Sprouts eye view: Brussel sprouts from harvest to table
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Like or loathe them no allotment would be complete without this crop. Sprouts are synonymous with the festive season, many Brits assume they should be harvested in December – don’t be caught out they may be ready for harvesting soon than you think.
Brussel sprouts shouldn’t be reserved for your Christmas Day spread.
These tasty veggies can be enjoyed throughout the autumn and winter months, they make a delicious addition to any Sunday roast.
When should you harvest your sprouts?
Your sprouts may be ready for harvest soon depending on which varieties you have chosen and when you first planted them.
Brussel sprouts have a long harvesting season across six months.
Depending on the variety in your veggie patch they may be ready for harvest anywhere between August to January.
You should start to harvest early crops sown in February now.
Early varieties such as Churchills can be harvested from August.
Whilst later cultivars, such as the Brodie variety should be left until the frosts set in.
Frosts can improve the flavour of later cultivars.
How can you tell when your sprouts are ready to be harvested?
You can tell when they are ready to harvest when the sprout heads are firm and green.
They should be one to two inches in diameter or roughly the size of a walnut.
How should you harvest your sprouts?
When your Brussel sprouts are ready to harvest start by picking the lowest sprouts first.
They should be firm and still tightly closed.
To remove snap them off by hand with a sharp downward tug.
Or you can remove sprouts by simply twisting them until they come away from the plant.
As you harvest the lower sprouts remove any yellowing leaves to ensure the plant produces more leaves and sprouts.
At the end of the season, you can harvest the sprout tops too.
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