How To Plant Brussel Sprouts From Seed [ Full Guide ]

Brussels sprouts are a nutritious and delicious addition to your vegetable garden. Planting Brussels sprouts from seeds is a rewarding experience that allows you to witness the entire growth process from start to finish. In this guide, we will delve into the detailed steps involved in planting Brussels sprouts from seeds, enabling you to enjoy a bountiful harvest of these delectable vegetables. From selecting the right seeds to preparing the soil and nurturing the seedlings, you will find comprehensive information to guide you through the entire process.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Brussels Sprouts From Seed

  1. Choose the Right Seeds: Select high-quality Brussels sprout seeds suitable for your climate and growing conditions.
  2. Prepare the Soil: Ensure the soil is well-drained, fertile, and rich in organic matter. Brussels sprouts thrive in slightly acidic soil with a pH level of 6.0 to 7.5.
  3. Sow the Seeds: Plant the seeds indoors in early spring or outdoors in late spring or early summer, depending on your climate.
  4. Seedling Care: Provide adequate water, sunlight, and protection from pests during the seedling stage.
  5. Transplanting: Once the seedlings have developed several true leaves, transplant them into the prepared garden bed.
  6. Maintenance: Water, fertilize, and monitor for pests and diseases as the plants grow.
  7. Harvesting: Harvest the Brussels sprouts when the sprouts are firm and about 1-2 inches in diameter.

Benefits Of Growing Brussels Sprouts From Seed

Growing Brussels sprouts from seeds offers several benefits, including:


Starting Brussels sprouts from seeds is cost-effective compared to purchasing seedlings. A single packet of Brussels sprout seeds contains numerous seeds, allowing you to cultivate multiple plants at a fraction of the cost of buying individual seedlings.

Greater Variety Options

When you grow Brussels sprouts from seeds, you have access to a broader range of varieties. Seed catalogs and online seed suppliers offer a diverse selection of Brussels sprout cultivars, allowing you to choose the specific varieties that best suit your taste preferences and growing conditions.

Deeper Understanding Of Plant Growth

Planting Brussels sprouts from seeds allows you to witness the entire growth cycle, from germination to harvest. This hands-on experience provides a deeper understanding of the plant’s life cycle and the factors that influence its growth and development.

Personal Satisfaction

Nurturing Brussels sprouts from seeds to mature plants and eventually harvesting the flavorful sprouts can be incredibly gratifying. The sense of accomplishment and connection to the food you grow can be immensely rewarding.

Choosing The Right Seeds For Your Climate

Selecting the right seeds is crucial for successful Brussels sprout cultivation. Consider the following factors when choosing Brussels sprout seeds for your climate:

Seed Varieties

Brussels sprouts come in various varieties, each with unique attributes such as flavor, size, and maturity dates. Consider your personal preferences and the specific requirements of your growing region when selecting a variety. Some popular Brussels sprout varieties include “Long Island Improved”, “Churchill”, and “Jade Cross”.

Climate Compatibility

Brussels sprouts prefer cool weather and thrive in regions with moderate temperatures. When selecting seeds, consider the average frost dates in your area. Choose early-maturing varieties if you have a short growing season, while selecting late-maturing varieties is suitable for regions with mild winters and extended growing seasons.

Seed Quality

Opt for high-quality seeds from reputable suppliers or nurseries. Look for seeds that are viable, disease-resistant, and well-suited to your climate. Pay attention to the seed packaging, which typically provides information about the variety, seed viability, and ideal growing conditions.

Organic Vs. Conventional Seeds

Both organic and conventional Brussels sprout seeds are available in the market. Consider your preference for organic gardening practices and the availability of organic seeds when making your selection.

Preparing The Soil For Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts thrive in well-prepared soil that provides essential nutrients and optimal drainage. The following steps will guide you in preparing the soil for planting Brussels sprout seeds:

Soil Ph And Composition

Brussels sprouts prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. Test the soil pH using a soil testing kit available at garden centers or through local agricultural extension offices. If the soil pH is outside the preferred range, amend it with lime to raise the pH or elemental sulfur to lower it.

