Brussels Sprout 'Long Island'
First recorded in 1587 in the Netherlands, but believed to have been grown in Belgium since the 13th Century, this popular heirloom Brussels Sprout was introduced to the US by French settlers in the 1890s where it quickly became the main variety used in commercial production. Hybrids eventually took over, as was the trend in those days, but Long Island has stood the test of time, especially with gardeners.
Brussels sprouts are a long season crop, but well worth the effort. Most varieties will require around 5 months before harvest. Preferring a slightly alkaline soil, like other members of the cabbage family, prepare the ground with plenty of well rotted manure or compost. In windy gardens the plants will need to be staked as they do become top heavy. Loosely formed sprouts are a sign of too much nitrogen. Best in frosty areas, grow through summer for autumn and winter harvests. The spring flowering shoots can be eaten like broccoli and its top knot of leaves served as a mini cabbage. Harvest sprouts as they mature from teh bottom upward. Prone to attack by white cabbage butterfly, control with Dipel or netting.