Our own sprouts- 2 mins
It was lovely to enjoy our home grown spouts this year. They’re always relegated to a supporting side dish role on the dinner table, but nonetheless are a key part of the seasonal feast. For the first time ever, we managed to grow and keep them going through to meaningful harvest.
Growing our own spouts has been straightforward enough. My partner grew some plants from seed, which were planted out in a net covered raised vegetable bed. Whilst we started with 6 plants, they’ve gradually been thinned out to just three. The rest, which are bug ridden in one way or another, have been spread around the garden to provide both sacrificial plants and insects to support winter visitors.
We cropped one of the three plants in the days leading up to Christmas. Yes. . . as you can tell it was a bit bedraggled. . . but aren’t we all after an up and down 2022. With a peel and wash, the green balls turned out to be prize worthy specimens, perfect for eating. There was so many from just the one plant, we even managed to give some to others for their Christmas table. Personally speaking, ours were softened in the microwave before being covered with softened leeks, ground peanuts, a dollop of cheese sauce, and topped with finely chopped bacon. Cook ’til crispy.
Going back to the garden, the very same raised bed hosted 2021’s caterpillar infested cabbage and sprout patch. We didn’t know the importance of netting at this point. Whilst that year the leafy greens were ravaged by cabbage whites and all other manner of creepy crawly, the kales bounced back over the winter. Ever since they’ve been providing a steady crop of kale for stir-fry’s and roast dinners as well as baby plants for future growing. A descendent of these plants has been in the garden for four straight years now.
One of last years sprouts was harvested down to a few inches from the ground, with the stump being left at the back of the bed to see what would happen. It grew over 2022. Whilst it didn’t contribute anything to the dinner table, it did provide a summer long display of flowers, which offered one of the most visited wildlife spots in the garden. Ever since, we’ve been sure to save the stumps for next years wildlife.
- Sprouts and brassicas are worth netting.
- Either crop as a handful of spouts reach an appropriate size, or leave in place and crop in one go.
- Sprouts can look pretty terrible on the outside, but peel into something edible
- They make a great sacrificial plant. Crop with a cut an inch below the first rung of spouts, relocating it to the mid/back of a border.