Long Island Improved
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Brussels Sprouts, Long Island Improved – Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera
FULL SUN First domesticated in the 1300s near Brussels, Belgium from a kale-like form of wild cabbage, the Brussels Sprout began to grow slowly in popularity in the US in the early 1800s. Long Island Improved was introduced in the 1890s. It is a semi-dwarf plant reaching a height of 24 in. and producing 1-2 in. very flavorful sprouts.
Brussels Sprouts can be sown in the early spring as soon as the ground can be worked or started indoors. Mild frosts do not impact Brussels Sprouts. If direct seeding, soil should be deeply spaded before planting. Rows should be 30 in. apart.
When seedlings are 2 in. high, thin, leaving 18 in. between plants.
Adding lime to the soil before planting will sweeten Brussels Sprouts. Leaves should be continuously removed from the lower parts of the plants to enhance sprout development. In the fall, exposure to mild frosts tends to sweeten the sprouts.
|Type||Spacing||Planting Depth||Days to Germination||Maturity|
|Brussel sprouts||18 in.||1 in.||10-14||115|
Long Island Improved
Brussels Sprouts belong to the Brassica family of vegetables, the largest vegetable family known which includes cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, collards, kale, kohlrabi, turnips and rutabaga. The plant is believed to have developed from a form of kalelike wild cabbage. It was discovered and popularized in the 14th century near Brussels in Belgium. Brussels Sprouts suffer from a truly undeserved poor reputation. When prepared properly, by gently steaming, Brussels sprouts have a sweet, nutty flavor and a crisp texture. If allowed to overcook, Brussels sprouts produce a strong foul odor and become mushy in texture. An overcooked Brussels sprout is truly vile while a steamed Brussels sprout with garlic butter or Hollandaise sauce is a gourmet delight. By the mid-19th century, Europe was enjoying the Brussels sprout, but it had not gained acceptance in the United States.
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