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Can anyone give me some tips on growing sprouts please. I have tried to grow them but the plants do not get very big and when the sprouts do appear they seem to explode.

Thats called bolting ... but I thought it usually happened when the sprouts were old !

I know that when they are planted they like the ground to be very firm ... I usually plant the sprouts when they're about 3 inches high and firm the ground round them down with me feet.

Another idea is that they could be diseased .. clubroot ? (Not sure of the symptoms though)

How long were they in the ground ?


I tried to grow them last year, Like you I planted them out when they were approx 3ins high. I did not leave them to grow "old" as I love them, could you recommend a good variety. I want to try again and hopefully have them for xmas.


I grow 'Petrus' from Unwins .... they're expensive but are worth it.    They don't grow too tall and the sprouts are also quite firm and small.  The flavour though is exquiste ... I grew mine last year for Christmas and am growing some this year as well.

I've just planted 3 of them into the ground and have put a copper ring (to protect from slugs) and some fleece to protect them from the cold.

Any more problems just shout.



The important thing is that the soil must be firmed up after you've planted them.

The frost also makes them sweeter ... tahts why we leave them to get 'old' !



hi im growing seedling in pots and using warm water to bring them on cold water shocks them and the die

samantha olivant wrote (see)

hi im growing seedling in pots and using warm water to bring them on cold water shocks them and the die

Sorry-no-that is a bit of exaggeration -you will not kill them by watering with cold water.


Hi Sue,

What sort of soil do you have?  Sprouts (and brassicas in general) seem to prefer heavy soils in my experience and, as others have said, it is important to firm the soil around them when planting out.  Light sandy soils tend to dry out too quickly and this is what leads to bolting.

I've tried several varieties over the years but get best results from 'Trafalger' on my clay soil.

brussel sprouts like all brassicas like alkaline soil conditions try mixing hydrated lime with water and adding to the plants evey couple of weeks also they hate it if they are blown about by wind if necessary stake each plant using a garden cane.The blowing of the sprout is due to sporadic watering try to maintain a damp not wet soil

hi, i just harvested my first brussel sprouts.  they looked wonderful but as i cleaned them i found what looks like granular dirt between the leaves.  i am sure it is some kind pest though.  what is it and what can i do about it?  i grow an organic garden so pesticide is out.

jean neal

My Brussels are growing quite well (my first time) but when I shake the leaves or spray with water I get a cloud of VERY small insects flying up. after few seconds they then resettle. They are extremely small and probably 1 mm in size

Other than that they seem very healthy.

Hi David Jones6.  You do not say what colour these small insects are but I think they are most likely to be whitefly.  I use a home made garlic based spray which I find effective as it doesn't taint the sprouts and is easily made. I also use this mixture as an all round insect deterrent throughout the growing year. It does give the little lighters a bad breath though.


It is important to plant them in firm ground as well as planting them firmly. Do not dig the ground or dig in manure before you plant them. You can still eat blown sprouts, just a different vegetable!

I planted some Evesham sprouts in July. I pulled a few up a couple of weeks ago because they were not doing anything. One of them, instead of growing upwards, was growing outwards and was just a fat stalk. They were planted in firm ground which was extra firmed once they were in. 

The ones I'm left with have little sprouts on them, but the plants aren't very tall. Maybe about 18 inches. I'm a bit worried now that I didn't plant them soon enough and aren't going to have them ready for Christmas  



Some sprout varieties are much shorter than others. Have you checked how tall yours grow?




*goes off to google* 



Can I ask about cabbage white butterflies. I've tried the squish method but the more I squish the more there seems to occur and is turning me into a genocidal maniac. Ive tried covering in netting and still somehow they're getting through decimating the crop. Ive even seen them marching along the soil towards them!

Any ideas on how to avoid these pesky blighters without resorting to pesticides?

Singing Gardener

I've found from experience that you have to net all the brassicas which are around or else the caterpillars will do exactly what you say and march along the soil to get at the ones that are netted. I've also found that some of the netting sold as "butterfly netting" doesn't have small enough holes and the butterflies can get through. For the last few years I've grown my sprouts and cabbages in tunnels and cages with small gauge netting and haven't had any problems.

I find that in order to have sprouts for Christmas the plants need to be in the ground by the middle of April. I grow Evesham in heavy clay with a dressing of lime before planting and they seem to do well. I grow them in a cage to protect against caterpillar attack but this means some slug and snail damage as the birds can't get in. Can't win 'em all!

Thanks for the info think I'll invest in a cage. I'm a rarity that loves sprouts!

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