Brussel Sprouts ‘Evesham Special’ is a real old favourite for its generous crops which are ready particularly early in the season, giving you harvests over a long period, from September till Christmas.
Growing to only 60cm (24in) in height, it makes them a good choice for exposed sites and smaller gardens. It grows vigorously to produce a bumper harvest of densely-packed stems of fat, firm and delicious sprouts.
No wonder that Evesham Special has become a firm favourite among UK growers, both commercial and home garden
Brassicas are affected by a wide range of pests and diseases. Make sure the soil is adequately limed and well drained. Rotate your crops annually to avoid disease. Don’t grow brassicas on the same plot more often than one year in three, as moving the crop helps avoid the build up of soil pests and diseases.
Apply one side-dress application of nitrogen fertilizer when the plants are 30cm (12in) tall and water to keep the crop growing vigorously during the heat of summer. Without ample soil moisture, the crop fails. Insect control is also very important to keep the plants growing vigorously. Cultivate shallowly around the plants to prevent root damage.
As the plants get taller make sure you support them so that the strong winds in winter don`t blow them over – tie them to stakes.
The sprouts form in the axis of the leaves (the space between the base of the leaf and the stem above it).
The old practice of pinching out the growing tip to hasten maturity is often no longer recommended, but you can do so if you wish – about three weeks before harvest, the plants are topped (the growing point removed) to speed the completion of sprout development on the lower-stem area.
The small sprouts or buds form heads one to two inches in diameter. They may be picked (or cut) off the stem when they are firm and about one inch in size. The lower sprouts mature first. The lowermost leaves, if they have not been removed already, should be removed when the sprouts are harvested. Harvest sprouts before the leaves yellow when the sprouts are small, compact and bright green. Avoid yellowing sprouts with signs of wilt rot or insect damage. Harvest sprouts when they are no larger than 2.5cm to 4cm (1 to 1½in) in diameter