Brussel sprouts are ready to harvest anywhere form 90-300 days after planting. Most varieties are ready for harvest between 90-150 days but in warm weather growing regions the plant can keep producing and being harvested long after that.
In a grow trial done in Santa Clara County, California brussel sprouts were planted on April 5, first harvested about 110 days later, and then harvested 5 more times with the last harvest taking place on February 14.
Brussel sprouts once picked will not grow back. However, the plant will continue to grow up and new brussel sprouts will form if the weather permits it.
Brussel sprouts are cold hardy plants and can be harvested after a light frost or two. Leaving brussel sprouts on the plant until temperatures get near frost levels may make brussel sprouts concentrate their sugar levels and become sweeter when eaten.
Check out “When To Pick Brussel Sprouts” for more on that.
In this grow trial by the University of New Hampshire brussel sprouts were grown over two years. In the 2013 grow the brussel sprout plants were harvested about 170 days after planting the seeds. In the 2014 grow the brussel sprout plants were harvested twice, once about 160 days after being planted from seed and then again 190 days after.
Here’s a list of some popular seed distributors and the length of time they have listed for different brussel sprout varieties to reach maturity.
|Seed Source||Variety||Days to Maturity|
|johnnyseeds.com||Churchill||110 days from seed|
|Hestia||113 days from seed|
|Diablo||130 days from seed|
|Dagan||120 days from seed|
|Divino||130 days from seed|
|Gladius||118 days from seed|
|burpee.com||Long Island Improved||90 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|Green Gems Hybrid||85-95 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|Dimitri Hybrid||100-110 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|Redarling Hybrid (Red Brussel Sprouts)||140-145 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|Catskill||85-110 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|Urban Farmer||Catskill||100 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|Long Island||100 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|Churchill||80-90 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|Gustus||100 days from plant; add 30 days from seed|
|edenbrothers.com||Long Island Improved||90-115 days|
Factors That Affect How Long It Takes Brussel Sprouts To Reach Maturity
“Increasing the area per plant resulted in a shorten-ing of the time to the beginning of head formation, technical maturity and harvest.”Effect of Plant Density on the Growth, Development, and Yield of Brussel Sprouts
In Table 1 of the pdf linked above it shows that brussel sprouts reached technical maturity 7 days faster in plants spaced with about 6 square feet per plant than plants spaced with about 4 square feet per plant. 174 days versus 181 days for the plants with more space.
More space per plant will also lead to more brussel sprouts per plant and bigger brussel sprouts on plants. However, you will most likely get a larger overall yield by weight of brussel sprouts with tighter spacing of plants. This is because more plants equals more brussel sprouts!
Check out “How Far Apart To Plant Brussel Sprouts” for more on that.
Growing Region & Weather
Plants will mature faster with warmer weather. Hot temperatures and lots of sunshine will cause plants to grow faster and reach maturity sooner. Generally, growers in the South might have a shorter time to maturity than growers in the North.
How Long For Brussel Sprout Seeds To Sprout?
Brussel sprout seeds should germinate in 4-14 days. They are a cold weather crop and will germinate in soil temperatures between 40-85 degrees. They will germinate faster in warmer soil and slower in cooler soil.
This is the same as most seeds of vegetable garden plants and the reason that people use heating mats. By keeping the soil temperature warm seeds will germinate faster.
If you do use a heating mat make sure to remove the tray once about 50% or so of seeds have sprouted. While most seeds like warmer temperatures to grow, small seedling plants like cooler temperatures between 55-75 degrees to grow in.
If you’re direct sowing seeds outdoors you should wait until soil temperatures warm up. A soil thermometer and knowing the last expected frost date in your are important tools for knowing when to plant what outside.
The first/last expected frost date is a great tool from Farmer’s Almanac. It allows a grower to know the first and last expected frost dates for their area. The first being in the fall and the last being in the spring.
It’s based on historical temperature data and has been proven to be %70 accurate at predicting the last and first frost dates year after year.
It is specific to your zip code which is important because of micro-climates. A good example of microclimates is that living on the coast can give a grower a 45 day longer growing season than someone that lives 20 minutes further inland.
How Long Does It Take for Brussel Sprouts To Be Ready To Harvest?
Brussel sprouts are ready for harvest about 100 days after they have been planted. With a long enough growing season the plant will keep growing at the top and new brussel sprouts will grow in, meaning the plant can be continuously harvested.
Most gardeners will finish harvesting brussel sprouts around the time of their first expected or actual light frost. Brussel sprouts that remain on the plants while temperatures reach these lows are said to be sweeter.
Are Brussel Sprouts Easy To Grow?
Brussel sprouts are easy enough to grow. They are the same as most garden plants and don’t require much special attention. Two possible “advanced” strategies you can consider when growing brussel sprouts is staking and/or topping them.
Staking will give the lengthy plants extra support so they are sure not to fall over. Topping the plants is when you cut off the top growth so that the plant will not grow any taller.
It forces the plant to focus all its energy on the brussel sprouts that are already present instead of producing new growth. This technique seems to be the most beneficial if you’re running out of growing season or just want to wrap up your brussel sprout crop.
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