A good Brussels sprout harvest generally starts with good, firm soil, which can also be slightly alkaline or slightly acidic. These plants typically do well in cool weather, so growing Brussels sprouts is not usually recommended in very hot climates. The soil should be kept moist in any type of climate. Planting these vegetables in the same spot should only be done every few years, with other vegetables grown during the years in between.
Soil for growing Brussels sprouts should be firm and somewhat tightly packed. It should also be very fertile. Mixing in organic compost or rotted manure a few months before planting should add the proper nutrients to the soil. A loose fertilizer can be raked on top of the soil a couple of weeks before planting.
Growing Brussels sprouts can be achieved in either slightly acidic or alkaline soil. The pH of the soil can range from around 6.5 to 7.5. Some experts, however, recommend slightly alkaline soil. This type of soil is typically believed to help prevent a disease known as clubroot, which often damages members of the cabbage family.
Cool weather is typically best for growing Brussels sprouts. In cold climates, Brussels sprout plants can be started in containers several weeks before the first frost. They can then be transplanted after the danger of frost has passed. In warm climates, Brussels sprouts should only be planted at the end of summer or in the autumn. Another crop may also be possible if Brussels sprouts are planted in the early spring, before the heat of the summer.
Plant spacing and formation are also important when growing Brussels sprouts. These plants seem to grow well in rows. Each of these rows should be at least 2 feet (61 centimeters) apart. Each Brussels sprout plant should also be at least 2 feet (61 centimeters) apart.
When growing Brussels sprouts, it is important to keep the soil moist. It should not be allowed to become dry. In very hot and dry weather, the soil may need to be watered once or twice per day.
Brussels sprouts should also not be grown in the same plot for two years in a row. Instead, they should be grown every few years. Growing beans or peas in the years that Brussels sprouts are not grown. This will help keep diseases and pests that afflict members of the cabbage family to a minimum.