Tuesday, December 6

After two years of failure and then ...

For the last couple of years we have bemoaned the fact that we have been complete failures when it comes to growing sprouts. 

Having club root in our soil we have always sown seeds in pots and planted the young plants out. They were always given a good start in life but couldn't seem to maintain the capacity to thrive.

We read everything we could on sprout growing - we firmed the soil, we fed and watered the plants, we tended them with loving care - nothing worked!

Other bloggers teased us with photos of their newly harvested buttons while all we had to show were tatty remnants of buttonless sprout plants.

It hadn't always been like this but suddenly we had become a sprout free zone. Now for some people I know this could only be a good thing but we like sprouts and missed them.

Last year browsing seed catalogues we came across a variety - Crispus - that it was claimed was club root resistant so we decided as a last ditch attempt we would give it a try.

Now this year wasn't the very best of seasons for making sure sprout plants had adequate water so we seemed doomed to yet more failure, however, I am delighted to announce that this year we have sprouts!
We are guessing that club root had affected the plants badly enough to prevent them taking up the nutrients and moisture that they needed.
The roots on this year's plants certainly look as though they have weathered the club root problem.
There is one other factor that could have helped which was the much lower numbers of whitefly on the plot last year during summer. These have been a big problem on brassicas most years - in fact they've been a problem on most things, so we may not yet be on the road to sprout filled years ahead.

We'll enjoy this year's sprout-fest and look forward to a repeat next year. Crispus is going to be top of our seed list along with a few other club root resistant varieties of brassicas. Let's hope this year wasn't just a flash in the pan!


  1. Those roots look nice and healthy, and no clubroot.

    Last season Beechgrove did a clubroot trial on some allotment ground - of course I can't remember the details, ☹, might have involved liming the soil? Not sure if you could search the site for 2010 factsheets?

  2. they look really great, third time lucky.

  3. We saw that programme BW and they also tried club root resistant varieties but I don't know which ones. It was in part why we tried it too.

    Let's hope we stay lucky Cathy

  4. They look great, let's hope you've found the answer to the problem. I'm the only one in our house who will eat sprouts. I suppose they are a bit of an acquired taste.

  5. The sprouts look impressive. I've never grown sprouts but maybe one of these days will give it a go.

  6. I think my soil is probably too light and sandy to grow sprouts well, but if I do decide to grow them it won't be a purple variety. We had some yesterday, and when they were cooked they went a rather nasty grey colour.

  7. Its great that you found a sprout variety which is suited to your place. I wanted to grow sprouts. But I don't think we have the cool weather it prefers.

  8. I may well give Crispus a go - even though I have vowed never to try to grow sprouts again. If I do I'll let you know how I got on.

  9. They look good and with a root system like that they should be sturdy. How tall do they grow? (I ask because my biggest problem with brussels is that they keel over - possibly from clubroot weakened roots - or just not firm enough soil.)

  10. I never plant them before but they really look so good!

  11. I hope so too Jo - there was something on TV about why sprouts are either loved or hated - I think it was something to do with taste buds being different in people called supertasters and they don't like sprouts

    They're not the easiest of things to keep growing Kelli.

    We grew purple ones once and I don't think ours went grey - maybe a different variety - but they were a bit tatty looking.

    I think it probably would be too warm Diana but knowing you, you'd find a way!

    I hope that variety works for you Elaine.

    They're not very tall Mal - under a metre. It is windy on our plot too and these seem to have stood up to all this year has thrown at them

    People love them or hate them Malar - fortunately we both love them!

  12. Mmm, yummy. They're on my 'to grow' list, so I'll bear this variety in mind.

  13. And they look great! I'm envious - one day, one day we too will manage to grow some sprouts. I have trouble with all brassicas - they just have too many enemies!

  14. They certainly are delicious looking sprouts. We are huge sprout lovers but i didn't get any planted this year and have never had too much success. I have my seed for next year already but I may try this variety if i still don't have much luck. Well done and enjoy your sprouts!!

  15. We have ordered a packet for next year Linda along with club root resistant varieties of other brassicas

    Along with the varieties to ward off club root we also cover our brassicas with insect proof netting Naomi, This keeps off the pigeons and caterpillars too

    If at first you don't succeed Tanya!

  16. Fantastic!
    Well, I'm the only one left in the club then. Still no luck with sprouts. They looked fantastic this winter, just about to form good-sized heads (the furthest I've ever come over the years), then they bolted. Grrrr....
    Enjoy your harvest! :)

  17. Just a little garden envy here...your Brussels Sprouts look absolutely fantastic and huge (especially compared to mine))))! Very interested in the variety and will have a lookup.

    Whitefly is definately a pain!

  18. WOW what amazing sprouts! How do you like eating them?
    I'm new to them and love them. I'll have a go at growing them now~

  19. We usually have them steamed Phoebe but you can also shred them and stir fry. They are also good with some crispy bacon bit mixed in

  20. I doubt it VG, sprouts seem to be awkward maybe next year will be your sprout year.

    There doesn't seem to be any weapon against whitefly Bren.


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