Organic Matter And Fertility

Incorporate organic matter, such as compost or well-rotted manure, into the soil to improve its fertility and structure. Organic matter enhances nutrient retention, promotes beneficial microbial activity, and contributes to overall soil health. Aim to incorporate organic matter at least a few weeks before sowing the Brussels sprout seeds to allow it to integrate into the soil.

Soil Drainage

Good drainage is essential for Brussels sprouts, as waterlogged soil can lead to root rot and other complications. Ensure the planting area has adequate drainage by amending heavy clay soils with organic matter and incorporating amendments to improve soil structure.

Site Selection

Select a sunny location for planting Brussels sprouts. These vegetables thrive in full sunlight, although they can tolerate partial shade. Choose a site with well-drained soil and ample sunlight, as this will promote healthy plant growth and robust sprout development.

Soil Preparation Timeline

Ideally, soil preparation for planting Brussels sprouts should commence several weeks before the anticipated planting date. This allows sufficient time for the soil amendments to integrate and provides an optimal environment for the seeds and subsequent seedlings.

When To Plant Brussels Sprout Seeds

The timing of planting Brussels sprout seeds depends on your specific climate and growing conditions. Follow these guidelines to determine the ideal planting times for your region:

Indoor Sowing

Start Brussels sprout seeds indoors approximately 6-8 weeks before the last expected frost date in your area. Use biodegradable seedling pots or trays filled with a high-quality seed starting mix. Sow the seeds at a depth of 1/4 inch, and ensure the soil remains consistently moist until the seeds germinate.

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Outdoor Sowing

In regions with mild winters or extended growing seasons, Brussels sprout seeds can be planted directly into the garden soil in late spring or early summer. Ensure the soil has warmed up sufficiently, and the risk of frost has passed before sowing the seeds outdoors.

Transplanting Timing

Transplant the indoor-sown Brussels sprout seedlings into the garden when they have developed several true leaves and are sturdy enough to withstand outdoor conditions. This typically occurs 4-6 weeks after sowing the seeds indoors. When transplanting, space the seedlings approximately 18-24 inches apart in rows spaced 30 inches apart to allow ample room for growth.

Succession Planting

Consider staggered sowing or succession planting to extend the harvest period and ensure a continuous supply of Brussels sprouts throughout the growing season. Plan additional seedings at 2-3 week intervals, allowing for a prolonged and steady harvest.

Growing Brussels sprouts from seeds is a gratifying and sustainable approach to cultivating these nutritious vegetables. By selecting the right seeds, preparing the soil meticulously, and planting at the appropriate times, you can ensure optimal conditions for robust Brussels sprout growth. Additionally, understanding the benefits of growing from seeds and the nuances of seed selection and soil preparation equips you with the knowledge to embark on a successful Brussels sprout cultivation journey. With these comprehensive guidelines, you are well-prepared to embark on a rewarding Brussels sprout planting experience, ultimately leading to a bountiful and flavorsome harvest of homegrown Brussels sprouts.

Proper Seed Placement For Optimal Growth

Brussels sprouts are a nutrient-dense and delicious vegetable that can be grown in your own backyard.

To ensure optimal growth and development of your Brussels sprout plants, it’s important to place the seeds correctly in the soil. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Choose a Well-Draining Location: Brussels sprouts prefer a sunny location with well-draining soil. Consider adding compost or organic matter to improve soil structure and drainage.

  2. Planting Seeds Indoors: If you live in an area with a short growing season, you can start your Brussels sprout seeds indoors about 6 to 8 weeks before the last frost date. Fill seedling trays or pots with a seed-starting mix, which is light and well-draining. Moisten the mix before planting.

  3. Sow the Seeds: Place the Brussels sprout seeds on top of the soil, spacing them about an inch apart. Lightly press the seeds into the soil to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.

  4. Cover and Label: Sprinkle a thin layer of seed-starting mix or vermiculite over the seeds, just enough to cover them. Mist the soil with water to moisten it further. Finally, label your trays or pots with the seed variety and date of planting.

  5. Provide Ideal Conditions: To help the seeds germinate, maintain a temperature of around 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius) and keep the soil consistently moist. You can cover the trays or pots with a clear plastic dome or plastic wrap to create a greenhouse-like environment.

  6. Transplanting Seedlings: Once the seedlings have developed their first true leaves and are about 4 to 6 inches tall, they can be transplanted outdoors. Harden off the seedlings by gradually exposing them to outdoor conditions over the course of a week.

