I'll bet I sucked a whole bunch of you in with that titillating topic title, didn't I?
Both Papa Pea and I LOVE Brussels sprouts. I've tried growing them without much success a couple of times previously. This past gardening season, I gave them another try.
I have trouble (that's an understatement) with worms (shudder!) in my brassica.
So this year I followed the advice of the Agribon Queen, Sue over at Sue's Garden Journal, and planted my Brussels sprouts under a tent of Agribon.
I also planted my broccoli under an Agribon cover and had wonderful success. (It's good stuff!)
These days we're frequently enjoying fresh frozen Brussels sprouts as a nutritious, delicious green veggie with our meals. But my harvest wasn't nearly enough to carry us over the winter months.
Matter of fact, even though I was able to grow them without any worm infestation (for the first time ever), I don't know if I will grow them again.
Why? If the harvest from the seven plants I grew this year was indicative of the harvest I could expect to get per plant each year, I would have to devote a larger (much larger) part of the garden to Brussels sprouts. The plants grew a good three feet tall and might have produced more heavily if I had given them a little more breathing room by spacing them out a little more.
When harvest time came, each little sprout had to be cut off the hefty stem with a sharp knife. No quick task as the little buggers were stuck like glue and didn't relinquish their hold easily. This proved to be a time consuming task for me.
Then (wormaphobe that I am) I soaked the whole harvest for a couple of hours in warm, salt water. (Nary a worm to be found. Phew, that was REALLY good news!)
Next I individually cleaned each one of the little miniature "cabbages." Another stage in the process that took a long time. Then I blanched them and packed them for the freezer.
I suppose when you get right down to it, it's a personal thing as far as the time, space and effort each of us is willing to give to a specific vegetable grown in our gardens. For instance, I give a lot of garden space to rows of pea trellises on which to grow my shelling peas. The picking of the mature pea pods goes rather quickly but sitting (for hours) and shelling the peas is an onerous task for some people. But to get our winter's supply of fresh frozen peas, it's a task I don't mind.
Well. I guess I'll be thinking over my little Brussels sprouts dilemma (to grow or not to grow, that is the question) this winter. What do you think? Will I grow them again next year?
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