Brussels Sprouts -- too close together?

laura_42(4b-5a Colorado)April 1, 2010

The other day I planted out four wee brussels sprout plants (Jade E Cross) that came home with me from the local nursery:

I know it's rather early, but since they're on a raised bed and under covered hoops at night, I figured they'd be warm enough -- although the 80 degree temps the other day caused a bit of a scramble to keep them cool!

Question I have is: did I put them in too close together? They're currently about 12 inches apart from one another, a la' the square foot gardening method and Barbara Hyde's "Gardening in the Mountain West" series, but now I'm wondering if this will be OK, as many other sources recommend 18-24 inches.

Any thoughts would be more than welcome. :)

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nancy_in_co(z5 CO)

Hi Laura,

I was waiting for one of the more experienced veggie gardeners to answer your question but I can take a crack at it. I grow brussel sprouts every year - I don't much care for the big bitter ones in the grocery store but the home grown ones are sweet, tender and wonderful.

I think you have them too close together. I plant mine about 18" apart. They will defintely get big and broad.

Oh, and if this is your first venture into brussel sprouts, I find that if you wait to harvest until after the first real cold or snow in the fall, they will be sweeter. Definitely don't worry about a little frost - these babies are hearty!

Good luck, Nancy

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 2:32PM
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singcharlene(Zone 5)

I would say that farther apart would be better. I grew them for the first time last year and I think they were too close. The plants do get pretty big.

That's interesting about waiting until the first snow. I never got any brussels sprouts off of mine last fall. The plants grew very big but they never grew any bigger than marble size. I don't know what I did wrong? I'm thinking maybe my soaker house in that area of the garden wasn't working well. I'm replacing it this year and I'm going to try and grow them again. I've already winter sowed them and have some tiny seedlings.

I love them so much and can only imagine how tasty they are from the garden.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 4:46PM
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laura_42(4b-5a Colorado)

Thanks so much, Nancy and Charlene. :)

I only grew one plant last year, and the sprouts were tasty before the snow -- and even better afterwards. I also found that if I harvested them early enough, new sprouts grew in their place!

Since I've got limited space, I'm either going to move them slightly apart (to about 14-15 inches) or else take out a couple of the plants altogether and try them in containers. Will see how it goes...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2010 at 10:15PM
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