Brussels sprouts, or Useful little cabbage
Brussels sprouts are very tasteful and nutritious, but this culture is not common among amateurs. Small dense cabbage heads slightly larger than walnuts, which are used in the first and second courses, have excellent taste and dietary qualities. The content of vitamin C in it is three times greater than in white cabbage.
Description of Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts (Brássica oleracea) - a plant of the cabbage (cruciferous) family - Brassicaceae (Cruciferae), vegetable culture. Refers to the type of kale.
Brussels sprouts - a two-year cross-pollinating plant, not like other types of cabbage. In the first year, it forms a cylindrical thick stem 20-60 cm or more tall, with small or medium-sized weakly leaf-shaped leaves on thin petioles 14-33 cm long, with a small number of small lobes.
Leaf blades are green or grayish-green, with a weak wax coating with solid smooth or slightly curved edges from flat to spoon-shaped 18-40 cm long, 18-32 cm wide. In the axils of the leaves on the top of the strongly shortened stems small (about the size of a walnut) bastards. On one plant, 20-40 or more heads of cabbage are formed.
In the second year of life, brussels sprouts develop highly branched flower-bearing shoots, the plant blooms and gives seeds. The flowers are yellowish, collected in a brush, medium size, petals with raised edges. The fruit is a multi-seeded pod. The seeds are small, 1.5-2 mm in diameter, spherical in shape, with a smooth surface, dark brown, almost black. 1 g contains 200-300 pcs. seed. Seeds retain germination for 5 years.
In the wild does not occur. The ancestor of Brussels sprouts is leaf cabbage - Brassica oleracea L. convar. acephala (DC) Alef., which grows wild in the Mediterranean, where it was introduced into the culture in antiquity. Brussels sprouts were bred from kale by vegetable growers in Belgium, from where they entered France, Germany and the Netherlands.
Karl Linney first described the cabbage scientifically and named it Brussels in honor of the Belgian gardeners from Brussels. It appeared in Russia in the middle of the XIX century, but did not receive distribution due to severe climatic conditions. Brussels sprouts are widely cultivated in Western Europe (especially the UK), the USA and Canada. In Russia, a limited number of crops are cultivated, mainly in central regions.
Growing brussel sprouts
Soil preparation for brussels sprouts
The soil should be prepared in the previous fall, with the addition of a layer of manure and compost in the amount of one and a half buckets per square meter. m. Leave the soil open for exposure to snow and wind, and then in the spring, loosen it at a depth of 2.5 or 5 cm, adding fish droppings in the amount of 120 g. per sq.m. Instead, you can use a mixture of one part of potash sulfate, four parts of bone meal in the amount of 120 g. per sq. Plants should be planted in the soil in late May or early June.
Sowing Brussels Sprouts
Seeds should be planted in a secluded area on a bed in March or April, in holes no deeper than 12 mm at a distance of about 15 cm from each other. They need to be covered with plastic bags to provide them with warmth and protection. When they begin to germinate, they need to be thinned out to provide them with space for development.
You need to start planting when the seedlings reach 10-15 cm in height. You need to plant in a position in which they will be ready to ripen, continue planting should be until mid-August. It will be good if you pour plenty of water on them the day before you plan to transplant. Cabbage should be planted at a distance of 90 cm from each other, so that their lower leaves are above the soil.
After the plants are transplanted, they need to be well watered. As they grow, you may need to pin them to posts in the presence of strong winds.
Brussels sprout care
A week after planting on the sites of dead plants, manual transplanting of seedlings from the one that was left in reserve is done, with preliminary loosening of the holes and watering. One of the most important measures for caring for the plantings of Brussels sprouts, as well as other types of cabbage, is inter-row cultivation. Its purpose is to control weeds and maintain the soil in a loose state in order to create a favorable water and air regime for the growth and development of plants.