Watering And Fertilizing Brussels Sprouts

Proper watering and fertilizing are crucial for the healthy growth of Brussels sprout plants. Follow these guidelines to meet their needs:

  1. Watering: Brussels sprouts have a deep root system, so it’s important to provide them with consistent moisture. Water the plants deeply once or twice a week, ensuring the water reaches the root zone. Avoid overhead watering, as this can promote disease. A layer of mulch around the plants can help conserve moisture and prevent weeds.

  2. Fertilizing: Brussels sprouts are heavy feeders, so regular fertilization is essential. Before transplanting seedlings, incorporate a balanced organic fertilizer into the soil. Once the plants are in the ground, apply a side dressing of compost or well-rotted manure every 3 to 4 weeks throughout the growing season. Alternatively, you can use a slow-release granular fertilizer according to package instructions.

  3. Micronutrient Deficiencies: Brussels sprouts may sometimes show signs of micronutrient deficiencies. Yellowing of leaves can indicate a nitrogen deficiency, while purple discoloration can be a sign of phosphorus deficiency. To address these issues, you can apply a foliar spray or liquid organic fertilizer specifically formulated for micronutrient deficiencies.

Protecting Seedlings From Pests And Disease

Brussels sprouts are susceptible to various pests and diseases, but there are preventive measures you can take to protect your seedlings:

  1. Row Covers: Use row covers or fine mesh nets to physically exclude pests like cabbage worms, aphids, and flea beetles. These covers allow sunlight, air, and water to penetrate while preventing pests from reaching your plants. Secure the covers tightly to the ground to prevent pests from crawling underneath.

  2. Companion Planting: Planting companion plants such as onions, garlic, or marigolds around your Brussels sprouts can help deter pests. Onions and garlic emit odors that repel insects, while marigolds act as a natural pest repellent.

  3. Organic Pest Control: If pests become a problem, there are various organic pest control methods you can try. For example, handpicking and physically removing insects can be effective for smaller infestations. You can also use organic insecticidal soaps or neem oil sprays, which are safe to use on edible plants.

  4. Disease Prevention: To prevent diseases such as clubroot and powdery mildew, practice crop rotation and avoid planting Brussels sprouts in the same spot year after year. Ensuring good airflow around the plants by spacing them properly can also help prevent disease development.

Thinning And Transplanting Seedlings

Once your Brussels sprout seedlings have developed their first true leaves and are around 4 to 6 inches tall, it’s time to thin and transplant them. Follow these steps:

  1. Thinning Seedlings: Thin out the seedlings so that the remaining plants are spaced 18 to 24 inches apart. This allows enough room for the plants to grow and develop their sprouts. Use scissors or your fingers to carefully remove the extra seedlings at the base, being careful not to disturb the roots of the remaining plants.

  2. Transplanting Outdoors: Choose a well-draining, sunny spot in your garden for transplanting. Dig a hole slightly larger than the root ball of the seedling. Gently lift the seedling from its container, being careful not to damage the roots. Place the seedling into the hole, ensuring that the top of the root ball is level with the soil surface. Backfill the hole and gently firm the soil around the seedling. Water thoroughly to settle the soil.

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Maintaining Healthy Brussels Sprout Plants

To ensure the health and productivity of your Brussels sprout plants, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Stake the Plants: As the plants grow taller, they may become top-heavy and prone to tipping over. To prevent this, stake the plants with a bamboo stake or tomato cage early in their growth. This will provide support and prevent damage to the plants.

  2. Proper Weed Control: Keep the area around your Brussels sprout plants free of weeds, as they can compete for nutrients and water. Mulching around the plants can help suppress weed growth and also conserve soil moisture.

  3. Regular Inspections: Regularly inspect your Brussels sprout plants for any signs of pests, diseases, or nutrient deficiencies. Early detection is key to effectively addressing any issues that may arise.

  4. Blanching: To improve the flavor and tenderness of Brussels sprouts, consider blanching them. About two to three weeks before you plan to harvest, pull the lower leaves up and secure them to the stems using twine or rubber bands. This process allows the sprouts to mature in a protected environment, away from direct sunlight.

