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Planning your Container Crops
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Review: Food4Wealth by Jonathan White
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Vegetable Crops in alphabetical order by name
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Why Vegetable Container Gardening is Getting More Popular Today Than Ever
How to grow organic Asparagus
How to grow organic Aubergines
How to grow organic Beetroot
How to grow organic Broad beans
How to grow organic Broccoli
How to grow organic Brussels sprouts
How to grow organic Cabbage
How to grow organic Calabrese
How to grow organic Carrot
How to grow organic Cauliflower
How to grow organic Celeriac
How to grow organic Celery
How to grow organic Celtuce
How to grow organic Chinese broccoli
How to grow organic Chinese cabbage
How to grow organic Chicory
How to grow organic Corn
How to grow organic Cucumbers and Gherkins
How to grow organic Endive
How to grow organic Florence fennel
How to grow organic French beans
How to grow organic Garlic
How to grow organic Globe artichokes
How to grow organic Jerusalem artichokes
How to grow organic Kale and borecole
How to grow organic Kohl rabi
How to grow organic Komatsuna
How to grow organic Land cress
How to grow organic Leaf beet
How to grow organic Leeks
How to grow organic Lettuce
How to grow organic Mizuna
How to grow organic Mustard greens
How to grow organic New Zealand spinach
How to grow organic Onions
How to grow organic Parsnips and Hamburg Parsley
How to grow organic Peas
How to grow organic Peppers (hot and sweet)
How to grow organic Potatoes
How to grow organic Radishes
How to grow organic Rocket
How to grow organic Runner beans
How to grow organic Salad onions
How to grow organic Salsify, Scorzonera and Scolymus
How to grow organic Seakale
How to grow organic Shallots
How to grow organic Spinach
How to grow organic Squash
How to grow organic Swede
How to grow organic Texsel greens
How to grow organic Tomatoes
How to grow organic Turnips
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How to grow organic Brussels sprouts
by Frann Leach
Like baby cabbages, but nicer
Brassica oleracea Gemmifera group
Family: Cruciferae (Group 2)
Brussels sprouts are incredibly versatile, and even though they look like miniature cabbages, they taste quite different. The sprouts themselves can be cooked whole as a green vegetable, added to curry and stews, or chopped for salad use. There are some interesting ideas for other things to do with your sprouts here. And in Spring, the tops of the plants can be used as Spring greens, but with a sweeter, nuttier flavour which I prefer.
Site and soil
Choose an open, unshaded site with fertile, well-drained and moisture retentive soil, which should be slightly acid (min pH 5.4, but see note on clubroot - add lime if necessary to adjust pH). Brassicas have a high nitrogen requirement and also need very firm soil. To ensure sufficient nutrient levels, it is best to topdress or apply a liquid feed such as seaweed fertiiser during growth.
Because brassicas are prone to soil infections, for example, Clubroot, it's important to use a minimum 3 year rotation plan.
|Early||Peer Gynt F1||Feb under cover||Aug-Oct|
|Mid/Late||Perfect line F1, Achilles F1, Ormavon F1||early March||Oct-Dec|
|Late||Citadel F1, King Arthur F1||early April||Dec-Feb|
Sow in a seed bed unless soil is heavy, in which case use seed trays or modules to minimise root disturbance. Sow 2-2.5cm (¾-1") deep, spacing 7.5cm (3") apart in the row. Transplant at about 10cm (4") tall or when the first true leaves develop to follow legumes or onto a site which was manured the previous Autumn.
On light soils, plant into drills 8cm (3") wide by 10cm (4") deep and earth the plants up as they develop until the soil is level, otherwise on the flat. Plant firmly enough that pulling on a leaf results in it tearing. Use brassica collars to prevent root fly.
Transplant 60cm each way (2'x2') from mid-May to early June (earlies in spring). Closer spacing (as low as 20") induces smaller sprouts and uniform maturity. Water until established.
Intercropping is possible in the early stages
Water after transplanting and daily in dry weather for 3-4 weeks, about ¼ pint per plant.
Water up to 4 gallons per sq yard per week in dry weather. The minimum watering requirement is a single heavy watering 10-20 days before maturity.
Harvest from the bottom up, removing diseased or yellow leaves and blown sprouts as you go. Sprout tops are used at the end of the season.
Clubroot, damping off and downy mildew are the most likely diseases. Mealy aphid may cause serious damage in late summer, penetrating and spoiling the sprouts. Keep a close watch and deal with them immediately by spraying with derris or fatty acid spray.
Soil may remain infected for 20 years; steps to avoid introduction include:
Once infected avoid growing any brassicas except fast maturing types such as Texsel greens or cut and come again oriental seedlings. If you have no other land available, and you must grow types with a lengthy growing season, you can try sowing seed in modules, and potting up until the plants reach a height of 10cm (4") before planting out. A root drench may also help.