Favorite Cabbage - Brussels
I grow, in addition to white cabbage, Savoy, and cauliflower, and broccoli, and kohlrabi, but Brussels is my favorite culture, and growing it is not at all difficult. Among a large number of varieties of cabbage, Brussels stands alone. In the gardens, it is a rarity, because it is considered a capricious culture, while also low-yielding. My experience suggests otherwise ...
Brussels sprouts - a delicious vegetable, in terms of biological value superior to all other types of cabbage. She is a champion in the content of potassium, magnesium, iron salts, a source of high-grade vegetable protein, vitamins A, C, PP, and other nutrients that are easily absorbed by the human body. In addition, it is also a beautiful plant, especially during the setting of heads of cabbage. And if you plant a colored salad such as Loll Ross or pansies along the edge of the cabbage with cabbage, in the middle of it there are several tall marigolds, then you will get a real flower garden, not a vegetable garden.
When I was just starting to practice this cabbage, the result did not please me. Wanting to get the crop early, I planted cabbage seeds in March in a city apartment. In early May, planted seedlings in the ground. I practically didn’t get a crop: the cabbage heads were poorly tied up, and the knotters almost did not grow, she harvested - for chickens to laugh.
Somehow a note on Brussels sprouts caught my eye. I learned from it that this cabbage is very cold-resistant and does not tolerate high air temperatures. For tying heads, the best temperature is 15–20 ° С, and at 25 ° С and higher not only the formation and filling of the head are delayed, but their quality is also reduced. I also learned that the period from the appearance of seedlings to harvesting in Brussels is 130-150 days depending on the variety.
Armed with the acquired knowledge, she began to experiment. Seeds for seedlings sown at different times. In the room at a temperature of 18-20 ° C, seedlings appear already on the 3-5th day. Since the setting of heads of cabbage begins on the 110-130th day, when sowing seeds for seedlings in March, this period falls on the end of July and the beginning of August. At that time, high air temperature (up to 30 ° С) was typical for the environs of Krasnoyarsk, which is unlikely to please my capricious ward. Calculations and experiments have shown that the best time to plant its seeds in our area is the third decade of April.
How do I grow seedlings? I sow the seeds of Brussels sprouts directly in the nursery (germination) in April: if the weather is warm, then the 15-18th, if the weather is unfavorable - the 25-28th.
My picker is a box 65 cm high, 120 x 120 cm square with a frame cover over which a reinforced film is stretched. The soil in the box has a slight bias to the west. I fill the soil in the nursery with organic matter, ash and superphosphate. I make grooves and spill them with hot water before sowing.
Soak the seeds in advance in an immunocytophyte solution and dry, that is, sow dry. Of course, before sowing, I discard small, damaged and too light seeds, as well as irregularly shaped, with a dull (without gloss) surface.
After sowing the grooves with seeds, I fall asleep with soil, cover with a 3-5 cm layer of snow or ice from above, if they are still on the site.
Depending on weather conditions, the seeds germinate in 5-10 days. Since I sow only full-bodied seeds, I place them at a fairly large distance (5-8 cm) from each other, so all seedlings grow in quality, there are almost no weak and diseased specimens.
Growing seedlings in a cold nursery has certain advantages: it does not stretch, does not get a black leg, and undergoes good hardening. In the apartment, I never managed to grow such a full-grown seedling: it was pampered, sick, many plants disappeared during a dive. And so I can avoid unnecessary transplant, delaying plant growth.
Seedlings in the plant watering and feeding. I do the first top dressing (urea) at the beginning of the appearance of the second true leaf, the second - after a week with any complex fertilizer. Seedlings I grow strong, stocky (stems 5-6 cm thick).
Landing. When the seedlings form 4-6 true leaves, I plant the plants in the ground, usually this happens in late May – early June, the deadline is June 10th.
It is known that Brussels loves deeply cultivated, rich in organic soil and does not tolerate heavy clay. And I have a plot in a lowland, in a swamp, near a forest, clay soil, heavy, with a high level of groundwater. Therefore, for planting seedlings, since the autumn I have been preparing a high bed 1 m wide, season it with compost, superphosphate and ash. I plant plants in two rows, and quite rarely - between plants 50-60 cm.
Brussels care in the beds. 2 weeks after planting, when the plants obviously begin to grow, I spend the first fertilizing with a biomaster fertilizer solution, and the second I give, when the head of cabbage begins to form. In addition, I water the field. Especially much has to be watered during the growth of leaves and during the formation of head of cabbage. To protect against pests, sprinkle ash on the soil every week after loosening. I never spud so as not to rot the lower heads of cabbage.
In late August - early September, I am performing the treeting, that is, I cut off the apical buds (head of cabbage). This is to make the cabbage heads grow better and be denser. Later, at the end of September, I remove the entire top of the plants on which the head of cabbage is poorly developed.
How to clean and use the crop. I start harvesting from the end of September, selectively plucking the cabbage heads as they mature. Maturation is determined simply: heads of cabbage become dense, shiny, reaching a diameter of 3 cm.
© Crazy Joe Devola
The mass of one cabbage is 8-15 g, and on one plant there are 35-50 of them. My family has enough crops from 10-12 plants.
I store the crop in plastic bags just in the refrigerator, and also freezes it.
I cook soup from Brussels sprouts (by the way, the taste of the broth from it resembles chicken broth). I make salads, boil on a side dish or include in vegetable stew.