Brussels sprouts

by Jane Moore

Despite the attentions of the cabbage white caterpillars my Brussels sprouts are doing really well.

Harvested Brussels sproutsDespite the attentions of the cabbage white caterpillars my Brussels sprouts are doing really well. I think the calabrese acted as a kind of sacrificial crop, as the cabbage whites have gone for these first, the cabbages second and the Brussels last of all.

Other than a bit of slug damage (you didn't think I'd get off that easily did you?) the plants look very good. The fledgling sprouts are forming nicely and each top knot of leaves is lush and sturdy. It all bodes rather well for Christmas dinner.

I planted them into a well-firmed bed, which is the key to growing good sprouts. A loose soil leads to 'blown' open sprouts rather than nice, tight little buttons.

I've also earthed up the stems as they've grown, which keeps them firmly rooted in the ground. I now need to earth up again and stake each plant to help it survive the autumnal winds that pummel our hilly site. I don't think canes are going to withstand the onslaught, especially as the plants are so big, but, like most allotmenteers, I've got a motley collection of bits of wood which will do the job nicely.

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Gardeners' World Web User 03/10/2008 at 07:50

You're not alone Joey, this is my first year of growing Brassicas...first the Wood Pigeons got 'em, then the White Fly, then the Caterpillars...I netted to keep off the birds and rabbits with some of that orange building site netting and stakes, with some 1" green netting over the top, but next year I will net to keep off the birds AND the butterflys, with finer mesh!!! Make sure your netting is fine enough to exclude the Butterflys, cos they will force their way through the bigger holed stuff, as I found out. They are most persistant!!!I spent hours picking off and squashing the damn caterpillars and eggs, and the smell is stomach turning. It was most disheartening, but I was persistant, and the sproughts are really nice to eat, quite mild at the moment as they have not had a frost.

Gardeners' World Web User 13/10/2008 at 13:11

My first time of growing sprouts they look so damaged but the sprouts themselves look nice an tight and safe. I didn't see those nasty caterpillars til it was to late for one of the plants so then it was out with a bucket of salty water every night I didn't know what else to do not knowing any other gardeners except here and being quite new to it too I will be better prepared next year tho!

Gardeners' World Web User 13/10/2008 at 18:19

thanks for your comment kevin for i am building a new garden for family. so this is the first time back on the computer i will take that on board. have a good year gardening and thanks, joey.

Gardeners' World Web User 11/05/2009 at 13:55

just wondering what kind of height my sprouts might grow to so I can put up the right height of netting.

Gardeners' World Web User 28/04/2010 at 20:40

Hi, i've just put up netting across my veggie patch, it's my first year growing, exactly how fine a mesh of net would be advisable as I don't want all the effort to go to waste....?

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