During the summer, spend up to six cultivations. It is very important to carry out the first loosening in a timely manner, because when planting the soil is usually very compacted (it is necessary to mark the bed, water it, spread the seedlings, and fix it). Procrastination with loosening leads to a delay in the growth of cabbage and to an increase in plant attacks, especially on heavy soils. The first loosening is done immediately after planting potted seedlings, when planting seedless - no later than 3-5 days. Hills of Brussels sprouts are not carried out, because this plant forms the largest head of cabbage in the axils of the lower leaves, so they can not be covered with soil.
If, when planting seedlings of Brussels sprouts, fertilizers were introduced into the wells, then post-planting (after 10-15 days) top dressing is not recommended. A positive effect on increasing yield is provided by top dressing, which is timed to coincide with the onset of formation of head of cabbage. On well-fertilized soils, you can limit yourself to only after-planting nitrogen top dressing, and at the beginning of the formation of cabbage, potash fertilizers.
On sod-podzolic soils, where fertility is relatively low, the following amount of nutrients is usually added per 1 m² to the first top dressing of Brussels sprouts: nitrogen - 2-3 g (5-10 g of ammonium nitrate or urea), phosphorus - 1.5-2 g (7-15 g of superphosphate) and 2-3 g of potassium (5 g of chloride or potassium sulfate). At the first feeding, fertilizers are placed on the sides at a distance from plants of 8-10 cm and to a depth of 8-10 cm.
Into the second top dressing: nitrogen of 2.5-3.5 g / m² (7-12 g of ammonium nitrate or urea), phosphorus - 2-2.5 g (7-15 g of superphosphate) and 3-4 g / m² of potassium (7-10 g of potassium chloride). They are placed in the middle of the row-spacings to a depth of 10-15 cm. For fertilizing, you can use complex mineral fertilizers: azofosk, ecofosk, nitrophosk, Kemira and others, and then the missing nutrients are then added through simple fertilizers. When manually sifting dry fertilizers, they should be immediately planted in the soil with a hoe, so top dressing is done before loosening the rows.
For the first feeding, you can successfully use an aqueous solution of mullein (1:10), slurry diluted (1: 3) with water, bird droppings (1:10) or weed leaves that have been fermented for a week (1: 3). Under each plant, 1-1.5 liters of the nutrient mixture are poured. After liquid dressing, plants should be washed with clean water so that there are no burns on the leaves. After the liquid is absorbed from the soil, you need to do the loosening in order to preserve moisture. In individual areas, it is useful to do liquid top dressing.
Brussels sprouts, even in the conditions of the North-West, should be watered 2-3 times during the summer, and in the central regions of the Non-Chernozem zone the number of irrigations is increased to 3-5.
To stimulate the growth of cabbage heads, increase their marketability, accelerate the harvest of Brussels sprout plants, remove the apical bud. Conducting trapping is especially important when growing late-ripening varieties. Although in the cold years it everywhere gives positive results even in early ripening varieties.
In late August and early September (a month before harvesting) the apical kidney is removed. Then the nutrients go to the lateral kidneys, the cabbage ripen faster and their size increases significantly. If the betting is carried out at a later date, then in addition to the apical bud, the upper part of the stem with poorly developed axillary buds is removed.
Harvesting Brussels Sprouts
Harvesting begins when the cabbage heads have reached economic validity. More early varieties of Brussels sprouts with friendly ripening of cabbage can be removed at one time, and later harvested in 2-3 terms. To do this, about a week before harvesting, leaves are removed from the cabbage, moreover, they are completely removed from plants once harvested, being careful not to damage the head of cabbage. If harvesting is done in several stages, the leaves are removed each time from the part of the stem on which it is supposed to harvest, starting from the base of the stump. With a single harvest, stalks with heads of cabbage are cut down at the base.
Formed heads of cabbage cut out or broken out. In favorable weather, the entire harvest in September-October is done in the field. Under adverse conditions (with the onset of constant frost around -5 ° C), the cut plants are removed for temporary storage in cool covered rooms, where they remain for 2-3 weeks. Cutting heads of cabbage are made from these plants gradually, as needed.