Growing Brussels sprouts from seed can be a rewarding experience that allows you to enjoy fresh, homegrown vegetables. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you will be well-equipped to successfully plant Brussels sprouts from seed. From proper seed placement to watering and fertilizing techniques, protecting seedlings from pests and diseases, and maintaining healthy plants, each stage of the process is important for the optimal growth and development of your Brussels sprouts. With patience and care, you’ll soon be enjoying a bountiful harvest of delicious Brussels sprouts straight from your own garden.

Harvesting Brussels Sprouts From Seed-Grown Plants

Brussels sprouts are a delicious and nutritious vegetable that can be grown in your own backyard. These small cabbage-like vegetables are not only full of flavor but also packed with vitamins and minerals. While you can buy Brussels sprout seedlings from nurseries or garden centers, growing them from seed is a rewarding experience that allows you to have full control over the entire growing process.

Planting Brussels sprouts from seed may seem daunting for beginners, but with the right knowledge and techniques, it can be a successful and enjoyable endeavor.

Before we dive into the process of planting Brussels sprouts from seed, it’s crucial to understand when and how to harvest them. Brussels sprouts are a cold-weather crop and require a long growing season. Typically, they are ready to harvest 90 to 100 days after transplanting seedlings or 120 to 180 days after sowing seeds directly in the garden. Here’s a breakdown of how to harvest Brussels sprouts from seed-grown plants:

  1. Observe the sprouts: Regularly check your Brussels sprout plants as they grow. The sprouts will start appearing at the base of the plant’s leaf axils, which are the points where the leaves attach to the stem.
  2. Harvest from the bottom up: Brussels sprouts mature from the bottom of the plant upward. Start by picking the lower sprouts first. They are typically ready for harvest when they reach around 1 to 1.5 inches in diameter.
  3. Snap or cut the sprouts: To harvest the sprouts, you can either snap them off the stem or use a sharp knife or pruners to cut them. Avoid pulling or twisting the sprouts, as this can damage the plant.
  4. Continue harvesting: As you pick the lower sprouts, the upper sprouts will continue to mature. Harvest them as they reach the desired size, working your way up the plant.
  5. Harvest before frost: Brussels sprouts can tolerate light frost, which can even enhance their flavor, but if a hard freeze is imminent, it’s best to harvest all the remaining sprouts before they are damaged.

Tips For Extended Harvest And Succession Planting

To extend your Brussels sprout harvest and enjoy a continuous supply throughout the season, consider succession planting. Succession planting involves planting multiple batches of seeds or seedlings at different times, ensuring a steady stream of Brussels sprouts. Here are some tips to help you implement succession planting:

  1. Plan your planting schedule: Calculate the average days to maturity for the Brussels sprout variety you are growing. This will help you determine when to sow the seeds or transplant seedlings for each successive planting.
  2. Plant in stages: Start by planting your first batch of seeds or seedlings in spring, based on the recommended planting time for your area. Then, every 2-3 weeks, plant additional batches to ensure a continuous supply of sprouts.
  3. Use different varieties: To ensure a diverse harvest, consider planting different Brussels sprout varieties with varying days to maturity. This will stagger the maturity dates and provide you with sprouts for a longer duration.
  4. Keep a harvest record: Maintain a record of the planting dates for each batch of Brussels sprouts. This will help you keep track of when you can expect to harvest each planting, making it easier to plan meals and utilize the sprouts efficiently.

By implementing succession planting, you can enjoy fresh Brussels sprouts throughout the growing season instead of a one-time harvest.

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Common Mistakes To Avoid When Planting Brussels Sprouts From Seed

While planting Brussels sprouts from seed is relatively straightforward, there are a few common mistakes that beginners should be aware of. By avoiding these pitfalls, you can ensure a successful and bountiful Brussels sprout harvest:

