Brussel sprouts!

Sow in March under cloches or fleece or in a coldframe, thinly 13mm (½in) deep in a seed bed in rows 15cm (6in) apart from early-March to early-April, using early and late cultivars. Sow early for the best crops. Thin seedlings to 7.5cm (3in) apart.

From mid May to early June, when the young plants are 10-15cm (4-6in) high and have seven true leaves, transplant to their growing positions, leaving 60cm (2ft) between plants and 75cm (2½ft) between rows. Before planting, water plants well and water well again after transplanting.

Choose a sheltered, sunny site, protected from strong winds.

Any organic compost with full sun is suitable. Add up to two bucketfuls of well-rotted organic manure per square metre, and before planting or sowing add 150g (5oz) per square metre. Feed organic bone meal.Water every 10-12days in periods of dry weather. Plants benefit from a top-dressing of organic high nitrogen fertiliser such as dried poultry manure pellets at 150g (5oz) per square metre/yard in July. At the end of August
mound organic soil around the base to support the Brussel Sprouts.
Early varieties can be harvested from August. Start from the lowest sprouts, when they are tightly closed, firm and the size of a walnut. Snap them off with a sharp downward tug. The flavour is improved once the sprouts have been frosted. At the end of the season the sprout tops can be harvested and eaten.

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