Planting Guide and Seed Saving Notes for Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea)

As their name implies, Brussels Sprouts were spread to the rest of the world from the region that is now Belgium and Flanders. Another member of the Brassica family, these miniature-cabbage-looking vegetables are very hardy and become sweeter after fall frosts. Once established in the fall garden they can be harvested through much of the winter affording fresh food in the cold months by starting the harvest at the bottom of the plant and working one's way up the stalk.

Nutrients: vitamins A, C, E, K, B6, thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, dietary fiber.  

How to Start Brussels Sprouts from Seed

Bed Preparation

Brussels sprout is a frost tolerant, winter hardy biennial that prefers full sun and evenly moist soil.


Brussels sprout seed should be started indoors 4 weeks before the last frost in spring. Brussels sprout starts can be planted again in late summer for a fall crop. Sow seeds 1/4”-1/2" deep and 4-6” apart. Seeds will sprout in 5-17 days. Thin seedlings so that mature plants are 18-24" apart.


Brussels sprout can be harvested in approximately 90 days after planting and continue through much of the winter. Start harvesting at the bottom of the plant and work up the stalk.

How to save Brussels Sprout Seeds

Brussels sprout is an insect pollinated biennial that doesn’t flower and set seed until the following season. Leave ½ mile between what you are growing and any other Brassica oleracea to prevent crossing. The oleracea species is large, so be extra careful of what you have growing out to seed around you. After flowers have turned to seed, leave the seeds to mature and dry on the plant as long as possible before gathering. Once plant material is so dry it crumbles at your touch, you’ll follow the dry harvesting methods for processing. Store seeds in a cool dry place and they will remain viable for 4-5 years.