Brussel sprouts originate from the Gemmifera cabbage group and are very popular in Brussels, Belgium. They are shaped like miniature cabbages with a diameter of 1.5–4.0 cm.
Brussels sprouts are one of the vegetables with many nutritional values in terms of health. They can protect people from diseases like stomach, lung, kidney, breast, bladder, and prostate cancers. In addition, Brussels sprouts are also effective in preventing health problems like blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. In particular, Brussels sprouts contain colorful plant pigments such as carotenoids, so they are good for your eyes.
This vegetable is relatively easy to grow and care for. However, many gardeners often wonder about their economy. One of the most common problems that many people concern themselves with is their life cycle. Do Brussels sprouts come back every year? Can you harvest this vegetable 2-3 crops after planting? All answers are available here.
Do Brussels Sprouts Come Back Every Year?
The answer is NO!
According to the theory of plants, Brussels sprouts are herbaceous plants, so their life cycle is only 2 growing seasons. However, if you harvest them as adults, the second growing season will be very difficult to pollinate again. Because, in the second season, they will flower instead of leaves like tiny cabbage to harvest.
Our main purpose when growing this vegetable is to harvest the leaves to serve each daily meal. So if you skip the harvest time, they will flower and become useless. Although you have a careful and professional care process, you will not be able to harvest the product in the second season because the plants will flower and fruit like the natural process of most other plants.
It means that Brussels sprouts cannot sustain year after year even if you don’t harvest the first season. Because they will die in the second crop and stop growing in the later period. Therefore, you should consider Brussels sprouts as annual vegetables and replant them after harvest. The quantity and quality of leaves will also be maximized in the first crop instead of the second.
When Should You Plant Brussels Sprouts Annually?
You can start planting Brussels sprouts from March to May every year. If you plant them during this time, you will be able to harvest them by Christmas. Brussels sprouts are known for being slow growing, so plant them early to avoid missing the right harvest time.
You can start growing them in March indoors, then plant them in an outdoor location in May for better growth. In fact, Brussels sprouts can survive the winter, even being cold-tolerant, because they are an extremely hardy vegetable and will survive frosts of about 5 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit). However, if the temperature is too cold or freezing, they will also not be able to survive.
You need to make sure the ambient temperature is ideal for growing Brussels sprouts. If the temperature is not right, you can grow them indoors or in a greenhouse to maintain the ideal temperature. Use shelters or keep warm if you grow vegetables outside. Only when the plants are hardy and strong enough to withstand the external environment can you remove the protection measures.
Can Brussels Sprouts Regrow After Harvest?
Brussels sprouts can regrow after harvest if you leave the stem in the ground. However, they will grow and develop slowly if not cared for carefully. In particular, you will not be able to harvest the products as expected because they will flower due to pollination from wind and insects.
Brussels sprouts will take a long time to continue to grow until the second harvest. Usually, this period lasts up to 8 months. This period is too long to wait while you can absolutely plant a new crop with better quality.
Therefore, you should plant this vegetable every year instead of waiting for the second crop to harvest them. In particular, the quality and quantity of products that you harvest in the first crop will also be much higher than that of the second crop.
Why Are Brussels Sprouts Not Growing Well?
Brussels sprouts are very easy to grow if you have the ideal environment for this plant. They prefer cool temperatures, lots of sunlight and the right humidity will produce the best crop. If Brussels sprouts are not growing well, you may notice some of the following problems.
- Brussels sprouts are vegetables that are harvested every two years, so they will stop growing by the second season.
- The maturation time of each variety varies from 85 to 130 days. So you need to learn about the breed and size in each stage.
- Watering too little or too many causes the plants to dry out or rot the roots.
- Pests, fungi, and maggots attack the root system.
- Lack of sunlight also prevents Brussels sprouts from growing well.
- Not enough nitrogen in the soil also makes this plant unable to grow and develop well.
- Lack of fertilizer or too much fertilizer also causes them to burn leaves or grow stunted.
- Temperatures that are too hot (Beyond 24 degrees Celsius or 75 degrees Fahrenheit) or too cold (Below 5 degrees Celsius or 40 degrees Fahrenheit) will also prevent this variety from growing well.
- The soil is not well drained, long-term waterlogging causes the leaves to turn yellow or brown.
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Brussels sprouts are plants that can grow and develop within 2 years. However, you can only harvest them during the first year of the maturation period. In the second crop, they will begin to flower and not produce tiny cabbages to eat.
Therefore, you should consider Brussels sprouts as annuals to get the best results. The right time to plant this vegetable is from March to May every year. They are known for being slow-growing vegetables, so you should be able to harvest them at Christmas.
You need to create the ideal conditions for this vegetable to grow such as warm temperature, enough water, light every day, and fertilization at the growth stage. Avoid water logging because harmful fungi and bacteria will attack Brussels sprouts and cause them to die off.