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Brussels Sprouts: Useful Properties, Growing Conditions
Brussels Sprouts: Useful Properties, Growing Conditions

Video: Brussels Sprouts: Useful Properties, Growing Conditions

Video: Brussels Sprouts: Useful Properties, Growing Conditions
Video: How to Grow Brussel Sprouts - Complete Growing Guide 2023, March

Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea L. var. Gemmifera)

Nutritional properties of Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts

Another type of cabbage can be successfully grown in our region. Alas, it is still rarely seen even in gardeners' gardens. This is Brussels sprouts (Brassica gemmifera). She uses small heads of cabbage for food, developing on the stem in the leaf axils. They have a strong cabbage smell and enhance the taste of food.

The heads of Brussels sprouts, separated from the stem, wither quickly, but left on a leafless stem dug into the basement ground can be stored until spring.

Brussels sprouts are low-yielding. From one plant, an average of 20-40 heads of cabbage are obtained, 3-5 cm in size and weighing 5-10 g. With a long growing period and favorable conditions, the number of heads per plant can reach 90 or more. Their yield is 5-10% of the total plant mass and does not exceed 0.5-1.5 kg per 1 m2. But Brussels sprouts are a very valuable vegetable. The low productivity of the heads of Brussels sprouts is largely offset by the high yield of nutrients in its products.

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Brussels sprouts have a valuable chemical composition. She has a more delicate leaf structure and better taste compared to white cabbage. Dry matter in heads of cabbage contains up to 17.8%. It is rich in sugars (3.5-5.5%), fiber (1.1-1.2%), proteins (2.4-6.9%, i.e. 3-3.5 times more, than in white cabbage).

Brussels sprouts are very valuable in terms of the content of nitrogenous substances and their qualitative composition. Crude cabbage protein consists of equal amounts of protein and non-protein nitrogenous compounds. Non-protein nitrogenous substances are mainly represented by free amino acids, among which there are also essential for human nutrition. In Brussels sprouts, the protein content rises to 70%, it is higher than white cabbage in the number of essential amino acids it contains.

In terms of the content of potassium, magnesium, iron and vitamins, it holds the record among cabbage plants. Vitamin C it contains 63-160 mg% (3-3.5 times more than in white cabbage). The advantage of Brussels sprouts, in addition to the very high content of ascorbic acid, is that in the cabbage heads it contains a lot of carotenoids (0.7-1.2 mg%), vitamins B1, B2, B6, PP. It contains vitamin E, pantothenic and folic acids, chlorophyll. Brussels sprouts, like white cabbage, contain mustard oils, the presence of which determines the bitter taste inherent in cabbage. This culture is especially characterized by a higher accumulation of such substances. It also contains a large amount of potassium (up to 500 mg%), phosphorus (up to 110 mg%), calcium, magnesium, iron.

It has antiscorbutic, immunostimulating, anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic, anti-toxic, hematopoietic, anti-infectious, anti-diabetic, tonic effect. It has been found to have an expectorant, laxative, diuretic, choleretic effect.

Brussels sprouts and juice from it are considered a valuable dietary product and are recommended for the prevention and treatment of breast, rectal and cervical cancer. It is included in the diet of patients who have undergone surgery (stimulates epithelialization and wound healing), is used to treat anemia, constipation.

The abundance of mineral salts, especially potassium, makes Brussels sprouts an important component in the menu of patients suffering from cardiovascular diseases (hypertension, arrhythmia, etc.). Brussels sprouts are recommended for ischemic heart disease, diabetes, insomnia, colds of the upper respiratory tract, bronchitis, asthma, tuberculosis.

Features of the growth and development of Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts

Cabbage seeds sprout in 3-4 days at optimal soil moisture, favorable temperature and normal planting depth. In the first year of life, Brussels sprouts form a thin, cylindrical stem 20-60 cm high and more with a rare arrangement of long-petiolized leaves with small, rounded or oval plates. Leaf blades are flat or spoon-shaped concave, wrinkled with a smooth edge, green or gray-green in color with a weak waxy coating. Some varieties have anthocyanin violet pigmentation on them.

In Brussels sprouts, the formation of leaves and the growth of the stem in height last almost until the end of the growing season, and the largest size in the diameter of the plant reaches 80-100 days after transplanting. In the leaf axils, strongly shortened stems (small stalks) develop from the buds, at the top of which small (2.5-5 cm in diameter) rounded or oval heads are formed. The apical bud of the plant does not form a head of cabbage.

With the onset of the phase of economic ripeness, the heads of cabbage become denser, acquire some shine and a pale green color. In Brussels sprouts, the heads of cabbage in the lower part of the stem in terms of growth rate, and, consequently, in terms of the speed of entering the phase of economic suitability, are ahead of the heads of the middle and, especially, the upper tier of the stem.

In the second year, the plant blooms and gives seeds. But even in the first year from autumn, morphological and anatomical changes begin on the garden bed at the apical point of plant growth, which continue after the cabbage is harvested and the mother plants are laid for storage. The natural conditions of the Non-Black Earth Zone of Russia are favorable for the cultivation of Brussels sprouts. It belongs to cold-resistant plants.

Seeds, although slowly, germinate already at a temperature of + 2 … + 3 ° С, and at + 11 ° С, seedlings appear on the 10-12th day, at + 18 … + 20 ° С - on the 3-4th day … Plants are able to grow at + 5 … + 8 ° С, but the growth is slow. The most favorable daytime temperature for seedling growth is + 12… + 15 ° С. At this temperature, it grows at a slower pace, which is one of the conditions for its hardening. Prolonged exposure to temperatures above + 25 ° C negatively affects plant growth. Hardened pot seedlings aged 5-8 leaves tolerate short-term frosts up to -5 … -7 ° С even on the day of planting. Unhardened potless seedlings that have not taken root are severely damaged by frosts of -2 … -3 ° C. Brussels sprouts in the phase of economic suitability withstands a short-term drop in temperature to -8 … -10 ° C.

