as swaps for other crops I grow and share like Turnips rhubarb, cucumber, gherkins and tomatoes.
He does not net them, but does attract the birds as I mentioned above.
My Dad about eight miles inland from me has grown cabbages like Greyhound uncovered and never heard him moan about the birds. He is a big bird feeder and lives in a town suburb area with loads of well established trees and grassed/fielded areas all around his property.

Although we are in a busy coastal town, we ahve plenty of green areas and lots of trees thanks to those Victorian builders. We in our properties have a large fielded area that we all own/share behind our properties that has loads of grassland and very large established trees that is full of all kinds of birds and many nesting. Plenty of other wildlife too frequent and burrow there, like foxes and badgers, plus toads and frogs.
We do live very close to many beach areas within a short walk and of course Portsmouth Harbour is not far away, a short ferry trip over the harbour water.   
There are plenty of Crows, Seagulls, Egrets, Swallows, Scoter and other Mediterranean gulls, that do fly up from the coast and often sit on our roofs or high on trees. Never seen any of them every frequent our local trees or gardens.
We also have a large coastal reserve that has many birds and occasionally get some quite exotic ones including more common visits from herons and geese but only ever appearing on our rooftops or high trees.
So quite a mixed wildlife.

Plus, another thought Myself and moat of my immediate neighbours do all own cats and some own Dogs and Cats, so another great deterrent for keeping them off the ground I'd assume.

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Yorkie

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2020, 16:35 »
I was once told that kale wasn't eaten by the cabbage white butterfly caterpillars.  Well, whoever it was who told me, either had different caterpillars or sheer luck!

My kale plants were completely stripped to skeletons ... though they did grow back a little the following spring  :D
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days all attack me at once...

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rowlandwells

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #12 on: December 15, 2020, 16:22 »
yes i tend to agree with you yorkie we had the same with our kale the other year and yes they did grow back  :) so brussels sprouts  I did a little test yesterday although we are picking our own sprouts when we out shopping yesterday we  called in on a farm shop and we bought some brussels sprouts on the stalk [shame on me ] to compare the taste of ours to there's

and although there brussels sprouts where bigger than ours our sprouts had a much better taste more sweeter but i don't know what variety the farm shop where growing anyway i was pleased our sprouts tasted better than there's  they cost me 1.99 probably the stalk cost a quid  :)

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Mr Dog

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2020, 20:38 »
I'll recommend Brodie if you prefer a sweeter sprout and Brest have also done well for me this year.

I used to always grow Montgomery but the last twice (2018 and 19) pathetic results would be an exaggeration.

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Fen

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Re: brussels sprouts
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2020, 12:14 »
Bought sprouts "On the stalk" a couple of years ago. Thought that as they dried out the stalk took the moisture from the sprouts leaving them a bit dry and tasteless. Friend thought the opposite claiming that the stalk acted as a reservoir keeping the sprouts moist. Much cheaper for grower to chop off one stalk as opposed to picking sprouts from it.



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