To extend the consumption of fresh Brussels sprouts, you can remove the plants with roots and, after pruning the leaves (except for the upper ones), dig them into the greenhouses or greenhouses, from where they gradually remove and cut the cabbage. You can dig Brussels sprouts in the sand in the basement so that the roots are closed. In stored plants, dying leaf petioles should be removed in a timely manner. The temperature in the room where Brussels sprouts is stored is maintained at about 0 ° C with a relative humidity of 92-98%.
Under such conditions, Brussels sprouts are stored until January. You can keep the cabbage heads in the basement for 20-30 days. To do this, select the hardest, with tight-fitting leaves, healthy heads of cabbage, put them in small boxes (with a capacity of 2-3 kg).
Varieties and hybrids of Brussels sprouts
The modern F1 hybrids of Brussels sprouts are becoming increasingly popular - they give low plants with a large number of equal-sized cabbage heads located along the entire height of the stem. All cabbage heads ripen almost at the same time, so it is convenient to harvest them for the winter, but this reduces the period of consumption of fresh produce. However, this disadvantage of F1 hybrids is often exaggerated - as a rule, ripened cabbage heads remain stiffly folded on the stem for several weeks.
PEER GYNT: The most popular hybrid. Midi-sized cabbage heads are formed in October; fruiting peaks in November.
OLIVER: Early crop hybrid with good taste. Cleaned in late autumn. Plants are not high, but heads of cabbage are large.
CITADEL: Late hybrid, ripe in late fall. Medium-sized dark green cabbage heads are suitable for freezing.
WIDGEON: Fruits in the same time frame as Citadel, but is more resistant to disease and has a higher palatability.
SHERIFF: It is distinguished by an abundant crop of small cobs that do not have bitterness characteristic of this culture after cooking. Resistant to powdery mildew. In areas with warm winters, it ripens in January-March.
RAMPART: Another late hybrid with long unopened cabbage heads. The plants are tall, large lumps are distinguished by good taste.
FORTRESS: Best late grade. Tall plants with dense dark green heads of cabbage are not afraid of frost.
DOLMIC: Hybrid undemanding to soil and weather conditions. In Western Europe does not bear fruit from the end of October to February
Recently, F1 hybrids replaced the old varieties of Brussels sprouts, obtained as a result of free crossbreeding. In old varieties, cabbage heads are not so even and dense and, ripening, quickly open. Nevertheless, the old varieties have their advantages - they are larger and probably tastier than the more modern varieties, and the harvesting period lasts longer.
EARLY HALF TALL: Compact variety ripening in September-December.
BEDFORD: A variety of folk selection, famous for large cats on high stems. Most harvested Bedford-Fillbasket. Bedford-Asmer Monitor is suitable for a small area.
NOISETTE: It forms small cobs with a pronounced nutty taste. The French use them in white wine.
RUBINE: The new red variety is used raw for salads or boiled. They say he has an unrivaled taste.
CAMBRIDGE NO. five: Late variety with large coasters. At one time it was very popular, but gradually disappears from the catalogs.
ROODNERF: Varieties of this group - Roodnerf-Seven Hills, Roodnerf-Early Buttons, etc. - keep ripened cabbage heads dense for a long time.
The benefits of Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts contain vitamins, minerals, carotenes and herbal chemicals that help prevent various diseases and improve the health of the body. Beta-carotene and vitamin C have powerful antioxidant properties. The substances contained in Brussels sprouts provide the prevention of many diseases, including cancer of the digestive tract and lungs.
For the prevention and treatment of cancer, especially cancer of the breast, rectum and cervix, anemia, constipation, as well as coronary heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, colds of the upper respiratory tract, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis, it is recommended to drink Brussels sprouts juice. For asthma, bronchitis and other pulmonary diseases, a mixture of Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery and radishes is useful.
A mixture of juice with carrot, lettuce and green bean juice helps to absorb and restore pancreatic function, and is useful for diabetes. However, it is necessary to exclude concentrated starches and sugar from the diet and regularly cleanse the intestines with enemas.
We are waiting for your advice!