HAVE tried and failed to grow Brussels Sprouts - the plants seem
to do well and start to produce the little cabbages up their stems,
but they fail to grow into plump sprouts. Could this be because
of aphid damage?
Sprouts are a little fussy in the way that they are grown, and how
the soil is prepared. The most important factor is the soil. Brussels
Sprouts must have a very firm soil for the roots to grow (and to
support the plant), with some good compost added in too. The most
common problem is loose soil. You could also have a problem with
aphids or caterpillars. These should be visible if you have a look
around the plant. The aphids will be sitting in the small tight
places up the main stem, or inside the sprouts themselves. If you
do have aphids or caterpillars you can use Yates Natures Way Pyrethrum
or Yates Target. As the plants get taller and the crop matures you
can earth up the soil around the stems and stake if necessary. Some
people also suggest that a frost or cold snap also helps.
Gardener, Issue 93, 2002, Page 20
Reproduced with permission from the former Weekend Gardener magazine. The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the RNZIH.