In this article we will discuss some important aspects of growing brussels sprouts and how tall they grow, such as whether or not Brussels sprouts need support as they grow as well as how to stake Brussels sprouts; we will also talk about the tallest brussels sprout ever grown in addition to describing for you some of the different brussels sprout varieties and their different heights.
Brussels sprouts are a popular vegetable known primarily for their distinctive aroma and taste (although they are also sometimes viewed unfavorably for a somewhat unpleasant bitterness when overcooked).
They are also known for growing vertically with the eponymous sprouts themselves growing like miniature cabbages in-between the more traditional leaves of the plant’s tall stalk.
Tallest Brussel Sprout Plant Ever Grown
The first thing to understand about the height of brussels sprout plants is that how tall they grow depends largely on the variety of brussels sprout; just as different types of brussels sprouts may come in different colors, so too do different varieties grow to be different heights.
Currently, the record for tallest brussels sprout plant ever grown goes to a specimen grown by Patrice and Steve Allison of Newport Beach, California; this Brussels sprout plant measured as being over nine feet tall in November of 2001.
That being said, it is worth mentioning that such an incredibly tall brussels sprout plant is not the norm; most brussels sprout plants grow to be only two or three feet tall.
Some other varieties notable for their impressive height and high-quality sprouts were included in a growing trial done by the Royal Horticulture Society and are as follows:
- The Abacus variety, which grew to 95cm tall (37.4 inches) and was described as producing a good crop of “solid, round sprouts”. Another variety that grows to a similar height is the Nelson variety, which is also stated to produce a “good yield” while being a “vigorous, compact plant”.
- The Braveheart variety, which grew to 110cm tall (43.3inches) and produced sprouts that were easy to pick with a “good nutty flavour”.
- The Diablo variety, which is described as a “vigorous plant” and grew to be an incredible 115cm tall (over 45 inches).
- The Eclipsus, Genius, and Igor varieties, all of which grew to 100cm tall (39.37 inches). The Eclipsus is described as a tall and uniform plant that produces “a good crop of round, mid-green sprouts” while the Genius is described as producing sprouts that are “loosely spaced on stem”and the Igor is stated to be an “attractive” and “vigorous” variety of brussels sprout that produces “solid, round, mid-green sprouts” that are “well spaced on stem”. That being said, the Genius variety is said to have somewhat larger sprouts (5cm) compared to both the Igor and the Eclipsus (which both have an average sprout length of about 3.5cm).
- The Maximus variety, which were described as being “uniform plants” that grew to be 90cm tall (approximately 35.5 inches)
- The Montgomery variety , which grew to be 105cm tall (just over 41 inches) and produced “a good crop of clean, smooth, and round” sprouts.
There are, of course, many other varieties of Brussels sprouts in the world other than the ones we discussed today, and while these varieties indisputably all have great qualities you should choose whichever one is best-suited to your wants and needs.
Do Brussel Sprouts Need Support?
Considered by some people to be a challenging crop in certain regions because of how long the plants can take to fully develop (anywhere from 80-160 days depending on both the growing conditions and the specific variety being grown, brussels sprouts are nevertheless a popular crop grown by many people around the world and have been an agricultural staple for generations.
But in order to grow brussels sprouts successfully there are certain things you need to know, such as whether or not brussels sprout plants need to be staked up for support.
Because brussels sprouts are a crop that grows up vertically and becomes incredibly top-heavy as it does so (particularly once the sprouts themselves begin to develop and grow larger), it is generally recommended to stake up the plants, which can grow as tall as thirty-six inches high depending on the variety.
Staking up the brussels sprout stalks prevents them from tipping over and possibly breaking under the force of their own weight as the sprouts come in (something that is of even greater importance if you are growing your brussels sprout crop in a windy environment that will put additional pressure on the stalks).
That being said, there is no need to stake up your Brussels sprout plants when they are still young and not yet producing sprouts; in most cases, you only need to worry about providing extra support for the plants once they become tall and top-heavy during the production stage of growth.
Additionally, there are also farms and growers who never stake up their plants and don’t have issues with their plants tipping over; ultimately, whether or not you will need to stake up your Brussels sprouts plants depends largely on the circumstances unique to your growing situation.
If you’re growing area has storms or other types of weather that produce strong winds, or if you’re growing a variety of brussels sprouts that grows taller than average and therefore is in greater danger of tipping over once the sprouts start coming in.
How To Stake Brussel Sprouts
As mentioned earlier, gusts of wind can blow over the top-heavy stalks of Brussels sprout plants which makes staking them up a pragmatic course of action to take.
Especially since brussels sprout are a crop grown primarily during the cooler and more tempestuous fall and winter seasons in most regions because of how hot temperatures during growth can lead to bitterness in the sprouts themselves.
Luckily, staking up brussels sprouts is actually a fairly straightforward process. The first thing you’ll need to do is buy stakes. Most people choose to use wooden stakes, but metal or plastic can be good options too depending on your personal preferences.
Either way, it’s recommended that you get stakes that are at least two or three feet tall, to ensure that they have enough height to sufficiently support the plants and if you happen to be growing a variety of brussels sprouts that grows even taller than three feet, you will of course need to get stakes to match that height.
Next, you will need to take your stakes and plant them in the dirt approximately two inches away from the base of the plant. Some people will use one stake per plant for this while others prefer to put one stake on either side of the plant to provide support from both sides, but either way the next (and final) step is to tie the stalk of the plant to the stake(s) with garden tie or whatever you have around the house.
Do take care, however, that when you are tying the plant to the stake you do so loosely; it’s important for the plant to not be tied down too tightly since it could potentially damage the plant rather than protect it as intended.
In the end, what you need to remember about staking up brussels sprouts is that while it is not required for a successful crop, it is recommended (particularly if you live in a location prone to windy conditions or are growing a variety of Brussels sprouts that gets to be exceptionally tall). Additionally, don’t forget to use stakes that are at least 2 or 3 feet tall (or even taller, if necessary).
We hope that you’ve found this article helpful and informative for understanding not only how tall do Brussels sprouts grow and what the tallest Brussels sprout plant ever grown is but also how to stake them up for greater support.
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