In theory, Brussel sprouts should be one of the easiest vegetables to sow and harvest in your garden or backyard due to how hardy they are. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put the hard graft in, particularly when it comes to growing Brussel sprouts ever year.
One of the most frequent questions I get asked is whether Brussel sprouts come back every year and regrow after a harvest.
Brussel sprouts do not come back every year. They are biennials which means their life cycle is only two growing seasons. However, it’s unlikely you will see the second season of growth if you have harvested your sprout plants, as this prevents them from flowering and pollinating again.
What that means in simple terms is that Brussel sprout plants do not come back every year. Most gardeners, including myself, treat sprouts as annual plants, and I would start from fresh each year, around March time.
In you plant your Brussel sprouts in March, you can expect a bumper crop for Christmas. March might sound early, but Brussels sprouts are renowned as being slow-growing biennial plants.
In their second season, Brussel sprout plants will flower instead of forming the edible heads you want to harvest and eat. Insects will come along, as well as the wind, and help with the pollination process.
However, because you have likely harvested your Brussel sprouts before this stage, your Brussel sprouts will not grow back every year and you will start from scratch again.
Do Brussel sprout plants come back every year?
Whilst it’s a shame that Brussel sprouts do not grow back every year, when you do plant and harvest them, you get a lot of reward for your effort.
Providing you have kept your plants in a non-windy environment in your backyard or garden, with well-drained soil, and protected from insects and birds, you should expect to get more than fifty Brussel sprouts from each plant!
Do Brussel sprouts need to be planted every year?
You will need to plant Brussel sprouts every year. I tend to plant them indoors in March time, and then by the month of May, the sprouts are tall enough to be planted outdoors in their permanent harvesting location.
FAQs on producing regular Brussel sprouts each year
Can Brussel sprouts survive winter?
Brussel sprouts can survive winter, and in fact are fine in cold conditions, providing it’s not too cold.
Brussel sprouts are an extremely hardy vegetable and will survive a frost to around 5 degrees Celsius (40 degrees Fahrenheit). If it gets lower than this and dips below freezing, you might want to protect them from the frost.
Do Brussel sprouts come back after winter?
Brussel sprouts can come back after winter as biennials, but they won’t be what you would expect. In the second season after winter, your Brussel sprouts will flower instead of forming the heads that everyone wants to eat.
This flowering is part of the pollination process mentioned earlier.
Do Brussel sprouts regrow after harvest?
Yes, they can regrow after harvest if you leave the stalk in the ground, but you won’t get Brussel sprouts in the second season as you would expect. Instead, you will get flowering for pollination.
Do Brussel sprouts keep producing?
Brussel sprouts do not keep producing once they have been harvested. It will take a long time for them to be ready to be harvested, with typical timeframes being 31 weeks (nearly 8 months) to produce their crop.
Why are my Brussel sprouts not producing?
There are many reasons why your Brussel sprouts are not producing. These include:
- Brussel sprouts are biennial plants so by the second season will stop producing.
- Your plants have succumbed to fungal disease, caterpillars, or maggots around the roots.
- There is not enough nitrogen the soil in your garden or backyard veggie patch.
- The weather is too hot for Brussel sprouts to thrive. Temperatures in excess of 24 degrees Celsius (75 degrees Fahrenheit) can prevent sprouts from producing properly.
Whether you love or hate Brussel sprouts, you can’t deny what the scientists say: they are good for us, which is why so many people plant them year after year in their backyard or garden space.
The WebMD.com website say sprouts
“Eating a lot of Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous veggies may help protect against cancers of the stomach, lungs, kidney, breast, bladder, and prostate… may also help you stave off other health issues, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes. Brussels sprouts also have carotenoids, colourful pigments found in plants, which are good for your eyes.”
Brussel sprouts are a hardy vegetable that I believe anyone can grow providing the have a little guidance. You can read more about how to sow and harvest sprouts in your backyard or garden elsewhere in the blog using the links shown below.
More backyard guides…
- What people think sprouts taste like is shocking
- Here’s how you can grow tall sprout plants this year
Sprouts photo used in header via https://unsplash.com/photos/0LcMv9GewxY