Brussels Sprouts, as we know them, were grown possibly as early as the 1200s in what is now Belgium, although they were likely cultivated in ancient Rome, possibly having been developed from a wild cabbage or kale. Brussels Sprouts are part of the Brassica family, the largest of the vegetable families.
The first written reference dates to 1587, where they were grown near Brussels, Belgium. During the 16th century, Brussels Sprouts enjoyed a popularity in the southern Netherlands that eventually spread throughout the cooler parts of Northern Europe. Used as fall and winter greens in Europe, they were introduced to America in the 1850s.
When cooked properly, fresh homegrown Brussels Sprouts are delicious, even to those who grew up hating frozen, overcooked and bitter Sprouts as a child. Slowly pan roasted, Brussels Sprouts are deeply nutty with a slightly sweet flavor that is enhanced by roasting them with a small amount of bacon, butter and dressed with a garnish of hard grating cheese. Another great preparation is lightly steamed served with a touch of Hollandaise sauce.
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Approx 150 seeds per pack.
In climates where frost is unlikely after March, sow directly outdoors in the garden, barely covering with 1/8" soil. In 4 - 6 weeks, thin to 18-24" apart.
In colder areas, sow seeds indoors in flats from early April to late May. When seedlings show first true leaves, transplant 3" apart into flats, cold frames, or individual pots. At 7-8" tall, transplant into garden, 18-24" apart.
Water well and deeply during hot weather. A light frost improves flavor. To encourage the growth of sprouts, when sprouts start forming around stem, pinch or cut off the growing tip to stop vertical growth.