How Far Apart To Plant Brussel Sprouts

Brussel sprouts are a part of the brassica family also known as the cole family, cole meaning stem. They are cool weather green vegetable crops that require similar spacing. Brussel sprouts are an upright plant that should be spaced 18″ apart from each other in all directions.

If direct sowing seed into the garden plant brussel sprout seeds ever 6″ apart and then thin down to every 18″ apart when the plants are 6″ high or so.

This table shows recommended spacings for brussel sprouts from different sources.

SourceHow Far Apart To Plant Brussel Sprouts In a RowHow Far Apart To Plant Brussel Sprout Rows
johnnyseeds.com18-24" apart36" apart
University of Michigan State Extension18" apart30" apart
University of Maryland Extension18-24" apart30-36" apart
Utah State University Extension 12-18" apart24-36" apart
Texas A&M Agrilife Extension14-18" apart36" apart
Illinois University Extension24-36" apart24" in all directions in a bed
University of Arkansas Agriculture12-18" apart24-30" apart
University of Kentucky Extension18-24" apart36" apart
Kansas State University Extension24" apart36" apart
edenbrothers.com15-18" apart in all directions
ufseeds.com24" apart36" apart
University of Minnesota Extension 18" apart

Brussel Sprouts Spacing vs. Yields

In general, plants spaced tighter together will produce a higher yield by weight. You have more plants that produce more brussel sprouts giving you a larger overall yield.

The tighter spacing also means that individual plants will have less brussel sprouts of a smaller size than brussel spout plants given plenty of space.

Corn is a crop that has a tremendous amount of studies done on it because of its importance to food supply.

Corn plants in fields typically only grow one ear of corn per plant because the plants are spaced so tight together that’s all the plant can produce. However, corn plants on the outsides of fields or grown by themselves will produce multiple ears of corn. The increased access to sunlight, water, and nutrients allows the plant to grow more ears.

Corn plants are spaced tightly together in fields because that’s what farmers have found gives them the greatest yield.

How Much Space Do Brussel Sprouts Need?

Brussel sprout plants need at a minimum one square foot of space per plant. This is in line with square foot gardening practices and the tighter side of recommended spacings from University Extensions.

Square foot gardening is an intensive form of gardening meant to maximize usage and yields from garden beds. It’s typically done with garden beds that are physically divided into square foot sections by wood trim, wire panel, irrigation hose, or something else.

It’s nice to have a bed divided this way because you can see where free space is and know exactly what you can fill it with.

It also promotes the growth of different plants in the same area, a polyculture of plants, that have different diseases and pests so there is less chance of a whole garden bed being wiped out.

What Happens If You Plant Brussel Sprouts Too Close Together?

If you plant brussel sprouts too close together you will still get brussel sprouts but it is not efficient because you’ll be wasting seeds, nutrients from the soil, and water. Some of the plants will make it and others won’t or you’ll end up with lots of plants that have a small number of brussel sprouts on them.

How Far Apart To Plant Brussel Sprouts in a Raised Bed

In a raised bed plant brussel sprouts every 12-18″ apart from each other. If you’re planting seed plant it every 4-6″ apart and then thin them down once they reach around 6″ tall.

So for a 4’x8′ bed you’ll need 18 brussel sprout plants if they’re spaced 18″ apart and 32 plants if they’re spaced 12″ apart.

How Deep To Plant Brussel Sprouts

Sow brussel sprout seeds about 1/2″ deep. Cover them with soil, pat down gently, and water them in. If you’re planting seedlings aim for 1/2″ of soil on top of the root ball.

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