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Tinybu88les8
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Location: Southern California

Brussels sprouts still waiting...

I planted purple brussels sprouts (from seed) late last fall (I want to say Oct). The plants are pretty large now (the stand about 2'5") but they have yet to produce ANYTHING. They look healthy and stand tall (I think the purple color is so beautiful). Ive read online that brussels sprouts don't flower the first year? Is this true? If so that explains it. But if not... then what? Is it my soil? Am I not fertilizing enough? Any help would be great. Thanks!

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rainbowgardener
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I think your biggest problem is that you are in Southern California (such a problem to have! :) ) Brussels sprouts are a cold weather crop. The sprouts form best in when day time temps are cool to lightly frosty. If it hasn't set sprouts by now, I'm thinking it isn't going to.

It is an annual. For us in colder weather climates, it is planted in the spring, grows through the summer and produces sprouts when it gets cold again in the fall, then is done. Perhaps for you it would have been good to plant it a little earlier, say early Sept, so that it would have a little warm weather to grow through and be ready to set sprouts in Jan or so while it is still cold-ish there. But it may just not be cold enough there for them.

There are so many things you can grow there, that we can't and for so much more of the year. Focus on things that like your climate and don't waste your time with the few that really like mine!
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Tinybu88les8
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so because Im in cali most cool weather crops are out? No broccoli, or Brussels sprouts... what else? What is BEST for my climate in the fall? I love all veggies and it makes me sad that I cant grow them. What about cabbage? It seems in the spring and summer and don't ever have enough room for all the stuff I want to grow... but then in fall... not so much. Should I stick to root veggies in the fall? potatoes? Carrots? things like that? SOrry Im so lost now.

DoubleDogFarm
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so because Im in cali most cool weather crops are out? No broccoli, or Brussels sprouts... what else?
Ah Foo, :D don't give up so easy. Here is your U of C Cooperative Extension. California Gardening.

https://groups.ucanr.org/cagardenweb/Vegetables/

https://groups.ucanr.org/cagardenweb/files/64260.pdf

and don't let anyone here :wink: tell you, you are wasting time. Gardening should be a fun learning experience. It's could be just a matter of timing.

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applestar
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Well, you could've been me -- I sowed my Brussels Sprout seeds a little late last spring. I don't feel like looking it up now, but I remember it was needing to sow mid-late May to be planted out by Mid-June. Well, that seemed absurd, considering I was still struggling with getting my warm-weather transplants in the ground. So I sowed the seeds some time in Mid-June, along with my other fall cole crops.

I discovered that it was REALLY difficult to grow fall cole crops when the Cabbage butterflies and Diamond Back moths were in full regalia, especially when the cole crops were interplanted with taller growing and fruiting summer vegs, preventing me from covering them up. After fighting that losing battle, the 2 remaining Brussels grew to about 12", then stalled, then we had fall and winter. I figured them a goner for sue. The flimsy hoop cover I put over them collapsed under 24~30" of extra-ordinary snowfall we had over the winter, presumably crushing the Brussels.

This spring, to my surprise, the two emerged unscathed. They hardly grew, however, then went onto produce no bigger than marble-sized sprouts that promptly unfurled and shot off into flowers in the unseasonable 90º heat wave we had in early April. I couldn't even harvest the seeds because these were F1 Diablos. :roll: I did, however, harvest the flower shoots and turned them into a stirfry. :twisted:

So am I sowing my Brussels now? I'm looking at the calendar thinking I really should. But the truth is I started those seeds along with the rest of my coles (3 kinds of cabbages and a cauliflower) They are already planted along with the others, and the battle with the White Cabbage butterfly cats have already begun. I picked off two of them today. :evil:

My earliest cabbage is starting to head up now, though the red cabbage still looks like a well-grown transplant. I expect hot (peppers and eggplant planting) weather to hit by the end of this week or next week at the latest So we'll see what the Brussels decide to do. If they stall now, then they're in good growth for fall finishing -- I hope. :roll: And maybe I can hit that "harvest after one or two light frosts" window.

It might all be a question of finding the right variety and the correct planting schedule for your particular area. What I'm doing this year is NOT what the instructions I've read anywhere say to do.

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rainbowgardener
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No, I certainly wasn't telling you Southern Californians can't grow any winter crops, but brussels sprouts may be harder than some of the others, because such a long growing period and really liking some frost. Broccoli though in the same family may be easier for you.

All the root crops you mentioned would be good for fall planting, along with all the alliums, onions, chives, garlic.

Before cynthia comes along and suggests it, look for the Sunset Western Garden Book. It will tell you exactly what you should be planting when for your specific region. Older editions are available very cheap at Amazon or your local library should have it.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Tinybu88les8
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Okay. Thanks for the info. Do you reccomend I leave them or just pull them out? I am very limited on garden space and could really use the extra room for my tomatoes. I would also hate to pull them out also. Maybe if I pull put 2 of the 4. Sigh. I just don't know.

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rainbowgardener
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I just think if they haven't made sprouts since Oct and now you are going into hot weather, they are not likely to now....
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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