Blog by the Garden Center Team
This month’s seed kit features Brussels sprouts! To support our environment, seed kits are now available digitally. Scan the QR codes on our seed packets to download planting logs, delicious recipes, fun craft ideas, and coloring pages.
Brussels Sprouts (Long Island Improved)
Open-pollinated variety in use since the 1890s! Semi-dwarf plants produce lots of tasty sprouts on short, self-supporting stems. Sweeter when harvested after the first frost.
Plant 3 seeds every 24 inches, ¼ inch to ½ inch deep in a well-drained, organically fertilized soil mixture. The ideal soil temperature for germination is between 50-80°F. Seeds will germinate in 5-10 days. Once plants are around 2 inches tall, thin to one plant every 24 inches. Make sure plants are placed in a location where they will receive full sun throughout the day.
Brussels sprouts require 1–2 inches of water per week. Make sure to water evenly, the soil should remain moist.
Brussels sprouts will reach maturity in 80-100 days. Sprouts may be harvested once they are firm and are around ¾ inch to 1 inch in size. Brussels sprouts start maturing from the base of the plant, so begin your harvest from the bottom sprouts. Remove the leaf just below the sprout and snap or cut off the sprout.
More About Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a curious food. They are part of the Brassica family which includes broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. The forerunners of Brussels sprouts are thought to have been in cultivation as a food source since the time of ancient Rome. The plant as we know it today was developed in Belgium around the 16th century, then brought to the Americas in the 1800s. The Long Island Improved variety first made its appearance in the 1890s in Long Island, NY. Its compact growth and tendency to produce many sprouts on short stems made it a favorite for home gardeners.
Like many members of the Brassica family, Brussels sprouts are cool weather plants, doing best when planted in late summer and allowed to mature through the fall and winter seasons. They even taste better if exposed to light frosts!
Sources: CC Grow, Foodprint
Recipe: Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
Serves: 4-6 Prep time: 5 mins Cook Time: 15 mins
- 5 lbs. Brussels sprouts trimmed, halved, thinly sliced
- ½ lb. shallots thinly sliced
- 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or butter
- 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 4 tsp. sugar
- ½ tsp. kosher salt
- ¼ tsp. ground black pepper
- Trim the ends off Brussels sprouts, cut in half, and thinly slice.
- Thinly slice shallots.
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil or butter to the pan and swirl to coat.
- Add sliced shallots and sauté until tender (about 3 -4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add sugar and apple cider vinegar and sauté until brown. Remove shallots from the pan and set aside.
- Add sliced Brussels sprouts to skillet, sauté for 5 -7 minutes until brown, add shallots, salt, and pepper. Toss and serve.
Craft: Seed Balls
Create a seed ball to add pollinator-friendly plants anywhere.
- Natural clay
- Wildflower seed mix (be sure the mix is native to your area!)
- Seed-starting soil mix
- Take a hand full of clay and flatten it into a sheet with your palm. Sprinkle seed mix and soil mix in the center of the clay. Knead until the soil and seeds are evenly distributed.
- Pinch off a section of the clay and roll it into a thin coil. Pinch off 1/2 inch sections. Roll each section into a ball.
- Leave to dry on a newspaper or tray. Use the seed balls as gifts or toss them into the yard for extra bursts of color.