Brussel sprouts are a delicious, underrated vegetable that you can grow easily in pots if you lack garden space.
For those who don’t have a large garden, all you need is a sunny spot outside and a container to have fresh brussel sprouts.
If you have never had brussel sprouts, they look like little cabbages that grow in rows on the tall stalks of the plant.
Brussel sprout plants have incredibly thick stalks that require no support. That is why these plants do so well in container gardens.
Unfortunately, brussel sprouts have a terrible reputation for tasting nasty or bitter. It is generally because of improper cooking techniques. When cooked quickly, brussel sprouts have a delicious taste.
They are incredibly healthy for you. They contain vitamins, protein, dietary fiber, crucial minerals, and antioxidants. Each sprout is a source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, niacin and vitamin B-6.
When to Plant Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts are a cool weather plant. It is best to plant the started seedlings outside two weeks before your final frost date.
Springtime is best because these plants don’t like hot weather at all.
If it gets too hot, sprouts may not form along the stalk, and that is the whole point of growing them!
You can also plant brussel sprouts in pots in early summer if you want a fall crop. Doing so gives them plenty of time to mature and produce a crop by the time the weather cools down.
It takes 100 days after planting to get your first harvest, so you should plan appropriately.
Easy Steps to Planting Brussel Sprouts in Pots
#1 Prepare the Soil and Pot
You want to pick the right pot. One that is 12 inches in diameter and 12 inches deep will do the trick. Once you have your pot, fill it up with your potting soil.
Brussel sprouts do well with a slow-release fertilizer. You can add a 14-14-14 fertilizer to the potting soil. Before planting, you should also heavily water the soil. It is best to water until it comes out the bottom.
#2 Planting Brussel Sprout Seedlings
Take out the seedling from its container and dig a hole. You want to plant it to the same depth it was in the first container.
Brussel sprouts prefer to receive full sun, especially after you plant it. It needs to be set outside in direct sunlight immediately.
#3 Water Frequently
Remember that brussel sprouts are cool weather plants. They love to have moist soil, but it shouldn’t be soggy. Each day, you should check the soil.
If the top inch feels dry to you, you should water well. Containers tend to dry out faster than other options, and they will dry out faster in warmer weather.
Also read: Best Watering Can On The Market
#4 Fertilizing Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts do well when fertilized later through their growing season. You can use a 15-30-15 water soluble fertilizer.
Dissolve it in a gallon of water and use that to water your plants every two weeks.
You shouldn’t start fertilizing until it has been at least six weeks since transplanting. Unlike other forms of gardening, container planting allows the fertilizer to drain out faster with the water, so it is necessary to apply more frequently.
#5 How To Prune the Plant
As your brussel sprout plant grows, you will notice little sprouts forming on the plant's stalk. To help encourage sprout growth, cut off the tops of the stalks on the bottom of the plant.
You should start with the bottom six to eight leaves. It seems strange to remove these leaves, but it encourages your plants to push energy towards the sprouts and growing taller.
Don't toss those pruned leaves away! You can cook them up just like you would with spinach, kale or collard greens. With a bit of seasoning and bacon, they make a lovely side dish.
#6 When and How to Harvest Brussel Sprouts
Soon, those sprouts will be ready to eat! You want to be certain that you harvest the sprouts correcting so that you don't accidentally harm your plant.
Twist the sprouts from the main stalk after they are 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
You should start at the bottom of the stalk and work your way up as they mature. Maturity starts at the bottom and continues upwards.
With most plants, the sprouts will mature at different rates. If you want everything to harvest around the same time, cut off the top of the plant. You should do this two weeks before you plan to harvest the sprouts.
You should also remove all of the leaves. Doing so forces the plant to divert all of its energy to developing the sprouts. This method doesn’t work with some hybrid plants which do harvest at one time.
Frost and Brussel Sprouts
Brussel sprouts can typically handle frost because they are cooler weather plants. However, container plants should be treated a bit differently.
If there are frost warnings, you could move your containers inside throughout the night. Another option is to cover your brussel sprout plants with burlap material.
In the fall, late frosts can help your brussel sprouts plant grow faster. Frost will encourage your plants to reach maturity. Overall, a frost won't kill your plant, but it may be smart to cover it up.
A late frost can also boost the flavor of the sprouts. Below freezing temperatures change the natural starches in the plant into sugar, creating a lovely flavor.
Concluding How To Grow Brussel Sprouts
Even if you only grow one brussel sprouts plant, you are going to have a fantastic harvest. It is amazing how many sprouts come from one plant.
After you harvest them, store them in the refrigerator for two weeks. For long term storage, blanch and freeze for future uses.
Learning how to plant and grow brussel sprouts in pots is quite easy. If you keep the plants in full sun and keep the soil watered, the plants will grow well.
Remember to remove the bottom leaves to encourage sprout development. In a few months, your dinner will feature fresh brussel sprouts.
Her passion is gardening. Along with her husband and children, each year they grow a garden large enough to provide their family of five with over half of our needed produce. Besides vegetables and a small berry patch, she also focuses her attention on beautifying their home with strategically placed flowers, herbs, and flowering plants. Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is a way of life.