  1. Starting seeds too early: Brussels sprouts thrive in cool weather, but starting the seeds too early can result in leggy and weak seedlings. Begin sowing the seeds indoors 6-8 weeks before the anticipated last frost date in your area.
  2. Neglecting hardening off: If you start the seeds indoors, it’s crucial to gradually acclimate the seedlings to outdoor conditions before transplanting them. This process, known as hardening off, helps the young plants adjust to temperature fluctuations and direct sunlight.
  3. Choosing the wrong variety: Brussels sprouts come in different varieties, each with specific needs and maturity dates. Ensure you select a variety suitable for your climate and growing season length.
  4. Planting in the wrong location: Brussels sprouts require full sun to produce healthy, flavorful sprouts. Choose a location that receives at least 6-8 hours of direct sunlight per day. Additionally, make sure the soil is well-drained and rich in organic matter.
  5. Crowding the plants: Brussels sprouts need adequate space to develop properly. Plant them at least 24-36 inches apart to provide enough room for the plants to grow and for air circulation between them.
  6. Over- or under-watering: Proper watering is crucial for Brussels sprouts. Maintain consistently moist soil, but avoid over-watering, as it can lead to root rot. Monitor the soil moisture regularly and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.
  7. Skipping on fertilization: Brussels sprouts are heavy feeders and require regular fertilization. Before planting, incorporate ample organic matter into the soil. Additionally, use a balanced slow-release fertilizer or side-dress with compost during the growing season to provide the plants with essential nutrients.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure optimal growth and a bountiful harvest of Brussels sprouts.

Benefits Of Saving And Growing From Brussels Sprout Seeds Year After Year

Saving and growing Brussels sprout seeds from year to year offers several advantages, including cost savings, preservation of heirloom varieties, and the opportunity to select seeds from the best-performing plants. Here are some key benefits of saving and growing Brussels sprout seeds:

  1. Cost savings: Purchasing Brussels sprout seeds every year can be expensive, especially if you have a large garden. By saving and reusing seeds, you can significantly reduce your gardening costs.
  2. Preserve heirloom varieties: Many heirloom Brussels sprout varieties have unique flavors, textures, and appearances that may not be readily available in stores. By saving and growing seeds from these varieties, you can preserve their diversity and prevent them from being lost.
  3. Local adaptation: Over time, by saving seeds from the best-performing Brussels sprout plants in your garden, you can develop locally adapted varieties. These plants will be better suited to your specific growing conditions, resulting in higher yields and greater resilience.
  4. Seed quality control: When you save your own seeds, you have complete control over their quality. You can select seeds only from the healthiest and most productive plants, ensuring superior genetics for future crops.
  5. Educational opportunities: Saving Brussels sprout seeds allows you to involve your family and friends in the process. It provides an excellent opportunity to educate children about the importance of plant reproduction, seed saving, and sustainable gardening practices.

By saving and growing Brussels sprout seeds year after year, you not only save money but also contribute to the preservation and adaptation of unique varieties.


Planting Brussels sprouts from seed opens up a world of possibilities for home gardeners. From enjoying a bountiful harvest to extending the harvest season through succession planting, growing Brussels sprouts from seed is a rewarding experience. By avoiding common mistakes and following proper planting techniques, you can ensure healthy plants and flavorful sprouts. Additionally, saving and growing Brussels sprout seeds year after year not only saves money but also preserves heirloom varieties and allows for seed quality control. So, roll up your sleeves, grab some seeds, and start planting your own Brussels sprouts to enjoy this nutrient-rich vegetable straight from your garden.


What Is The Best Time To Plant Brussel Sprouts From Seed?

Brussel sprouts should be planted in early spring or late summer for a fall harvest. The soil temperature should be between 45-80°F for proper germination.

How Do I Prepare The Soil For Planting Brussel Sprouts?

Brussel sprouts thrive in well-drained, fertile soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, add compost or aged manure to the soil and work it in to a depth of at least 10 inches.

How Deep Should I Plant The Brussel Sprout Seeds?

Brussel sprout seeds should be planted at a depth of 1/2 inch in the soil. This will ensure good contact with the soil for proper germination.

How Far Apart Should I Space The Brussel Sprout Seeds?

Brussel sprouts should be planted at least 18 inches apart to allow enough space for proper growth. If planting in rows, leave 2-3 feet between rows to allow for easy access for maintenance and harvesting.

How Often Should I Water Brussel Sprouts From Seed?

Brussel sprouts need consistent moisture for proper growth. Water regularly, making sure the soil is moist but not waterlogged. The soil should be about 1 inch deep. Avoid overhead watering, as this can lead to fungal diseases. Mulching can help retain moisture and prevent weeds.