I do a lot of planting around here. I probably plant several thousand seeds over the course of a year. I’ve planted so many cucumber, squash, zucchini, kale, pepper and watermelon seeds that I can spot an emerging bud from a mile away. Every now and then I like to experiment with unfamiliar varieties of vegetables. This past summer I decided to try my hand at brussel sprouts. I’ve never grown them before, but I like brussel sprouts so I ordered some organic seeds and went to work on preparing a bed for them. If successful with any experimental plantings, we make a decision as to whether or not they are worth the time, space and energy to expand the crop for resale.
I do all of my trial plantings in the greenhouse where I can better control the variables. My first attempt at growing brussel sprouts didn’t go well. The seedlings emerged, but quickly disappeared. The weather had been particularly warm so maybe the heat killed the buds, or perhaps some pesky squirrels found their way in and feasted on the delicate seedlings.
I decided to go for round two so I chose a small section of the raised beds and I planted two rows of about 10 seeds each. And then I waited. I was super excited when I could see evidence of growth emerging from the soil. I could almost taste the nutty deliciousness of roasted, organic brussel sprouts!
Growing vegetables isn’t limited to plopping some seeds into the ground; daily care is required. I water twice a day, treat the growing plants with fish emulsion every 10 days, spread Super N organic fertilizer when needed and then I spend hours on my hands and knees weeding, weeding and more weeding.
I am quite diligent when it comes to caring for my greenhouse plants, especially my new, experimental varieties. Along with watering, feeding, and fertilizing my new baby brussel sprouts, I also spent a whole lot of time on my hands and knees carefully weeding around each plant. Hell, I was so excited about these plants that I was practically singing to them in an effort to get my first small crop of sprouts.
I began to get suspicious about eight weeks into my experimental crop. There was no evidence of any “fruit” emerging. Since it was my first rodeo with brussel sprouts I ignored my gut and just kept on watering, feeding, weeding and singing.
It has been three months since I placed those delicate seeds into the ground and then embraced them, giving them the utmost time and attention. These plants are truly thriving! They get bigger and stronger each and every day! Their stems are thick and leaves big and beautifully green with a small reddish vein running through the middle. They are doing so well, in fact, that one might even say that they are growing like weeds.
Yes, after looking up on the internet what a maturing brussel sprout plant should look like, I realized that I am the proud grower of two rows of very healthy, well-fed, and thriving weeds.