You’ll get around 25 brussel sprouts or 1-2 lbs. of sprouts per plant. How long you’re growing season is, the weather of the season, variety, and other factors influence the amount of brussel sprouts one plant will produce.
In this grow trial from the University of New Hampshire different varieties of brussel sprouts were grown in two different years.
In the first year the nine varieties grown produced an average of 20 brussel sprouts per plant. The variety Gustus produced the most with an average of 30.9 brussel sprouts per plant and the variety Roodnerf the least with 7.9 brussel sprouts per plant.
In the second year the eight varieties grown produced an average of 39 brussel sprouts per plant. The variety Jade Cross produced the most with an average of 59.1 brussel sprouts per plant and the variety Catskill the least with 9.8 brussel sprouts per plant.
This pdf produced by Oklahoma State University goes over the grow trials the University conducted in 2020. On page 14 is the results of the brussel sprout grow trial. The variety Chuchill averaged 22 sprouts per plant, Dagan 31, Divino 20, Hestia 14, Marte 28.
How Many Times Can You Harvest Brussel Sprouts
Although brussels sprouts are technically biennials, most commercial farmers replant them as annuals every year. This method ends in one large harvest. Home gardeners might also choose to harvest once and replant next year for the sake of convenience.
However, the savvy gardener knows better! In some growing regions brussels sprouts can be continuously harvested throughout their life. In a grow trial in Santa Clara County, California, brussel sprouts were harvested 6 times over a 10 month period.
Brussels sprouts are cold hardy to temperatures in the 20s and 30s. With cold winters plants will go dormant until the spring. If you have mild winters productivity will drop off during the coldest weeks and pick up as the weather warms.
In colder areas brussels sprout plants can usually survive (they do where I live in Southwest Michigan) and they will produce more sprouts in the spring. Something like 25% of the sprouts they produced the first year for me.
This and pest prevention are good reasons to grow brussels sprouts as annuals. Brussels sprouts attract cabbage worms and aphids, while fungal diseases can infect both plants and soil.
Neem oil is what I use for pests in the garden. Rotating crops more often may keep your garden soil disease-free.
How Many Brussel Sprouts To Plant Per Person
If you’re planning a brussels sprout plot, the first step is to figure out how much you or your family will need. Thankfully, there are tools to guide you! Vegetable production charts can help you decide how many brussels sprout plants your garden needs.
For a single person, most sources recommend you grow 2-5 brussels sprout plants. Expect about 2 lbs. of brussels sprouts from each plant. You can use these two estimates to adjust the number of plants you grow, depending on how many fresh sprouts you think you can eat.
These estimates are for fresh sprouts harvested as-needed. If you plan to freeze or can your sprouts after harvest, plant an additional 5-7 brussels sprouts per person. Preserved sprouts will last you through the year, so you want an oversized harvest.
Brussels sprout yields depend on a whole set of environmental factors. Some are under your control, like soil quality, while the length of your growing season, rainfall, and temperature extremes are out of your hands.
Plant Spacing vs. Number of Brussel Sprouts Per Plant
Plant spacing is important to calculate when you’re planning out your garden and you it can affect your overall yields. Ideal spacing will lead to more brussels sprouts (and bigger ones!) at harvest time.
“Plant density” is a term gardeners and farmers use when talking about spacing. This term factors in both the distance between rows and the distance between sprout stalks within the row. Optimal plant density is the spacing that gives you the most high-quality sprouts.
In general, a tighter spacing will give you more overall brussel sprouts because you’ll have more plants in the same space. However, tighter spacing will also mean less brussel sprouts per plant and brussel sprouts that are smaller.
Check out “How Far Apart To Plant Brussels Sprouts” for more on that.
Crowded plants can develop other problems that hurt yields. For one, brussels sprouts that are too close together will be more susceptible to pests. Crowding also restricts airflow around the plant stalks, which increases your risk for diseased sprouts.
How To Store Brussel Sprouts From the Garden
Brussels sprouts are less perishable than other leaf vegetables, so storage isn’t usually an issue. It can get tricky if you plan to harvest stalkfuls of sprouts all at once, however!
The first rule is to always store brussels sprouts unwashed. Washed sprouts tend to rot and mildew faster in storage. Instead, brush off any dirt with a dry brush or towel. You can also remove the outer leaves from each sprout before storing them.
Brussels sprouts are moderately perishable and can be stored 3-5 weeks at temperatures near the optimum of 0°C (32°F). Shelf life at 5°C (41°F) is 10-18 days and at 10°C (50°F) is less than 7 days.UC Davis -Post Harvest
A root cellar makes the perfect storage location because it is cool and has high humidity. Both temperature and humidity will be ideal during winter, after sprouts’ harvest window. The refrigerator is your second-best choice, although low humidity will shorten the vegetables’ shelf life.
Brussels sprouts’ leaves have a natural wax that prevents moisture loss. Although this coating does help them stay crisp, sprout leaves will wilt faster in a dry refrigerator drawer.
As long as you have the space, brussels sprouts actually last the longest on their stalk! If you plan to harvest all your sprouts at once, the easiest method is to cut down the whole plant stalk. Store by hanging or stacking the stalks in a cellar. Over the next 1-2 weeks, you can harvest sprouts from the stalk as needed.
Remember you can harvest brussels sprouts as they mature on the plant. They will reach their full size on the bottom of the stalk first.