Top Of The Crops - Brussel Sprouts

Growing Brussels Sprouts in a Polytunnel

Brussels sprouts can be direct sown outside after the last frost in your area but it is usually a better idea to sow seeds under cover and transplant later to their final growing positions. A polytunnel makes a good place to sow and grow Brussels sprouts until they move outside to their final growing positions. They can also be grown inside a polytunnel, which will protect them from strong winds over the winter months – though it is worth while remembering that Brussels sprouts taste better once they have been subjected to a bit of frost and so it would not be a good idea to protect them entirely from the winter weather.

Sowing and Growing Requirements for Brussels Sprouts

Whether inside or outside your polytunnel, Brussels sprouts should be in a sheltered and sunny position where they will not be subjected to strong winds, which can cause root rock and damage the plants. Sow seeds around 1cm deep in March or April and move plants to their final growing positions from mid-May, when plants have developed seven true leaves and are around 10-15cm tall. Ideally, there should be a spacing of around 60cm between plants. Plant these transplants so that the lowest leaves are just above soil level.

Firm the soil well around the stems of your Brussels sprouts transplants and try to disturb the soil around the plants as little as possible. Instead of digging in organic matter, mulch/ top dress around plants with a high nitrogen organic mulch or fertiliser. Well-rotted poultry manure, or grass clippings (free from seed) can both work well. Water well when you move the plants to their final growing positions and then water well every week or two thereafter if the weather is dry. Before the winds of autumn arrive, mound soil around the plants to protect and support them further.

Like other brassicas, Brussels sprouts can benefit from companion planting with pest-repelling plants such as alliums and fragrant herbs. They may also benefit from the nitrogen-fixing capabilities of legumes. Brussels sprouts are fairly slow growing and so can be inter-cropped with faster growing crops such as lettuces which will be gone by the time the sprouts need the space and nutrition.

Harvesting Brussels Sprouts

Depending on when and where you planted them, Brussels sprouts can be ready to harvest from as early as September or as late as March. You should be able to harvest from them for around 6-8 weeks. Conventional wisdom is that sprouts always taste better after there has been a frost. Begin harvesting (lowest sprouts first) when the sprouts are around the size of walnuts, removing only a few from one plant at a time. At the end of the harvesting period, remember to take the head of the plant, as this should also be eaten.

Calendar

Sowing time – for September crop, sow under cover March. End March to April for outside crops.

Planting time – May to June

Expected picking time – September to March.

< Back

Swipe to scroll through tabs

About First Tunnels

We’re a close-knit bunch of skilled professionals who take an enormous pride in the quality and versatility of our products, But we’re enthusiasts too - we use our own products, and that means we’ve introduced lots of improvements and innovations over the years…based on first-hand everyday practical experience. We work hand-in hand with top growing experts. We even have our own allotment for some seriously hands-on gardening, often accompanied by communal summer and winter barbecues because all work and no play would be very dull!

Polytunnel Community

Reviewed by you, Followed by you, Liked by you and listened to by us. We have a strong online polytunnel community, 35k Facebook Fans, 10k Twitter Followers and over 3m YouTube Views. Our community of dedicated, passionate Polytunnel gardening friends, love to share their sowing tips, growing hints and harvesting secrets with each other. But more importantly for you, as a customer or a potential customer, you can post your comments in all their glory or gory details. Come and join the Polytunnel family.

Construction Help & Advice

Our six man construction team has a wealth of polytunnel construction knowledge and are more than happy to share tips and advice with any of our customers. Many of the team have been quite literally 'hands on' developing the First Tunnels vast array of construction videos and in depth instruction guides. Our construction team are available to answer your questions and help in whatever way they can. Simply call 01282 601253 on week days between 9am-5pm...PLUS weekend cover on 07801 601253, between 9am-5pm.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are proud of our products and the time that we have put in to making sure that all our products are first class. We understand that purchasing a polytunnel is a considerable investment, and whilst we have lots of help and advice on this site, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and blog pages many people like to compare and contrast before they commit their hard earned cash to buying. To this end we have compiled a list of the most common questions and provide 10 top reasons why First Tunnels Polytunnels is the top choice.

Getting Growing

Part of the fun of owning a polytunnel is picking the brains of people who really know how to make the most of the real growing potential. So we're making it easy for you...with some of the best brains in the business! This site now includes features, produced exclusively for First Tunnels by Andy McKee and Mark Gatter - best-selling authors of 'How to grow food in your Polytunnel' and 'The Polytunnel Handbook'. We also have videos from BBC’s Gardeners’ Question Time presenter, Paul Peacock. We also have a host of growing guides from Sam Youd, presenter & judge for the Royal Horticultural Society & Tatton Park Head Gardener.

Other Useful Stuff

What better way to learn about company dependability, product quality and customer service than to hear it straight from other consumers? By giving customers the opportunity to share their First Tunnels shopping experience, we believe this is the best reflection of our companies’ product and service. To help reinforce credibility, popularity and reputation, we have subscribed to not one, not two...but THREE independent review companies. We value all feedback, good, bad or ugly and hope to build a long lasting relationship with our customer, through our high quality products and friendly service, to ensure they do not hesitate to order again and again with First Tunnels in the future.