Blown sprouts

General tips / questions on seeding & planting

Moderators: KG Steve, Chantal, Tigger, peter

User avatar
JohnN
KG Regular
Posts: 533
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Hookwood, near Gatwick
x 9

Blown sprouts

Postby JohnN » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:56 am

For the second year in succession my 5 sprout plants have totally "blown", though they've all grown strongly. Last year you good folk advised me that it was probably due to not planting them deeply enough and the wind making them unstable. So this year I took particular care to make them firm and deep, with supporting canes, so I can't understand it. Funny thing is I grew sprouts in the same patch for several years with no problem, so do you think a move would help? Or perhaps buy the plants rather than raise from seed? Anyone else had this problem? Thanks for any further advice.
0 x
tigerburnie
KG Regular
Posts: 546
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:12 am
Location: Angus by the sea
x 74

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby tigerburnie » Sun Oct 01, 2017 11:09 am

Crop rotation is vital with brassicas(and other crops as well), lack of nutrients, build up of problems like club root can result, I'd grow some in a spot that you've never grown them in before.
0 x
Been gardening for 60 years and still learning
User avatar
Pa Snip
KG Regular
Posts: 2489
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:20 pm
Location: Near the big house on the hill Berkshire
x 234

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Oct 01, 2017 12:18 pm

I agree with tiger about the danger of club root when not carrying out rotation with brassicas. Be warned that if you do get club root on a patch it can take 20 years to get rid of it. That's 20 years without growing any brassica or related crop like swede in that patch.

It also means it would be unwise to rotavate that ground as to do so would spread the disease. Careful use of a fork is advised.

However I am surprised that your sprouts are already so far advanced that they are blowing.

A lot of blame for all sorts of problems this year is being blamed on weather conditions and that may be a legitimate reason in this case.

Question 1. when you planted the sprout plants did you do so in firm ground that had been previously limed.
Question 2. Had you, or have you, used fresh manure or fertilisers on that patch this year
Question 3. how deep did you plant them, I believe it best practice to plant them so that the bottom leaves are just above ground level.
Question 4. Have the plants been kept 'moist' but not soaking waterlogged.
Question 5. Is it possible that that patch is holding water with inadequate drainage
Question 6. Conversely has the ground dried out at any time
Question 7. Have all the sprouts blown on every plant.

You may get the impression that growing brassicas can be a fine balancing act. You'd be right.
Many people on our allotment site experience difficulties. Some plots can grow cabbage where the plot next door cannot, the same applies for sprouts, cauliflowers and broccoli
1 x

As long as at least one person groans, smiles, or laughs then my job is done.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
User avatar
JohnN
KG Regular
Posts: 533
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Hookwood, near Gatwick
x 9

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby JohnN » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:26 pm

Thanks Pa Snip
1.I dug 18”d x 12”sq pits, filled them with fine earth, some compost, Growmore and blood fish & bone and banged it down hard with a heavy tamper. Not limed. (???)
2. See 1
3.Plants were from seed and were about 6” high when planted, about 3” deep.
4. Only watered when weather was dry, so not often last Spring.
5. Not sure about drainage, just flat earth inside fruit cage.
6. See 5
7. Yes, all 5, though two slightly less than others.
0 x
User avatar
Pa Snip
KG Regular
Posts: 2489
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2014 9:20 pm
Location: Near the big house on the hill Berkshire
x 234

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby Pa Snip » Sun Oct 01, 2017 3:46 pm

HI John
I will be interested to see what views others have before I make any further reply
0 x

As long as at least one person groans, smiles, or laughs then my job is done.

At least travelling under the guise of the Pa Snip Enterprise gives me an excuse for appearing to be on another planet
User avatar
Westi
KG Regular
Posts: 3185
Joined: Thu Oct 30, 2008 5:46 pm
Location: Christchurch, Dorset
x 145

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby Westi » Sun Oct 01, 2017 5:05 pm

Hi JohnN

You should lime & rotate your brassica beds, but don't know if that's why yours has blown. Lot's of feed as well there, which my have prompted them to blow as too well fed equals too soft leaves so those around the sprout may just be too soft to tighten into the bud. And the other thing may be the variety, some are bred to harvest earlier and you may have missed the opportunity when they were actually tight and closed and they have just gone over.