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This cabbage is very demanding on moisture, which is explained by the presence of leaves with a large evaporating surface and a relatively shallow (up to 35-50 cm) location in the soil of the bulk of the absorbing roots. Its maximum need for moisture is observed during the period of intensive growth of the rosette of leaves and the formation of heads of cabbage. At this time, high humidity is also favorable. However, in highly waterlogged areas, when water stagnates in the upper layers of the soil, and there is no air access to the roots of plants, Brussels sprouts grows poorly, head formation deteriorates greatly, which leads to a decrease in yield.

Despite the sufficient moisture supply, in the conditions of the North-West there are significant intervals without precipitation. If such periods coincide with the time of the greatest need for moisture of plants, watering is necessary. During the summer, as a rule, 2-3 additional waterings are carried out. It should also be borne in mind that a significant amount of water evaporates from the soil surface, especially in the first half of summer, before the leaves close in the rows. It is important to use agricultural practices that prevent moisture evaporation.

Cabbage is a long day plant. Growing seedlings with a day length shorter than 14 hours causes a slight decrease in their size compared to a long 17-18 hour day. Sunny weather accelerates the formation of heads of cabbage and improves the quality of their chemical composition in comparison with cloudy weather. Shading has a negative effect on the formation of Brussels sprouts.

This cabbage can be grown on any soil except sandy and crushed stone. The most favorable for it are loamy soils, as they retain moisture better than others. On heavy loamy and sandy loamy soils, poor head formation is observed. Brussels sprouts make good use of soil nutrients. It does not tolerate acidic soils and grows well on slightly acidic and alkaline soils (pH 6 or more). With increased soil acidity (pH 5.5 or less), liming is necessary.

The nutrient requirements of Brussels sprouts are higher than that of cabbage. The consumption of nitrogen, which is intensively absorbed from the soil during the spring-summer period, increases especially rapidly. Its high need for nitrogen is explained by the presence of a large number of leaves in the total yield. Nitrogen fertilization is very important for obtaining a high yield of Brussels sprouts, as well as for speeding up the formation of heads of cabbage and increasing the content of crude protein in them. The same reason also determines its high need for calcium.

With a lack of calcium in Brussels sprouts, a physiological disease is observed - internal browning of the heads. Phosphate fertilizers, in addition to increasing yields, contribute to an increase in the sugar content in heads of cabbage. It is important that phosphorus is already present in the soil at the beginning of the growth of Brussels sprouts, as it is also necessary for root growth. The absorption of phosphorus and potassium increases with the appearance of heads of cabbage. Potash fertilizers increase cold resistance, disease resistance, keeping quality of Brussels sprouts. A high level of absorption of nutrients from her after the beginning of the formation of heads of cabbage lasts more than a month. For the normal development of plants, microelements are also needed: boron, copper, manganese, etc.

The liming of acidic soils is an event that increases the yield and prevents the spread of the dangerous cabbage disease - keels.

Brussels sprouts varieties

Mid-early - Rosella, mid-season Casio, mid-late - Hercules, Boxer F1.

Growing Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts should be placed on organic fertilizer and provide for the introduction of a large amount of mineral fertilizers.

Legumes, potatoes, cucumber, onions, beets, tomatoes and legumes can be precursors for it. The need to alternate cabbage with other crops is due to the fact that it is strongly affected by diseases and pests, the source of which is the soil. With the permanent cultivation of cabbage plants in the same place, the quantity and quality of the crop decreases.

Tilling the soil for Brussels sprouts is similar to treating it for white cabbage. In the fall, after harvesting plant residues, the site is dug to a depth of 20-25 cm. The soil is left unburrowed for the winter in order to freeze the layers, which contributes to loosening the soil and killing pests.

In spring, the soil is harrowed, thereby loosening its top layer and leveling the surface. This reduces moisture loss. In the conditions of the North-West of Russia, heavy waterlogged soils should be dug to a depth of 15-18 cm. In the spring, before digging (plowing or milling) the soil, fertilizers are applied.

Brussels sprouts consume nutrients from the soil for a long period of time. She uses organic fertilizers well. It should be borne in mind that plants, growing on soils well filled with organic fertilizers, can more easily tolerate a lack of moisture. It is necessary to combine the application of organic and mineral fertilizers. Under the Brussels sprouts, 10-18 g of nitrogen are introduced according to the active substance (this means 30-50 g of ammonium nitrate or urea), 6-8 g of phosphorus (according to the active substance), that is, 20-40 g of superphosphate and 12-20 g of potassium (according to the active substance) or 25-40 g of potassium chloride. A valuable fertilizer for Brussels sprouts is wood ash, which is rich in potassium, partly in phosphorus and trace elements (boron, copper, etc.).

The main part of phosphorus-potassium fertilizers (from 2/3 to 3/4) is applied in autumn for autumn cultivation or in spring for digging. The rest of the mineral fertilizers are applied before loosening the prepared beds in the spring, in the holes, during planting of seedlings or in top dressing.

It is very effective to apply mineral fertilizers together with irrigation water when planting seedlings. The concentration of the solution should be (depending on weather and soil conditions) in the range of 0.5-1% (matchbox on a watering can). When liming the soil, the dose of dolomite or ground limestone, taking into account the type of soil and its acidity, varies from 300 g to 1 kg per 1 m3. With a lack of calcareous materials, they are introduced in small doses into the holes. This allows you to manage 50-100 g of lime materials per 1 m2.

Read the next part. Brussels sprouts: growing seedlings, care, fertilization and feeding →

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