Jade Cross (Brussels Sprouts)
Latin Name: Brassica oleracea gemmifera
Item #: 45
BRUSSELS SPROUTS - fresh market and freezing
7,200 plants per acre; 3,000 plants per oz./28 g CULTURE: This crop is handled much the same as late cabbage and is sown outdoors only. Most growers still sow the seed in a seed bed, then transplant the seedlings into the field. Sow outdoors from May 10-25th as thinly as possible, (3 or 4 seeds per in/25 mm), 0.25 in/6 mm deep. Cover seeds with fine soil and firm. Transplant from seedling beds to the field in 4 or 5 weeks when plants are 4-5 in/10-12 cm tall. Space plants 2 ft/60 cm apart in rows 3 ft/90 cm apart. Control aphids and cabbage worms every 10 days with Malathion or Sevin XLR. Organic Gardeners can use Lady Bugs or Bug Bait to control both, from June 15th - Sept. when the weather is warm enough for predatory insects. All members of the cabbage family will produce good crops on a wide range of soils. They like well drained sandy or silt loam, which are fertile. Growers should fertilize their ground before transplanting, and add lime to their soil if it is too acid. Try for a pH of 6.5. Home gardeners should use a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10 @ 3 lbs/1.5 kg per 100 sq ft/10 sq m, if your soil is poor. If you have used fertilizer regularly in the past use only 1 lb. per 100 sq ft/5 kg per 10 sq m Side dress with additional fertilizer 3 weeks after transplanting.
HARVEST: As sprouts form at the base of the plant, remove the lower leaves and stems. Pinch out the center of the plant about Sept.15th. This encourages rapid development of the upper sprouts. Plants are harvested from the bottom up, as each sprout reaches about 1 in/25 mm in diameter. Plants are picked 4 or 5 times. Sprouts harvested after moderate or heavy Nov. frosts are much sweeter tasting. New European hybrids may be harvested in one or two pickings. Each plant should produce about 75 - 100 sprouts. Plants maybe pulled up and moved to a sheltered area in the garage, cover roots and continue to harvest all winter long.
FREEZING: Trim off loose outer leaves, wash, blanch for 3.5 min. Cool, drain, pack and freeze.