It’s taken me all year to grow this sprouts and if I’m honest, other than the odd weeding session here and there I haven’t really given my sprouts much tender loving care.
We’re having quite a mild winter so far so I thought I’d mound up the base of the plants with mulch to help with water retention and tie the plants up to try and keep them steady which will preserve energy levels. You may remember I collected some leaf mold at the beginning of the year and this has broken down nicely over the last 12 months. I’ve used a couple of barrows of this, even though it’s not completely broken down as it will decompose in the ground later on in the spring.
On closer inspection of my sprouts, I have to say that I was a little disheartened to find that the crop consisted of sprouts that were only slightly bigger than a marble. The plants have been subject to a flea beetle attack throughout the year and know that this has stunted growth slightly. Small holes have appeared on the plants along with bite marks around the edge of the leaves over the last few months. Flea beetle larvae tend to feed on roots of germinating plants.
I’ve also done some research and I’ve found that the size of your sprouts tend to be down to the soil conditions. The bed in which I’am growing my sprouts may be too rich in phosphorus or nitrogen. Next year I’ll be sure to add compost to my sprout patch, at least twice a year in the hope that I get decent sized sprouts.
Love them or hate them, sprouts are rich in iron and are incredibly good you – so think of that next time you decide to tuck into a bowl on Christmas day.