The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Growing => Vegetables => Topic started by: Cinderhills on November 02, 2011, 08:06:55 pm

Title: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Cinderhills on November 02, 2011, 08:06:55 pm
I am worried that my sprouts won't last until Christmas outside, the large leaves of the plant seem to be covered in holes recently even though I go out everyday to check for caterpillers.  Is there an ideal way of storing them once picked?
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Odin on November 21, 2011, 06:38:33 pm
I wish that I could give you an answer because mine have all blown and I'm talking about 40 plants. :-[  My intention was to keep the buttons on the stalk with all the leaves removed. Using the cardboard boxes that apples come in, lay the stalks in there, may get three per box and keep them in a dark cool dry shed. The problem with the buttons is that small grubs and slugs live inside and soon eat them so they do need shifting/selling asap. Or break the buttons off the stalk, blanch then freeze.
How has your crop performed ? The buttons formed on mine and remained firm up to 3/8th of an inch then just blew out into large things! I put it down to warm weather, they have not seen frost and lady birds are still around that tells me, its' warm. However, I would appreciate any tips from sprout growers, ie, when to break leaves off once the buttons are growing because I'm thinking that I should have cut the leaves off when the buttons where only small ?
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Plantoid on November 21, 2011, 09:23:30 pm
Blanche and freeze ?
or
Cut a couple of stalks full of sprouts , cut a 2 inch deep cross slot in the base of the stem and stand then in a bucket of clean water , change the water daily and gently wipe the stem with a clean cloth where it has been standing in the water , rinse off with clean water  before puting back in the clean water.
 
Another old trick apparently  is to hang caulies , cabbages and sprout stalks that were grown for show purposes down a deep working well just a few inches above the water ,, a good cauli etc.could be used for prize winning exhibits for several weekends of shows.


 So I'd try a stalk at each method just to be as safe as you can.

 if you haven't found evidence of caterpilairs or slugs .

 You could try picking off the lower sprouts and hope the plants continues to produce more by crimbo.
 
Have you seen any pigeons or other birds on the sprout tops if so perhaps put a net over the sprouts ... held off a few inches
Though to be honest i myself would not be bothered about a few bird holes in the tops if they are taking out caterpilairs
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Cinderhills on November 23, 2011, 11:55:17 am
Thanks for your replies. 

Odin - this year mine have done really well.  Last year they hardly grew and nothing came of them.  I did try them in a different bed so maybe that helped.

Plantoid - my veg are in a cage with netting over the top too, maybe that's why I had so many caterpillers as the birds couldn't get to them.  Since I wrote my original post I did then suddenly find an influx of the things.
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Plantoid on November 23, 2011, 02:42:33 pm
Ha ha .
Ispent 18 or so on making a netted casge to protect my greens only to see on bright still sunny day that every sodding cabbage white in the area had walked in right through the 19 mm " butterfly protection netting ".

 I went and got some decent bug spray  that can be used on veg and flowers and treated everything except our dhalias and freishia which are now moth eaten green lace nets instead of leaves.


