Growing Brussels Sprouts / The Utah Garden How To Guide

Growing Brussels Sprouts Is Easy In Cool Climates

Growing Brussels sprouts is easy in cool climates like Park City Utah. Brussels sprout are cool season vegetable that prefer a sunny location and fertile, well-drained soil.  Incorporate plenty of organic matter and a complete fertilizer into the area before planting.  Plant seeds 1/4-3/4 inch deep.  Thin seedlings or transplant Brussels sprouts 12-18 inches apart in the row with rows 2-3 feet apart.  Plant Brussels sprouts in early summer for maturity in the fall after several frosts.  Avoid fertilization during sprout formation as this may cause loose, soft sprouts, and splitting,  Irrigation should be deep and infrequent.  Plastic or organic mulches help conserve water and reduce weed growth.  Control insects and diseases throughout the year.  Harvest Brussels sprouts when the sprouts are 1 inch in diameter, but before thy burst open.

Recommended Varieties

There are many good Brussels sprouts varieties for sale in local gardening outlets and through seed catalogs.  Most grow well in Utah.  Long Island Improved (90 days), Prince Marvel (100 days), and Jade Cross (100 days) have excellent production, eating quality and storage potential.

Growing Brussels Sprouts / How To Guide


Brussels sprouts prefer fertile, well drained soil rich in organic matter for best growth.  Most soils in Utah are suitable for Brussels sprouts production.


Soil Preparation

Before planting, incorporate up to 2-4 inches of well composted organic matter and apply 4-6 cups of all purpose fertilizer (10-10-10).


Brussels sprouts can be grown from seed or transplants.  Seeds should be planted 1/4-3/4 inch deep and thinned to the final stand when plants have 3-4 true leaves.  Plants removed at thinning can be transplanted to adjacent areas.  Transplants should have 4-6 mature leaves and a well developed root system before planting out.  Generally 5-6 weeks are required to grow transplants to this size.


Planting and Spacing

Seeded or transplanted Brussels sprouts should be spaced 12-18 inches between plants in the row with rows 2 feet apart.  Brussels sprouts grow best when temperatures do not exceed 70°F and are not seriously damaged by temperatures below freezing.  Brussels sprouts require a long time to mature.  Plants should be planted in early summer (early June to late July) for maturity in the fall.  Seeded Brussels sprouts may be planted at the same time.  They  should be planted so that the sprouts develop when fall temperatures cool.  High summer temperatures reduce plant growth, decrease sprout quality, and cause internal tipburn.



Water Brussels sprouts deeply and infrequently while trying to maintain even soil moisture.  About 1-2 inches of water are required per week.  Use drip irrigation if possible to conserve water.  Applying mulch around the plant also helps conserve soil moisture and reduce weed growth.  Moisture fluctuations during heading will cause maturing sprouts to split open or develop bitter flavors.


Apply nitrogen-based fertilizer (21-0-0) at 4 and 8 weeks after transplanting or thinning to encourage vigorous plant growth.  Avoid applying additional nitrogen after sprouts begin to form.


Mulches And Row Covers

Plastic mulches help conserve water and reduce weed growth when using transplants.  Fabric covers also protect young plants from insect pests.  Apply organic mulches when temperatures increase above 80° F.  Mulches help cool the soil and reduce water stress.  Organic mulches, such as grass clippings, straw and shredded newspaper also help control weeds.


Harvest and Storage

Brussels sprouts should be harvested when the sprouts reach 1 inch in diameter and are firm and compact.  Sprouts near the bottom of the plant develop first.  As they are harvested, sprouts further up the stem continue to enlarge.  For more uniform sprout development along the whole stem, remove the growing point at the top of the plant when the lower sprouts begin to form.  Sprouts can be harvested by breaking or cutting them off the stem.  Brussels sprouts can be stored for 2-6 months at 32° F and 95% relative humidity.  Avoid storing Brussels sprouts with apples, pears, or other ethylene producing fruits as bitter flavors will develop.



Plant 3-5 Brussels sprouts per person for fresh use and additional 5-7 plants for storage, canning or freezing.