All is not wasted though, you can still use them, shred them up and stir fry them, roast them whole so the edges catch and they go crispy and serve as a side, throw them into soups etc.
0 x
Westi
Always optimistic despite the challenges!
Monika
KG Regular
Posts: 3455
Joined: Thu Jul 06, 2006 8:13 pm
Location: Yorkshire Dales
x 101

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby Monika » Sun Oct 01, 2017 7:05 pm

I understand that it is the firmness of planting rather than the depth that is important for sprouts, John. Perhaps, next year you could earth up the stems and tamp them down during the growing period?
And I would certainly not grow them in the same bed for another two or three years. That is asking for trouble.
0 x
jeff64
KG Regular
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:40 pm
Location: Rotherham
x 4

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby jeff64 » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:18 pm

As i have already mentioned i am new to veg growing and i don,t know what a blown sprout is, i think it is loose leaved and fluffy, i am sure someone will inform me, my first year i was just experimenting while i got my lottie weed free and my two sprout plants were loose and fluffy, second year they were ok, this year i have ten plants all about 4 foot 6inch tall, we have already had three dinners off them and they are very nice, about a month ago i gave them a scattering of fertiliser granuals don,t know if this helps.
0 x
sally wright
KG Regular
Posts: 519
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2005 8:32 pm
Location: Cambridge
x 17

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby sally wright » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:23 pm

Dear John,
I can see what I think are four possible reasons for the blown sprouts.
1. variety - you are using an older open pollinated variety. Modern F1 hybrids are less likely to have blown sprouts than older kinds; especially on lighter sandy soils.
2. fertilizer types - I have found that too much nitrogen can cause too much open growth in winter brassicas. Growmore and BF&B are high in nitrogen. I use rose food as this has less nitrogen and use the lower dose recommended on the packet as well.
3. liming - use a soil testing kit and make sure that the PH is seven or above for best results. Add lime if it is not.
4. staking - this is not advised until about this time of year as you want the tops of the plants to rock in the breeze to promote shorter, sturdy stems and a good root system.
I hope you have better luck next year.
Regards Sally Wright.
1 x
User avatar
JohnN
KG Regular
Posts: 533
Joined: Thu Jul 27, 2006 5:45 pm
Location: Hookwood, near Gatwick
x 9

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby JohnN » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:51 am

Hi Sally (and all)
The sprouts are Bedford Fillbasket, 2015 but dated till 2018. Reading the packet again I see they recommend 30" apart, mine are only24". They also say the fertiliser should be added the previous autumn, not just before planting! Here's a pic of one plant - if I doesn't come thro' too big!. Thank you all for your comments, I'll take it all on board and try next year with new F1s and new ground.
P1010105.JPG
P1010105.JPG (816.9 KiB) Viewed 211 times
0 x
User avatar
Mouse2
KG Regular
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:35 am
Location: Northampton
x 36

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby Mouse2 » Sat Oct 14, 2017 10:37 pm

John, not being able to find seed for my preferred variety (Brilliant F1) in the shops last year, I grew Bedford Fillibert instead and had exactly the same problem that you have. For the first time ever, I didn't get one usable sprout. Every single plant looked exactly like the one in your photo. I even made a note in my book to avoid them like the plague in future!

This year I have grown Brilliant again, and have a lovely crop, as usual.
It is worth noting that I have a light sandy soil, which corrobrates Sally's first point about traditional pollinated varieties versus modern F1 hybrids on such soil.
0 x
PLUMPUDDING
KG Regular
Posts: 2874
Joined: Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:14 pm
Location: Stocksbridge, S. Yorks
x 149

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby PLUMPUDDING » Sun Oct 15, 2017 8:53 am

Don't forget they still taste good even if they aren't tight sprouts.
1 x
tigerburnie
KG Regular
Posts: 546
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:12 am
Location: Angus by the sea
x 74

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby tigerburnie » Sun Oct 15, 2017 10:51 am

Dropped in a pan with a little finely chopped bacon and a sprinkle of chillie flakes and stir fried, taste amazing
0 x
Been gardening for 60 years and still learning
User avatar
Mouse2
KG Regular
Posts: 59
Joined: Fri Jul 14, 2017 6:35 am
Location: Northampton
x 36

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby Mouse2 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 12:09 pm

There was really nothing on mine that could be called a 'sprout'. The only use I was able to make of the resulting loose leaves was as extra greenery in stir-fries. That said, your suggestion has made my mouth water, Tigerburnie :)
0 x
tigerburnie
KG Regular
Posts: 546
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 11:12 am
Location: Angus by the sea
x 74

Re: Blown sprouts

Postby tigerburnie » Sun Oct 15, 2017 3:22 pm

It's my son in laws recipe
0 x
Been gardening for 60 years and still learning

Return to “Best practices”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 6 guests