 I've also found a tiny slug or two on the flower leaves s which should not be there as i've used methaldihyde  slug pellets and grow your own nematode treatment  but not found any on the veg.
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: deepinthewoods on November 23, 2011, 06:33:04 pm
metaldehyde is AWFUL stuff, it doesnt break down in the soil and is traceable in human water supplies, let alone the untold damage it does to the ecology of your garden! theres research to suggest that the demise of the hedgehog is a direct result.
 ferric phosphate is widely available as pellets and is just as effective and its organic.
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Blonde on November 26, 2011, 11:55:38 am
I wish that I could give you an answer because mine have all blown and I'm talking about 40 plants. :-[  My intention was to keep the buttons on the stalk with all the leaves removed. Using the cardboard boxes that apples come in, lay the stalks in there, may get three per box and keep them in a dark cool dry shed. The problem with the buttons is that small grubs and slugs live inside and soon eat them so they do need shifting/selling asap. Or break the buttons off the stalk, blanch then freeze.
How has your crop performed ? The buttons formed on mine and remained firm up to 3/8th of an inch then just blew out into large things! I put it down to warm weather, they have not seen frost and lady birds are still around that tells me, its' warm. However, I would appreciate any tips from sprout growers, ie, when to break leaves off once the buttons are growing because I'm thinking that I should have cut the leaves off when the buttons where only small ?
Ours blew on some plants and not others.   A garlic spray with some washing up liquid in usually does the trick on insects.   I also grow ANISEED in the vegi garden and have few problems with bugs.  Beer in the  bottles hidden under the large leaves of the  vegies does wonders to slugs and snails crawl in for a drink and drown....pissed from too much beer.  You just tip out the brew after a few weeks and put a fresh one down. 
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Odin on November 27, 2011, 08:08:14 pm
I put a load of my sprouts into a small wooden box, 14 x 8 inch and have left them a week. They have firmed up and we have just "eaten sum for us tea". Translated into "had them with our dinner". Very nice, pleased with them. The local veg shop did not want them as they said that they would be difficult to sell as they were part blown and soft. So I took a sack full in to the Baptist Mission in town where they feed the in-need folks, (along with my spuds) and they were glad of them. Well received. No images of a sprout ..... and its Xmas ?
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Plantoid on November 28, 2011, 09:55:54 pm
metaldehyde is AWFUL stuff, it doesnt break down in the soil and is traceable in human water supplies, let alone the untold damage it does to the ecology of your garden! theres research to suggest that the demise of the hedgehog is a direct result.
 ferric phosphate is widely available as pellets and is just as effective and its organic.

 I'm led to believe that it breaks down when wet into alcohol and is harmless at this state ( according to the very detailed technical composting  info I've read this afternoon ).

Here is a link for you to peek at if your interested .

www.cyber-north.com/gardening/compost.html (http://www.cyber-north.com/gardening/compost.html)

I've been gleaning info on making a soil less growing medium for my raised beds , it has led me to that site several times as a decent technical source of info.


 
Ferric phosphate is no good for the very acid blue mine sulphur clay soils we have around here as it is supposed to make them even more acidic.
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: deepinthewoods on November 29, 2011, 09:00:50 am
http://www.water.org.uk/home/policy/positions/metaldehyde-briefing (http://www.water.org.uk/home/policy/positions/metaldehyde-briefing)

its slowly being withdrawn anyway!!
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: darkbrowneggs on November 29, 2011, 09:48:26 am
My garden is in a very windy spot, and as I garden "deep bed" method my sprouts nearly always blow, (assuming the cabbage white and pigeons have left me a plant)

I make Brussel Sprout puree - basically steam sprouts as usual then puree with a knob of butter, and bit of cream if you have it plus salt and pepper to taste, and its very nice.

You can do the same with carrots and parsnips - got the idea from a fancy meal eaten some years ago in France, where I think they regard Brussel Sprouts as basically inedible anyway  ::)
Title: Re: Storing brussel sprouts
Post by: Plantoid on November 29, 2011, 10:44:55 pm
http://www.water.org.uk/home/policy/positions/metaldehyde-briefing (http://www.water.org.uk/home/policy/positions/metaldehyde-briefing)

its slowly being withdrawn anyway!!

 Thanks for the link DITW  ..it's an interesting read.

 With the use of the same new technology look out for zillions of other chemicals being found in everything , but like the metaldehyde  they will be way below the levels that might cause probs .( well , currently thought to be below that threshold  ) .
 It will be interesting to see what they say about carbon particles and platinium dust etc. from car exhaust .

 Veg growing may yet have move to the top of Scotland to be considered organic.

 I think the stuff I use has been specially modified by being hollow blown so that it gives a much smaller dose per granule.

 On the pack it says it's five times more effective than the old stuff and you need only 75 granules per sq mtr .