Brussel sprouts and firm soil

Question ...

Please can you tell me why my Brussels sprouts are loose and open and have not formed the tight buds expected? Do they need cold weather to make the buds form into 'sprouts'?

Answer ...

Unfortunately, we can't blame this one on the weather! Loose, open sprouts are caused by poor soil conditions. Always plant out into a firm soil. Plant transplants deeply, with the lowest leaf on the surface of the soil. Firm plants in well and, especially if you are growing on a windy site, they need staking too. Brussels are in the ground for a long period of time and are hungry feeders. Before planting, prepare the ground by applying a spadeful of well rotted manure, or two of garden compost per square metre. Mulch with grass clippings in the summer if plants are not growing vigorously.

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